Tag Archives: Ottawa

After Hub Pop Up? The real work begins

Just came back from a meeting on membership packages with Ivy & Vinod. Crazy to think how far we’ve come since last November when I first met Vinod at Bridgehead downtown. I can actually say that I’M AT THE HUB (not just doing Hub stuff somewhere else).

Jason just did the recap on the Pop Up Weekend on the Hub blog so won’t say too much more except  – wow, after all of that hard work – now the real work begins! Haha.

And that’s the difference between planning the one-off events and building a company.  One of the many reasons we’ve heard the Hub is much needed in this city is that there are way too many ‘one-off’ events – where they ‘pop up’ and then disappear for another few months.  Our “pop-up” is leading us to our ‘launch’ in February.

Within the Founding Team we’ve been talking a lot about moving from Founding to Operating – and that’s one giant step. What’s my job moving forward? Well, happy to say that I’ll be managing a lot of the programming (along with the awesome Hub team and Hub volunteers).  My job this week is to take that awesome post-it note wall “A Day/Week/Month/Year in the Hub” and turn it into something tangible. What events will we be hosting for members? For  the public? What kind of events are our members wanting to host in the Hub? How does that work with hours etc.? My brain is buzzing with ideas – will be focusing on that this week. Stay tuned:)

The Hub Programming Wall

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Harvest Noir. Proof that Ottawa is getting sexier.

Who said Ottawa was a boring, unfashionable city?

So much going on in this city I simply can’t keep up. With Hub Ottawa on a roll (very cool TEDxOttawa Creative Actions Mixer we  put on last week), Fashion On Display, Oktoberfest etc…. It’s a crazy place to be!

Yesterday I, along with 700 other daring Ottawans attended  Harvest Noir, our city’s first ever flash mob black-tie picnic at the Museum of Civilisation. It started at 4pm and to be honest,  I only found out the time and location at 3pm!

Harvest Noir - flash mob picnic on Saturday at Museum of Civilisation


But what a sight! Ladies and gentlemen dressed to the nines with elegant nineteenth century black gowns, top hats, black parsols  sitting at beautiful fall decorated tables with mouthwatering locally harvested meals (and I’m talking gourmet meals… one table had roasted legs of lamb). As one party-goer told the Citizen

“It’s absolutely unique in that everybody embraced it 100-per-cent without knowing details in advance, and that’s very not-Ottawa.”

Agreed. More proof that Ottawa is changing for the better.


Harvest Noir & Hub Ottawa

First up, the Hub can’t take any credit for this awesome event…but the organizer, Greg Searle will be one of our Hub 60 Members when we open our doors:)  Greg and I met at the Manx about a month ago and had a fantastic chat about the Hub, Art of Hosting, sustainability consulting, Harvest Noir etc.  As it turns out, we run in the same global circle and share a lot of contacts doing fabulously interesting things around the world.

So what’s the connection with the Hub? The idea for this event was sparked when Greg and his partner happened upon a similar type of event in Montreal, which was originally started in Paris 23 years ago. A very creative, socially innovative idea happens in one part of the world and spreads across to other cities. And that’s the magic of the Hub. Our mission is:

To catalyze and support socially driven ideas, initiatives, and ventures for a better city, better world.

We’re connected with over 30 other Hubs around the world, with 5000+ changemakers like Greg Searle  – and poof! good ideas are transported:)

The spark of social innovation! (Okay, sorry that's uber corny....)

Can’t wait for next year’s Harvest Noir. I’m already thinking of hats:)


My friend Amy Husser and I at the party inside the museum - spectacular!







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Oktoberfest 2011 raising money with my Unshaven Mavens

What a day…cold, rainy, ugly, and awesome:)

Just spent the day at Beau’s Oktoberfest in Vankleek Hill raising over $3000 for Rethink Breast Cancer with my good friends Malorie Bertrand and Maureen Dickson, my Unshaven Mavens.

Unshaven Mavens is the brain child of Malorie Bertrand and Amie Beausoleil. Inspired by Movember and Mustaches for Kids, Unshaven Mavens’ light-hearted approach to breast cancer awareness hopes to create a lasting and memorable legacy that its participants and sponsors can be proud of.

Unshaven Mavens will grow their underarm hair for the entire month of October, all the while raising funds for Rethink Breast Cancer, a Canadian breast cancer charity that brings bold, relevant awareness to the under-40 crowd. Unshaven Mavens will zero in on the armpit because early breast cancer symptoms can be detected in the underarm area, not just the breast.

Over twenty ladies signed up to be fundraiser (today was the Clean Shave Day) but our real fundraising started when we brought the electric razors out. Beau’s Brewery (my fave beer – organic & local) even gave us a $500 prize for anyone who donated more than $40.  The kicker was also that if you donated $40 or more, you could get your head shaved on stage:)


Oktoberfest 2011

At $500, Phil, one of the Beau’s brothers agreed to shave his head. At $1000 raised, Steve, his brother agreed to shave his head (and both mind you had some pretty lovely locks!)

Well, that turned into more guys getting on the stage to shave their heads, beards, mustaches, and even chests….Shout out to Mark Kelly – the Irish who gave $500 to shave his head & chest and get the emcee to get on the chair and have his head shaved too.

Watch the fun on the video below. This is Steve Beauchesne, co-founder of Beau’s.


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Blogging about Spins and Needles on “Local Tourist Ottawa”

Local Tourist Ottawa is an awesome new blog some of my uni friends started a few weeks ago. Great posts so far. Especially like this one on “Ottawa’s top 10 most scrumtrulescent brunch destinations”.

I blogged yesterday about going to Spins and Needles (a DJ/DIY craft making event) and just wrote the review on LTOttawa today.

Check it out:)

My table's fancy creations.

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Changing it up a bit…growing roots in Ottawa

Some changes are going on over here at janeporter.ca. (and Jane Porter in general). New blog layout and (yes, that’s right) a new tab next to the “about”:)  Nothing there yet but it’s all coming soon!

What’s changed with me? I’M IN OTTAWA – AND STAYING.

After quite the debate in my head of where I should go to “next”  (London, Helsinki, Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal all being options) I”m happy to call Ottawa home again. Not only because it’s great to be with family – but I feel like I hit this city just at the right time when it comes to innovative sustainability:)

For the last few weeks I’ve been tirelessly plugging myself into the “sustainability” scene here in town – from grassroots operations to the political scene to the larger corporations in town.

Some of the groups in town…

Am I missing some important ones? I’m sure I am. If you know of any that you think I’d be interested in talking to, please let me know! I’m always happy to  go for a coffee and learn something new about this town!

All in all, it’s good to be home.

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Back to the “Ottawa rent-a-bike plan”

I absolutely love it when this happens.

News today:

“Ottawa, Gatineau consider Paris bike-sharing system”

NCC takes part in plan to provide alternative to cars

OTTAWA-The National Capital Commission and the cities of Ottawa and Gatineau are considering a public shared bicycle network similar to systems used in Paris and other cities to encourage commuters to leave their cars at home.

One of my first posts last year:

“Quick solution for Ottawa: get a rent-a-bike system.”

I think Ottawa would be a fine candidate for something like this. Let’s try and make public transit, whether buses, light rail or bikes, useful for people. Oftentimes people don’t want to ride a bike somewhere because they then have to think about where to store it while they go do something. This solves that issue and it also just makes the non-bikers like me more open to at least trying it out. I won’t spend $9/hour to go biking and I won’t spend a couple hundred on a bike when I might not stay here.

Not to pat myself on the back too much (let’s see if they actually do it), but this is just one of those moments of joy 😉

Interested to see what they do with them in the winter if this plan goes through too.

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That’s where I’ve been for the past 2 weeks, hence the lull in writing as of late.

What a journey though – train from Jyväskylä to Helsinki, fly to Frankfurt, fly to Montreal, bus to Ottawa and after a quick shower, jump in a car and drive to Thunder Bay…. (that last part is a 17hr drive across Ontario for those that don’t quite get the grandeur of the Canadian landscape).

This post is a bit more personal than previous ones, so feel free to skip if you don’t really know me but bear with me, the flow of more stimulating posts will come shortly – just figure I need to recap and reflect on life for a sec before jumping into the news and big issues. (I also am not at all up to date in the world around me at the moment… but I am aware that I should not eat Maple Leaf meats!)

North Shore the journey

For those that love a good road trip, the stretch between Sault Ste. Marie (ON) and Thunder Bay, along the north shore of Lake Superior is not to be missed. What a beautiful drive.  Be sure to stop at the provinical parks (Katherine’s Cove is a definite favourite.) The clear fresh lake to your right, rolling hills and a gorgeous sunset make it one of my favourite places in all of Canada.

Thunder Bay the destination

I grew up here, but I’ve often had this “ew, get me out of here!” feel for the city. (I guess many people have this feeling of wanting to leave – especially in an isolated city like TBay, 7-hour drive to get to a bigger city (100 000+) in every direction – easy to understand the need to get out! But as like most things in life, you don’t appreciate something until you step back from it.

So, this time I went back – I saw things a little differently.  The Sleeping Giant, one of the (controversial) Seven Wonders of Canada is just stunning and the sound of whispering aspen (the trees surrounding my house) is extremely relaxing.  I loved taking saunas and jumping in the lake at  “camp” (not a cottage, cabin or kesämökki), (funny how I’m praising lakes, trees and saunas of Northern Ontario while my current home is in FINLAND!). But I guess the real joy was spending time with my family- complete with great bbqs, good drinks and jazz on our new deck:)

The Sleeping Giant

And I was happy to see that the art scene is picking up a bit with more local art shops.  One thing that I will just never understand though… the lack of PATIOS! I sat at the beautiful marina and was in awe that the bar didn’t really serve alcohol on the patio (we managed it no worries:)  One of my joys in life is having a wine or a beer on a nice patio!!! Get with it Thunder Bay!

I was there for a family wedding and although I won’t elaborate on it here, for those that were there, I’m sure we can all agree that it was beautifully done and full of personal detail.  All the best to the happy couple:)

But, all in all, it was great to be home. The ihearttbay.ca website will be up shortly, and I’ll be sure to let you tbayers know when it happens.

My many homes…

I’ve always loved moving and living in new areas. I love the excitement of dropping my bags, exploring a city, and making a new “home” for myself. I’m usually pretty quick to accept my new surroundings – and I hope to continue doing that for a few more years yet. And hopefully one of those years will be spent outside of the western world. Need to shake it up a bit and get out of my comfort zone! There’s so much to see in this world!

Although I’d like to be more of a global citizen I’m feeling the Canadiana in me a little more as I get older… hence why I just picked up a book “A Short History of Canada” and I’m currently reading one written by a relative, “Life in a Thundering Bay

So, although I have no idea where I’ll end up in life (still could be anywhere) I know where my roots are and I think that that’s important.

But, now to my second home – Ottawa. Patios, here i come!

And next week, to my third home – Finland. Nähdään pian! Mä tuun!

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