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Brooke Henderson looks to set Canadian golf record in 2019

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On the airplane from Ottawa after her Christmas holidays, everyone recognized Brooke Henderson.

“That was just kind of different, but kind of cool,” said Henderson with a laugh from Naples, Fla., as she prepared for the LPGA season-opening Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions this week in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

While the 21-year-old native of Smiths Falls, Ont., insists life hasn’t changed much as she’s rocketed up the golf rankings the past few years, the airplane scene shows just how far Henderson has come in the general Canadian sport landscape.

With seven LPGA victories, Henderson enters 2019 one back of the all-time win record by Canadian professionals held by Mike Weir, George Knudson and Sandra Post.

To match or eclipse that mark, the reigning Canadian Press female athlete of the year (an award she has won three times in the past four years) said she’s focused on keeping her scoring average below 70. Her 2018 average of 69.99 was good enough for fourth on tour and if she meets that goal again, she said everything else would fall in line.

The key to her success will be her putting, as it’s the one area of her game that has held her back in the past. She said she’s been working hard with her father Dave (who is also her coach) on speed. Having good pace on the greens, she said, would be a difference-maker this year.

“I’ve been working on consistency and make sure I’m ready for 2019,” she said. “And I feel like I am.”

Henderson earned a legion of new fans at least year’s CP Women’s Open in Regina, when she won by four shots and became the first Canadian woman to win on home soil in 45 years. She also won the Lotte Championship in Hawaii in April.

“I feel like I’ll be in contention a lot of the time and hopefully that leads to getting at least one win this year,” said Henderson. “But I’d love to keep that streak going of having at least two (she’s won two tournaments each of the past three years).”

Adam Hadwin, Canada’s top-ranked male golfer, certainly wouldn’t doubt that possibility. He calls Henderson “a force.”

“With someone like her, with her being so young, the world is her oyster,” said Hadwin. “My hope is that she continues to enjoy the game and she stays the young, happy kid that she is and she continues doing what she’s doing. If she can do that, she’ll have an extremely long, successful career.”

Despite the money (she’s earned more than US$1.4 million the last three years in a row and counts Rolex as one of her sponsors), and the fame (a bobblehead doll made in her likeness has become a collector’s item), Henderson doesn’t feel like her life is that much different.

It’s been a big adjustment going from a town of 9,000 to being recognized around the world, she admitted, but Henderson remains close to the people who have been by her side for years.

After dropping the ceremonial puck before an Ottawa Senators game in December and receiving a standing ovation, she watched the game in a box surrounded only by family and some friends she’s known since grade school.

“The people that have always been there for me and always been important to me ΓǪ they haven’t changed at all,” she said. “I feel like I’ve just grown friends around the world. I’ve brought things in, in addition to those people from my life in Smiths Falls.”

Henderson, who joked at the 2017 CP Women’s Open about retiring early, said she’s not looking too far ahead these days.

The 2019 season is her main focus.

“I feel like I’ve handled everything pretty well so far,” said Henderson. “I’m just trying to get a little bit better every day, and have a great year.”

Henderson is the lone Canadian in the winners-only event this week. The first full-field event of the LPGA Tour season goes Feb. 7-10 in Australia.

CANADIANS TO WATCH ON THE LPGA TOUR IN 2019

Brittany Marchand — Marchand, 26, managed to secure LPGA status for 2019 after finishing tied for seventh at the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic in July, her best result of the year. The native of Orangeville, Ont., is Canada’s second-ranked female golfer behind Henderson.

Alena Sharp — Sharp, 37, said in 2018 she battled depression as she struggled on the course. But a run of solid results to end of her year secured LPGA Tour status once again in 2019 for the native of Hamilton. She’s looking for her first win.

Jaclyn Lee — Calgary’s Lee finished in sixth place at the LPGA Tour’s Q-Series (an eight-round qualifying tournament) to comfortably earn status for 2019. The 21-year-old announced in December she would be leaving Ohio State University to turn professional. While she’s still going to get her degree, she won’t play on the golf team.

Anne-Catherine Tanguay — The native of Quebec City is back on the LPGA Tour for the second year in a row after finishing eighth in Q-Series. She finished 126th on the money list last year.

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Future of Ottawa: Chefs with Kathryn Ferries

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This week in the Future of Ottawa series, we’re taking a deep dive into the bar and restaurant industry—what it’s like now and where it’s headed. Read on for a guest post from Kat Ferries on the future of chefs, or read posts from Quinn Taylor on bars or Justin Champagne on fine dining.

Kat Ferries is Sous-Chef at Stofa Restaurant and a 2020 San Pellegrino North American Young Chef Social Responsibility Award Winner.

Apt613: What is the current landscape for chefs in Ottawa?

Kat Ferries: There is such great talent in Ottawa with so many chefs either being from here originally or have returned after traveling and have since opened some incredible restaurants. Many chefs have focused menus that really highlight their strengths, their heritage, and their passion for food. Dominique Dufour of Gray Jay, Marc Doiron of Town/Citizen, Steve Wall of Supply & Demand, Daniela Manrique Lucca of The Soca Kitchen, and so many more are all cooking up beautiful and delicious food in this city.

If you care to make a prediction… Where is the food industry in Ottawa going for chefs in 2021?

The industry right now is, unfortunately, in a really tough spot. The pandemic has been so devastating on mental, physical and emotional levels for so many and I know that many of my friends in this industry are burning out. There are many discussions happening on work/life balance and what is healthy for everyone. Some may never return to the long, hard hours we are expected to put in day after day and instead opt for a more flexible schedule or hire more staff to lighten the load on everyone, with some even leaving the industry indefinitely. Some may throw themselves back into this industry 10x as hard and create some of the best restaurants and concepts we’ve yet to see. I think all that will happen after the pandemic though.

For this year, it’s mostly about survival and finding happiness in creating what we can in the spaces we have while following all the laws and guidelines from public health officials. I think we will see more chefs creating experiences for guests that we otherwise wouldn’t have: think pop-ups, virtual dinner clubs, cocktail seminars, collabs, etc.

Where in your wildest dreams could the Ottawa culinary community grow in your lifetime?

I would love to see the Ottawa community support more small, local restaurants so our streets are bustling late into the nights like they are in Montreal, New York, or Europe. Having a local restaurant to frequent should be so much more commonplace, where you can enjoy a night out more often than just Friday or Saturday night. I would also love to see many more of our local chefs highlighted for the amazing food they create!

What is the best innovation to take place in your industry since the pandemic started affecting Ottawa?

Turning all our restaurants into mini-markets for customers to enjoy the food and wine of their favourite places at home. We have bottle shops for all your wine, beer and cocktail needs as well as menus that reflect what each restaurant does best. Some have even pivoted to a point where they are 100% a store and have paused any type of “service-style” dining.

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Future of Ottawa: Fine Dining with Justin Champagne

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This week in the Future of Ottawa series, we’re taking a deep dive into the bar and restaurant industry—what it’s like now and where it’s headed. Read on for a guest post from Justin Champagne on the future of fine dining, or read posts from Kathryn Ferries on chefs or Quinn Taylor on bars.

Justin Champagne went to culinary school at Northwest Culinary Academy of Vancouver. He got his start in fine dining restaurants at C Restaurant under Chef Robert Clark, then at Hawksworth Restaurant under Chef Eligh. He staged at three-Michelin-starred Atelier Crenn under Chef Dominque Crenn before moving to Ottawa and spending five years at Atelier, working his way up to Sous-Chef. He’s now the Head Chef of Bar Lupulus.

Apt613: What is the current landscape of fine dining restaurants in Ottawa?

Justin Champagne: Ottawa punches well above its weight class when it comes to quality restaurants in general. Fine dining is no exception to that—we have some amazing chefs here that are doing really great things. We also have some phenomenal sommeliers in town that are a huge factor when it comes to a guest’s experience in a fine dining restaurant. While there are some fantastic fine dining restaurants in town I do believe there’s room for more, and definitely room for more creativity and unique styles of cooking! I think we’ll see more small fine dining restaurants opening up, “micro-restaurants” where there’s maybe 20 seats. This will be over the next few weeks as the industry did take a big hit financially with COVID-19, but we still have a lot of great young chefs who have the fire inside of them to open their own location!

If you care to make a prediction… Where is fine dining going in Ottawa in 2021?

I’m not sure it’ll be 2021 or 2022 with the way the vaccine rollout and stay-at-home order is going, but I do expect there to be a wave of people looking to go out to fine dining restaurants. We’ve been cooped up cooking for ourselves or ordering takeout for over a year now. People are getting antsy and ready to go out and have fantastic meals again with exceptional wine and not have to worry about doing all the dishes afterwards!

Where in your wildest dreams could fine dining go in Ottawa in your lifetime?

That’s the fun part about “fine dining,” it can go anywhere and it can mean many things. Fine dining is about amazing service and well thought out, unique food that the kitchen spent hours fussing over, being meticulous in execution. Outside of that, you can have a lot of fun and be creative in different ways. My wildest dream I guess is that fine dinning restaurants begin to thrive and are able to charge without backlash the kind of prices that they need to charge in order to keep the lights on and pay their staff a proper living wage!!

What is the best innovation to take place in your industry since the pandemic started affecting Ottawa?

I’m not sure if I would really say there’s been a best “innovation” in my industry during the pandemic, but I will say that seeing the “adaptability” by all the restaurants in Ottawa has been incredibly inspiring. Ottawa’s food scene has always been a tight-knit community, “everyone helping everyone” kind of mentality. And this pandemic has really helped show that—restaurants helping restaurants through all of this!

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Ottawa’s Giant Tiger chain celebrating 60 years in business

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OTTAWA — An Ottawa staple, along with what might be the most famous cat in Canada, are celebrating a milestone Monday.

Giant Tiger is 60 years old.

“It all started with a very simple idea,” says Alison Scarlett, associate VP of communications at Giant Tiger. “Help Canadians save money every single day. Bring them products that they want and need. When you focus on those core principals, it really is quite simple to succeed.”

In 1961, Gordon Reid opened the first Giant Tiger in Ottawa’s ByWard Market. The company now has more than 260 locations across Canada and employs roughly 10,000 people.

“If you were at our store on opening day 60 years ago, the in store experience would be a little bit different from your local Giant Tiger store today. So that’s changed. A lot of our products and offerings have changed or expanded as Canadian consumers wants and needs have changed or expanded,” says Scarlett.

The homegrown department store continues to be a favourite for many shoppers looking to for the best deals on everyday products.

Helen Binda has been shopping here for decades.

“Many years. I can’t remember when. I’ve always loved Giant Tiger. It’s always been a good store for me.”

“I think its amazing and I think that we need more department stores,” says shopper Fay Ball. “And if it’s Canadian, all the better.”

The Canadian-owned family discount store carries everything from clothing to groceries, as well as everyday household needs. They’ve also expanded their online store and like most retailers provide curbside pickup during the pandemic.

“Doing what is right for our customers, associates, and communities. That has enabled us to be so successful for all of these years,” says Scarlett.

To celebrate, Giant Tiger is hosting a virtual birthday party at 7 p.m. Monday with live musical performances from some iconic Canadian artists.

You can visit their Facebook page to tune in. 

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