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Writer Edith Iglauer’s legacy on the B.C. fishing village she made home

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Edith Iglauer may have been a ground-breaking journalist and exceptional writer, but for those in the B.C. fishing village of Pender Harbour, she’ll be remembered for bringing together a tight-knit community of book lovers and literary dreamers.

Iglauer was born in Cleveland, Ohio on March 10, 1917. Her writing career started early, selling articles to her hometown newspapers while attending the prestigious School of Journalism at Columbia University in New York.

As one of the few female journalists in the era, Iglauer earned respect for her work as a correspondent in the Second World War. Eventually, she became a contributor to the New Yorker, where she was assigned the Canada beat. 

Iglauer travelled to the Arctic, writing about Inuit-run co-operatives and the ice road network. She wrote memorable profiles of prominent Canadians like Vancouver architect Arthur Erickson, artist Bill Reid, and Pierre Elliot Trudeau.

Then, for a story on West Coast commercial fishing, Iglauer came to Pender Harbour on B.C.’s Sunshine Coast. 

Love on the West Coast

It was an assignment that would change the trajectory of her life. 

Iglauer, who had since divorced her first husband in 1966, met commercial salmon-trawler John Daly. The unconventional couple fell in love, married and she moved to the area where she would spend the rest of her life.

Howard White, 73, one of the founders of Harbour Publishing who published many of Iglauer’s works, grew up in Pender Harbour. 

“It was very much a logging, fishing and working class town in those days,” he recalled. “To be bookish or literary, and in the time when I was growing up here, was to be a complete weirdo and outcast.” 

Pender Harbour is a harbour on British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast, with a population under 3,000. (Shutterstock)

White said Iglauer — with her worldly sophistication, connections to the New York literary scene, and open curiosity — was a revelation. 

“She was one of those people who lit up every room she came into,” he said. “She was a force of nature and […] she was always planning dinners for interesting people who were coming from all parts of the world to visit her.”

Long, literary career

Iglauer kept writing, notably Fishing with John, a depiction of her life with Daly which was nominated for the 1989 Governor General’s Award for Non-Fiction.

It was also later turned into a TV movie called Navigating the Heart. Iglauer was portrayed by Jaclyn Smith.

Navigating the Heart, a TV movie based on Edith Iglauer’s life with fisherman John Daly, was billed as an “unlikely romance between a cosmopolitan career woman and a small town fisherman.” It starred Jacyln Smith as Iglauer. (Front Street Pictures)

After the death of Daly, Iglauer married Frank White, Howard White’s father.

As she grew older, Iglauer was always generous with her time, making it a point to mentor young writers and remaining a staunch member of the Writers Union of Canada.

A secure legacy

Iglauer continued to write until recently, when dementia started affecting her memory.

On Feb. 13, 2019, she passed away in Sechelt. She was 101.

White says Pender Harbour — which has in decades since changed from a fishing village to a retirement community that boasts reading clubs and an active volunteer library — owes a lot to the sophisticated New York writer who made it home.

“People like that only come along once in a while.”

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List of Tourist Attractions Open Now in Ottawa

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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

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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

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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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