Forget the sugary big-name sodas – the new cocktail mixers are all about natural ingredients and local production.
1. Walter Craft Caesar Mix A thick and fresh classic cocktail mix made of vine-ripened tomatoes, grated horseradish and clam juice using North Atlantic clams.
2. Bec Cola A deliciously rich and zingy pop that uses organic maple syrup as a sweetener. Also comes in lime and cranberry.
3. Porter’s Tonic Organic agave nectar sweetens four well-balanced flavours: original, grapefruit, cardamom orange and hibiscus.
After completing a residency on Fogo Island, Newfoundland, Canadian artist and graphic novelist Walter Scott released Wendy’s Revenge, a follow-up to his debut from Koyama Press. The Kahnawake, Quebec-born artist’s work has been featured in Hazlitt and the Hairpin, two popular sites for literary types. His latest tome continues to satirize Canada’s indie arts scene and builds on the adventures of the eponymous, anxiety-ridden heroine who dreams of art-world stardom.
More than 1,100 years apart, the stories of two groundbreaking women have come together in one building in the Middle East. Fatima El-Fihriya, the savvy daughter of a merchant, founded the al-Qarawiyyin library in Fez, Morocco, in the ninth century. Since that time, it has housed some 4,000 manuscripts, including ancient Qurans, but access has long been limited to scholars only. That changed this fall with help from Aziza Chaouni, the Toronto-based architect who began the restoration of the library in 2013. Not only is she responsible for the design, she also succeeded in convincing the Ministry of Culture to allow for the construction of two exhibition rooms that are now open to the public.
Newfoundland native Lori Morgan identified a need for simple, modern pieces that celebrated her home province’s culture and heritage, so she started Terre-Neuve, an apparel and accessories supply store. The latest item to hit the shelves is the “All Around the Circle” pillow, an updated version of the local knit-pillow design, made by Morgan’s mother. Traditionally made in primary colours, Terre-Neuve’s contemporary cushions sport neons and pastels.
Steeped in Tradition
Every cup of Northern Delights tea is made with the help of Nunavik residents, who hike out onto the tundra to hand-pick Arctic leaves, stems and berries. The result is a series of flavourful and medicinal specialty blends like Arpiqutik (with cloudberry leaves and roasted dandelion root) and Paurnagaqutik (with crowberry). All funds from the sales are redirected to a cultural organization that helps promote and preserve the language and culture of the Inuit in Nunavik.
Love to Luminaries
Designer collaborations are nothing new, but when Félix Guyon and Audrée L. Larose met, they formed a personal and professional partnership. Working out of Verchères, a small town just outside of Montreal, the couple created La Belle Époque line, a collection of home-decor objects inspired by the romanticism of the late 19th century. The most recent additions to the collection, two opulent lighting fixtures draped in copper-plated chains, were unveiled at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York this spring.
Rocking the Nursery
Nursery furniture gets a modernist makeover from Monte, the Toronto design firm headed by Ralph and Michelle Montemurro. The Rockwell bassinet is a fan favourite, and the recently released Jackson rocker (both pictured) showcases the company’s signature aesthetic and approach: clean-lined design with grown-up appeal, made-in-Canada craftsmanship and sustainable materials like plush foam made of seed-based oils and wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. Look for their next venture: a furniture line that moves away from the baby’s room and into adult spaces.
58 Degrees North
RAW:almond was last year’s buzz-worthy outdoor winter dining experience in Winnipeg. Now, organizers have upped the ante with RAW:churchill. The itinerary (March 3 to 11, 2017) includes a 30-minute trundle in an overland vehicle from Churchill, Manitoba, across the frozen Churchill River to the Prince of Wales Fort, a stone citadel with 6.5-metre-high and 10.5-metre-thick walls. For two hours, nestled in a warm tent under the northern lights, chef Mandel Hitzer will dish up a multiple-course meal featuring historical flavours and modern techniques.
Next spring, keep an eye out for the Canada 150 tulip. The specially engineered flower was developed for Canada’s milestone birthday in 2017 – and released just in time to plant this fall. About 300,000 of these red and white, maple-leaf-flag-looking flowers will bloom in the flowerbeds of the nation’s capital in time for the famous Canadian Tulip Festival. Keen gardeners can purchase the bulbs at Home Hardware stores across the country.
As they celebrated their 10th anniversary this summer, Beau’s was named the official brewery for Ottawa 2017, a year-long party for Canada’s sesquicentennial birthday. More than 1 million bottles of their Lug-Tread Lagered Ale will be branded and sold across the country. But the country’s largest craft producer of organic beer has no intention of partying alone: They’re inviting other Canadian independent brewers, like Ottawa’s Big Rig Brewery and Kichesippi Beer Co., to join in their patriotic efforts, and together will release one special beer for every month of the year.
Clash of the Titans
La Machine, the French street-theatre company, will make its North American debut in Ottawa next summer. Experts in building gigantic wood and steel creatures equipped with hydraulic and automatic-motion systems, they will introduce Canadians to Kumo Ni, an enormous spider who requires 16 operators to bring her to life, and Long Ma, a 13-metre-high dragon horse. Amid a frenzy of special effects and sound engineering, the pair is set to transfix the crowd as they lumber down the city streets.
Having both spent time in the hospital as kids, Janice Ng and Henry Lo feel passionately about Farmooo, the virtual-reality game they created for teen cancer patients. It has players perform tasks on a virtual farm, an immersive experience meant to serve as a distraction from pain during lengthy chemotherapy treatments. The game’s creators are currently working with the medical staff at B.C. Children’s Hospital, testing it with real patients.
Most 12-year-olds don’t have part-time jobs, but Émile Burbidge has one that’s the envy of kids big and small. The Saint-Bruno, Quebec, resident has been appointed Chief Play Officer for Toys “R” Us Canada, which gives him access to the hottest new toys, games and gadgets on the market. He will provide insider information and recommendations for gift-givers and parents, and have the opportunity to travel all over Canada to attend company events. “I feel like the luckiest kid in the country,” he said when he won the role over hundreds of other Canadian children. Well played, Émile, well played.
Wearable wellness technologies just keep getting smarter, and Montreal’s OMsignal is at the head of the pack. The popular OMshirt and newly released OMbra are each outfitted with bio-sensors to track the wearer’s fitness metrics, including calorie burn and breathing rate. Tech aside, these pieces are also advanced when it comes to breathability, moisture management and compression (for improved blood circulation), so they’ll take you from downward dog to uphill cardio sprint.