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Être père Noël à l’ère du #MoiAussi




« Avec les réseaux sociaux, il faut être plus prudent. Il faut faire attention à nos paroles, à nos gestes », indique un représentant du père Noël de la région de Montréal, qui compte plus de 40 ans d’expérience.

« Ça ne m’est pas arrivé personnellement, mais j’ai un collègue qui a mal positionné un enfant. Il a mal placé sa main et ça a fait le tour des réseaux sociaux […] Il n’a pas fait exprès », explique-t-il.

Ce père Noël, comme une trentaine d’autres doublures, est membre de l’Association des Pères Noël du Québec. Depuis plusieurs années, le regroupement forme ses membres selon un guide basé sur un code d’éthique et de bienséance.

« Un enfant qui manque d’équilibre, je ne vais pas le tenir par la taille. Je vais le tenir par l’épaule », donne en exemple celui qui incarne Saint-Nicolas.

Un enfant d’un an ou deux, je vais le retenir devant moi avec mon bras et non avec ma main.

Un père membre de l’Association des Pères Noël du Québec

Nouvelles formations

L’Association, qui vérifie les antécédents judiciaires de tous ses membres, a dû adapter ses formations ces dernières années.

« Avec les vagues de dénonciations, les gens ne laissent plus passer grand-chose. C’est important de transmettre des codes d’éthique », explique la présidente de l’Association, Kathie Tremblay.

Kathie Tremblay, directrice de l'Association des Pères Noël du QuébecKathie Tremblay, directrice de l’Association des Pères Noël du Québec. Photo : Radio-Canada

Pour devenir membre de l’association, chaque nouveau père Noël passe une entrevue lors de laquelle il est soumis à une série de mises en situation.

« Le père Noël n’est plus seulement un distributeur de cadeaux. Il fait vivre une expérience à son enfant, poursuit Mme Tremblay. Ce n’est plus juste le casting physique. C’est aussi le casting psychologique. »

L’œil du photographe

Lorsqu’ils sont sur leurs trônes dans des centres commerciaux, les pères Noël rencontrés par Radio-Canada sont unanimes : la complicité avec leur photographe permet d’éviter bien des mauvaises surprises…

Ils agissent comme de véritables chorégraphes de la rencontre avec le père Noël, explique Noujou Ayed, photographe du Royaume des Galeries de la Capitale.

Le père Noël, il ne va jamais dire “donne-moi un câlin” ou “donne-moi un bisou”. Ça ne se fait pas. C’est vraiment si le parent le demande, on peut le faire, mais sinon, on n’impose rien.

Noujou Ayed, photographe du Royaume des Galeries de la Capitale

Un autre père Noël qui travaille principalement sur la rive-sud de Montréal reste aussi prudent avec les câlins.

« Il s’agit simplement d’ouvrir les bras et de prendre les enfants par les épaules. Pour les becs, c’est des becs soufflés », raconte-t-il.

Malgré ces nouvelles réalités, incarner le père Noël revêt quelque chose de magique.

« C’est de l’amour qu’on reçoit. Ça n’a pas de bon sens. C’est très gratifiant. »


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List of Tourist Attractions Open Now in Ottawa




With Ontario now in Step 3 of 2021 three-step plan for reopening, museums and other indoor attractions are allowed to reopen with capacity limited to not exceed 50 per cent capacity indoors and 75 per cent capacity outdoors.

Here is a list of Ottawa attractions you can visit starting July 16th.

Do remember to wear masks and buy tickets in advance.

Parliament Hill

Parliament’s Centre Block and Peace Tower are closed for renovation.

You can join for tours of the Senate of Canada Building (2 Rideau Street), House of Commons at West Block (111 Wellington Street) on Parliament Hill, and East Block at East Block (111 Wellington Street) on Parliament Hill.

When: Grounds open; guided tours of Parliament are suspended through the summer of 2021.
Where: 111 Wellington Street, Downtown Ottawa

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Ottawa performer leapfrogs from gymnastics to Broadway to TV




A new AppleTV+ series set in a magical town that’s stuck in a neverending 1940s musical includes a pair of Ottawa siblings in the cast. 

Warren Yang and his sister, Ericka Hunter, play two of the singing, dancing residents of the village portrayed in Schmigadoon!, a small-screen series that takes its cues from classic musicals like Brigadoon, Wizard of Oz and Sound of Music, and skewers them with the offbeat comedic mastery of Saturday Night Live. 

In fact, you’ll recognize many of the names from SNL, starting with executive producer Lorne Michaels, creator of the late-night, live-comedy sketch show. Schmigadoon! also stars SNL cast member Cecily Strong and comedian Keegan-Michael Key, who hosted SNL in May. They play a New York couple who get lost on a hike and stumble into a strange town where everyone sings and dances. 

For Yang, a relative newcomer to show-biz, the series marks his television debut. For Hunter, the younger of his two older sisters, it’s the latest in a career path that began with dance lessons as a child more than 30 years ago. She attended Canterbury High School, Ottawa’s arts-focused secondary school. 

“Her dream was always to perform,” said Yang, 34, in an interview. “But that was never the path I thought was an option for me.” 

While his sister studied dance, Yang did gymnastics. He was an elite gymnast throughout his youth, ultimately leaving Merivale High School at 16 to train in Montreal, finishing high school through correspondence courses. He was a member of the Canadian National Team and received a scholarship to study at Penn State, majoring in marketing. 

A few years after graduation, Yang was working at an advertising agency in Toronto when he got a call from a Manhattan number. To his astonishment, they asked if he would be interested in auditioning for a Broadway revival of Miss Saigon.

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COVID-19: uOttawa to require vaccination for students living in residence




Vaccination will be mandatory for students who want to live in residence at the University of Ottawa this year, with proof of vaccination and at least one dose required before move-in, or within two weeks of doing so if they can’t secure a shot before arriving.

Those who can’t receive a vaccine for “health-related reasons or other grounds protected under the Ontario Human Rights Code” will be able to submit a request for accommodation through the university’s housing portal, according to information on the university’s website.

Students with one dose living in residence will also have to receive their second dose “within the timeframe recommended by Ottawa Public Health.”

People who haven’t been granted an exemption and don’t get vaccinated or submit proof of having done so by the deadlines set out by the school will have their residence agreements terminated, uOttawa warns.

“Medical and health professionals are clear that vaccination is the most (effective) means of protecting people and those around them,” reads a statement provided to this newspaper by uOttawa’s director of strategic communications, Patrick Charette.

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“It is precisely for this reason that the University of Ottawa is requiring all students living in residence for the 2021-2022 academic year to be fully vaccinated. The University recognizes that some students may require accommodations for a variety of reasons and will be treating exceptions appropriately.”

Faculty, staff and students are also strongly encouraged to get vaccinated, the statement notes.

“Ensuring a high vaccine coverage in all communities is critical to ensuring an ongoing decline in cases and ending the pandemic. This will be especially important with the return of students to post-secondary institutions in our region in the fall of 2021.”

Neither Carleton University nor Algonquin College is currently mandating vaccination for students living in residence, according to the websites for both schools. But uOttawa isn’t alone in its policy – Western University, Trent University, Durham College and Fanshawe College have all implemented similar requirements. Seneca College, in the GTA, is going even further, making vaccination mandatory for students and staff to come to campus, in-person, for the fall term.

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