Bits and Bites of Everyday Life


Artists sharing their passion

“I sing to life, to its beauty, to each of its wounds and each of its caresses.” — Andrea Bocelli

True North Perspective

Alberte Villeneuve-Sinclair is the author of The Neglected Garden and two French novels. Visit her website to learn more

To find your voice, dance to your own tune, to tap into your inner strength, share it and make a statement that matters, to have faith in one’s abilities… Each month, art lovers meet at the First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa’s church on Cleary Avenue to share and discuss with artists from the worlds of literature, music and visual arts.
As you may recall, I was invited to Arts Night as the literary guest last February, along with Angela Verlaeckt Clark, a local sculptor and Lori Lynn Penny, a musician and teacher. Arts Night, which takes place at 7:30 p.m. on the last Friday of each month, eight months a year, offers a unique opportunity to discover local talents. Joycelyn Loeffelholz, who makes these wonderful events possible, opens each evening by inviting interested members of the audience to make a five-minute musical or literary presentation before the guest presentations.
  Visiual artist Arlette Francière

This month, Friday June 24th, the literary guest will be a brand new author who has just published her first novel The Year of the Rabbit. Theresa Jobateh, a friend of mine, grew up in the Georgian Bay area, in Ontario. The youngest of eleven children, she barely got a word in edgewise and thus discovered writing as a way of finding her voice. In Ottawa, Theresa found her niche in Information Technology, married and raised three children. In November 2003, she was brutally attacked by her husband and nearly died. When he was brought to trial, convicted and imprisoned, Theresa was left alone to support and raise her family. This gave her a different perspective on life and made writing her “exhaust valve”. Her novel was published in April under the pen name of Florence T Lyon. You can access links to excerpts and blog spots at and meet this new author on the 24th.

Arlette Francière will be the visual artist of the evening. A professional translator, Arlette discovered her passion for painting at Concordia University and gradually morphed into a talented, expressionist landscape artist, known for her original use of rich and vivid colours. “I discovered a gift and realized that painting was something I needed to do.” Arlette’s preferred theme is the spectacular dynamics between land, sea and sky. She also paints portraits, flowers, still-life and paintings dealing with social issues. Some of her paintings have even inspired poets as in “Sky/Wave” written by Henry Beissel.
  Soprano Phyllis Knox

Phyllis Knox, a renowned soprano performing with both chamber musicians and symphonic orchestras throughout Canada will be the third guest. A quote from Stratford Beacon-Herald hails her as “a voice of clarity and lyrical power with a heartbreakingly beautiful legato”.

I am looking forward to this special evening and hope you will join us. In the meantime, I will be heading to Orléans this weekend to take part in the 5th annual Orléans Art Studio Tour. The tour is held on June 11th and 12th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and features 24 artists at 12 studios in Orléans and Blackburn Hamlet. And as a bonus, visitors have the opportunity to enter a draw for a 300$ voucher towards the purchase of a piece of art from one of the tour artists. I will make a point of visiting Angela Verlaeckt Clark’s studio as I am curious to see how her huge seven-foot piece of marble is turning out. I invite you to visit Orléans Art Studio Tour’s website at where you will find a site map, the names and addresses of the artist studios.
Please visit our local artists and don’t forget Arts Night on the 24th!
Have a great weekend!

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