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Operation Big Turkey expanding in Ottawa




CTV Ottawa

Published Sunday, December 23, 2018 4:02PM EST

Last Updated Sunday, December 23, 2018 4:05PM EST

Operation Big Turkey is expanding to 6 locations across the capital on Christmas Eve starting tomorrow afternoon.

Organized by chefs Chris Knight and Scott Warrick, and constructed by an army of hundreds of volunteers, more than 2500 meals will be served to seniors, families and the city’s homeless.

Volunteers and chefs at Algonquin College spent hours chopping, slicing and stirring food. Donations from Farm Boy and several hotels and restaurants in the city have helped provide all the elements for a memorable meal including 750lbs of turkey, potatoes, salad and pies.

“This is now part of a lot of people’s Christmas tradition and I think it speaks to people wanting to do something at Christmas instead of maxing out their credit cards.” said Knight who first started serving meals 14 years ago to some of the city’s less fortunate.

“The good news and bad news is we still some of the people we saw 12 years ago who are still coming back, still in need. But it’s almost like we’re family for one night.”

Talented chefs and students from the college teamed up with eager volunteers who washed dishes, pots, pans and trays with a smile. Barbara Bullock was among the more than 200 volunteers donning an apron.

“It’s wonderful to see all these people, so many have done them for decades or a good decade; in some cases, it’s so nice to see.” said Bullock.

Former graduates, like Angela Ierullo cooked up family recipes including a vegetarian lasagna filled with eggplant and other fresh vegetables.

“As the Italian, I was responsible for lasagna so we made 18 pans of lasagna. It’s vegetarian because they’ll have turkey on the meat side.” said Ierullo.

The partnership between the groups – is a win-win for students from Algonquin and organizers of the feasts. “For us it’s great, because our students get involved, our faculty gets involved. This is what the students need to see…giving back to the community…  it gives them the opportunity to see a large-scale operation serving 2500 meals and practice, practice, that’s what they need if they want to be successful” said Michael Bakogeorge, Academic Chair of Algonquin College’s Food and Beverage program.

Operation Big Turkey locations and times include:

Restaurant E18hteen – 3-5pm

Overbook Community Centre – 2-4pm

Carlington Recreation Centre – 12:30-2pm

Ron Kolbus Centre – 3:30-5:30pm

Jack Purcell Community Centre – 3:30-6:30pm

Hunt Club-Riverside Park Community Centre – 2:30-4:30pm


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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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