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We will be recording a live episode of the podcast (with stand-up comedy and live music) on Thursday, April 21st at Frank and Oak Ottawa. Check out the details here, and we'll see you there!
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Week 4 closes Dec 3rd!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Bayshore Parking Structure to be Converted into Ottawa's Largest Escape Room

Big changes are coming to Bayshore Mall...yet again. The west-end mall went through an expensive makeover last year, expanding to accommodate more stores. With an increase in retailers, however, comes an increase in customers, all of whom need somewhere to park. Bayshore invested nearly $20 million dollars in the new parking structure, which many have described as "confusing," "ill-conceived," and even "dangerous." The concrete hedge maze is notoriously difficult to navigate, lacks basic pedestrian crosswalks, and has a gloomy, dank atmosphere.

"It’s perfect," says Hannah Elarsee, CEO of the Ottawa Escape Manor. "If I didn’t know any better, I would say that this was built to be a giant puzzle." Escape rooms are life-sized games that challenge participants to look for clues within a room, which will eventually lead them to find a key in order to escape. Mrs. Elarsee has big plans for the former Bayshore parking structure. "In this new space, we will be able to build escape rooms that will lead to other escape rooms. These will be our most challenging rooms yet. It will take people days to get out."

Thursday, October 29, 2015

#76 - Immersive Films (Stephen McReynolds & Jared Galley)

The guys sit down with Stephen and Jared from Immersive Films to discuss some of their latest projects. Find out why they're headed to LA soon, how they met Henry Burris, and their tiny connection to Jennifer Lawrence.

Editor's Note: Leave a comment if you think we should stop doing Reddit Rabble. Or if you want it to stay.

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This episode is also brought to you in part by Audible.com. Visit audibletrial.com/ottawhat today and get a free audiobook and free 30-day trial, and feel good in helping support the show.

Immersive Films on Instagram
YouTube Channel

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Saunders Farm Hires 32 Ex-Cons to Ensure Scares this Halloween

At the end of October, a variety of Ottawa businesses will compete to see who can scare their visitors the most. Saunders Farm has traditionally ranked very high on the list of frightening festivities, with attractions such as costumed monsters and a haunted hayride. Scare stats dipped last year, however, thanks to the growing popularity of escape rooms and other spooky destinations. This year, Saunders Farm is looking to bounce back in a big way.

“We are proud to announce that we will be taking advantage of the government’s Work-Release program this Halloween, employing over 30 seasonal employees from the penitentiary system” announced Jack O’Leary, Saunders Farm’s Community Outreach Officer, “These men and women will take tickets, operate rides, and act as guides through the farm. We hope that these additions add a new level of danger and excitement for our guests”.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Free Dental Clinic Still Not Enough to Entice People to Go to Dentist

While people often lament the physical pain associated with going to the dentist, the financial pain can also be a severe barrier to many. Pro Bono Dental is a group of dentists who have come together to ensure that everyone in Ottawa can have clean teeth. Despite this noble effort, they are facing one serious problem: no one is showing up.

"It’s mind-boggling" says Dr. Harrold Mince, who founded the clinic last year. "We are offering free dental care, and we can’t seem to attract clients. We run ad campaigns, we tweet, we even tried going through the phonebook and calling individuals, but nothing seems to work. It would appear that people have an extreme aversion to going to the dentist."

Dr. Mince and his colleagues are certainly discouraged, but remain hopeful that public opinion will change, either on its own or with a little help from Pro Bono Dental. "We are currently tossing around a few promotional ideas. So far the front-runner is Sugar Mountain gift cards. I know, I know, but we need to find a way to get people in here. Hopefully, incentives like this will be enough to sweeten the deal."

Friday, October 23, 2015

Capital Pride Inspires Parades for Other Deadly Sins

Ottawa is well known for having at least one festival every week in the summer, but so far parades tend to be limited to Christmas themes and the financially-strapped Capital Pride parade. Given the massively popular LGBTQ celebrations taking place in Ottawa and around the world, city officials are actively taking bids for new downtown attractions.

Of particular focus this year are the other so-called deadly sins. While some might argue that events like PoutineFest and RibFest have ‘Gluttony’ and ‘Sloth’ covered, parades are currently being planned around other vices that humans fall victim to. For instance, the Greed parade, which will take place early next year, will focus on the incoming and incumbent politicians assuming their seats on Parliament Hill.

The Envy parade, planned for when the weather improves again, will be held on Bank Street, and will involve the homeless of Ottawa lining the street and watching people go about their normal days. The Lust Parade will happen concurrently with Escapade next summer, where scantily-clad EDM fans will be encouraged to dance their way through the streets of downtown Ottawa.

Currently the city is accepting pitches for a Wrath parade; though strangely no offers have been presented thus far.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

#75 - Keegan, Amaan and Rob

We decided to do something a little different on the show this week after hitting another arbitrary milestone. After a short discussion on the Canadian election, we discuss some of our favourite guests in the last 6 months or so, and try out a few new segments. We also tease something BIG coming in a few weeks, so feel free to speculate on what that might be.

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This week, we'd really appreciate it if you'd rate the show on iTunes. It's really easy, just visit this link on your computer to open the show in iTunes or search for 'Ottawhat' in the Apple Podcasts app.

This episode is also brought to you in part by Audible.com. Visit audibletrial.com/ottawhat today and get a free audiobook and free 30-day trial, and feel good in helping support the show.

Ottawhat? News

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Light Rail to be Completed "Spring 2017...or Late 2017...January 2018 at the Latest"

Yesterday, OC Transpo unveiled its new timeline for the completion of the Light Rail Transit. Ottawans have been clamouring for its construction for years, and the organization has finally announced a firm plan to see the project through.

“Construction on Phase One has already begun,” stated OC Transpo’s Communication Liason Saul Green, “It will probably be done in a few months. Maybe not. Pending on the completion of Phase One, Phase Two will begin 2 to 32 weeks after. Our projected completion date of the entire operation is Spring 2017...or Late 2017...January 2018 at the Latest”. When pressed for further details on the timeline, Mr. Green was unable to elaborate with much certainty.

“The construction process will be as streamlined as possible. There will be digging, of course. Possibly some drilling. Perhaps even a controlled explosion or two. One thing is for sure, and you can quote me on this: Light Rail Transit is coming to Ottawa...probably”.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Shady figures seen tampering with O-Train, sending buses to retirement homes

Many politically-aware groups are going out of their way to encourage everyone to vote today, but at least one shady organization is making persistent attempts to dissuade potential voters from filling out their ballots.

While companies like the highly controversial Uber has promised to pick up new riders and take them to polling stations today in Canada, not everybody is being so democratic. A group of secretive figures were seen early this morning at O-Train stations, identified only by their long, blue cloaks. Shortly after the party left the station in a van, service was suspended, around 6 AM. While service has since been restored to the line, technicians say they were lucky to get the system restored so quickly.

Later this morning, blue buses were seen parked in front of retirement residences, where drivers were seen encouraging residents to board to be taken to polling stations once they opened. When asked if anyone would be able to use these voting shuttles, more men in dark blue coats emerged to say that anybody under 40 or planning on voting Liberal or NDP would not be allowed aboard.

Between these and the other illicit tactics used by political groups throughout this campaign period, it is as vital as ever that voters, especially younger people, carry out their democratic duties, and vote! If you don't already know how to do that, head to elections.ca and find out more.

Friday, October 16, 2015

NDP Volunteers Take to Beachcombing to Fund Campaign Promises

Dozens of NDP volunteers have been spotted beachcombing near Blanchet Beach in Gatineau, according to an anonymous lifeguard.

The source claims that last week around 7am, a faded yellow school bus parked in front of Blanchet beach, and a dozen seemingly reluctant volunteers in orange and green swim trunks left the vehicle. The possible leaders, two men wearing business jackets tucked into their jeans, exited the bus—one of them holding a bag labelled "Mulcombs," and the other holding a box labelled "Mulberries."

The lifeguard (who ate his I.D. the moment I identified myself as press) was not aware of any group coming to visit the beach that morning; and was surprised as they proceeded to investigate surreptiously around the entire area.

"It didn’t look like beachcombing at all -- none of them had that long, metal gun that farts sound into the sand.  All they had were big magnets, and a rake. I guess they didn’t bring enough magnets because two people had to share the rake," shouted the lifeguard.

The atmosphere became more hostile when volunteers began to complain of dehydration and "rake fatigue". One of the leaders became irate and began throwing berries aggressively in the air, disturbing the volunteers, and immediately went back to work.

"He was dead silent when he threw them – I’ve never been so scared that early in the morning."

Shortly after 11 that morning, with only three dollars in change and a broken rake, the entire crew trudged back on the bus and left the beach.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

#74 - Leslie Cserepy

On the show this week, we spoke with Leslie Cserepy, an actor and improvisor who spent the better part of the the past year performing in Game of Bones with Eddie May Murder Mysteries. You can see Leslie performing with Experimental Farm Theatre and in Eddie May's new show, Sherlock, starting this weekend at the Velvet Room in the Market.

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Eddie May Murder Mysteries
Experimental Farm Theatre Improv

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Redblacks Invite Critics to Play in Exhibition Game

Criticism: It’s something that every professional sports player is used to. Despite having a much better season than last year, the Ottawa RedBlacks are no exception. Analysts, journalists, and even fans have accused them of having a weak offensive line, sloppy defence, a lacklustre offence,  and an unreliable quarterback.  Teams sometimes respond to these kind of allegations via Twitter, but usually do their best to ignore them completely. Next Saturday, the Ottawa RedBlacks will be addressing criticism in a unique way: The Bruise Bowl

“The first annual Bruise Bowl will be an exhibition game between the Ottawa RedBlacks and a collection of reporters, fans, and other individuals who consider themselves football experts” announced Coach Robert Malarky, “Everyone seems to think they know best, so let’s put that to the test. It will be interesting to see how our team stacks up against these armchair athletes.”

It is still unclear as to exactly who will be playing against the RedBlacks in the scrimmage, but members of the team appear excited at the opportunity to prove the critics wrong.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Ottawa Tool Library Debuts New Mascot: Gary the Library Tool

The Ottawa Tool Library, a nonprofit that allows residents to borrow a variety of equipment, unveiled their new mascot yesterday. What was once simply two crossed hammers is now an actual person: Terry the Tool.

“We are very excited to be working with Terry the Tool,” says Lauren Henley, Executive Director of the Ottawa Tool Library, “He’s energetic, enthusiastic, and will do a great job promoting our organization in the community”. Although Ms. Henley was very open to talking about the Tool Library, she seemed reluctant to elaborate on the origins of Terry the Tool, his qualifications, or how he came to get the position. Terry, however, was much more forthcoming.

“Lauren’s my big sis. Mom made her give me this job.” says Terry the Tool, “I never had a job before, so this is cool. Well, I delivered newspapers for a week, but they got mad when I delivered the paper to the same house a hundred times. Now I get to hold a hammer. No power tools, Mom says, so just a hammer for now. You should come to the Oshawa Tooth Library, I’ll get you a hammer”.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

#73 - Fred Stonehouse (OAMA)

This week on Ottawhat, we sat down with Rockland Academy of Martial Arts manager and MMA fighter Fred Stonehouse. We learned what it's like starting out in martial arts, the fast-paced and incredibly tiring nature of MMA competitions, and we considered whether Ronald McDonald would beat Wendy (from Wendy's) in a fight.

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This episode is also brought to you in part by Audible.com. Visit audibletrial.com/ottawhat today and get a free audiobook and free 30-day trial, and feel good in helping support the show.

@fredstonehouse on Twitter

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Calypso Waterpark Ravaged by Fire

Tragedy stuck Limoges last night as one of the town’s most historic landmarks was set ablaze: Calypso’s Summit Tower.

Police didn’t have to search too long for a suspect after reviewing the security tape, which clearly showed 29 year old Benjamin Stokes speeding off in an empty Shell tanker. After being apprehended, Stokes cited his motivation for setting the inferno as the line for AquaLoops being “too damn long”. Stokes reportedly stood in the line for the ride for 5 hours, only to have the park close as his turn finally arrived. He was denied the chance to drop from the infamous AquaLoops automated hatch.

When asked if he had any regrets about dousing the metal, plastic, and concrete structure with gasoline and then stoking the fire, Benjamin replied “I’d do it again”. Fire fighters managed to put out the blaze at the Summit Tower by turning on all of the rides.

Update: Revelations continue to emerge from the preliminary structural investigation of the toasted tower. Officials now say that the heat from the fire managed to strengthen the fiberglass for each of the Tower’s slides, improving the Tower’s overall safety rating from a sub-par 6/10 to an acceptable 8/10. Calypso plans on re-opening the scorched structure next summer under the pseudonym “Inferno Tower”. On an unrelated note, Calypso plans on increasing admission prices by 10 dollars.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Drinking Local Organic Beer Still Makes You Fat: Study

The "localvore" movement is alive and well in Ottawa, as demonstrated by the popularity of stores like Whole Foods and the rise of farmers markets. Many restaurants boast locally sourced meats on their menus. Organic, local foods are supposed to be fresher, more nutritious, and generally better than average food. A new study out of the University of Ottawa, however, argues that this may not always be the case.

Dr. Moustaffa Aled, a Nutrition Sciences professor at uOttawa, conducted an experiment over 6 months, where he asked 34 people to drink local, organic beer. At the same time, he had another group drinking a variety of generic beer. The results were shocking. After half a year, members of the local group gained an average of 16.3 pounds, while the generic group gained nearly the same amount.

"It's astounding" says Dr. Aled, "Ottawans have been told that eating local, organic food is the way to better health, and we have found that in the case of beer, it simply isn't true."

Beyond the Pale could not be reached for a statement.

Friday, October 2, 2015

FestiFest Coming to Lansdowne This Fall

This November will mark Ottawa’s first annual FestiFest, the long awaited event that showcases, promotes, and celebrates the dozens of festivals that call Ottawa home. Lansdowne will host the three day event, and expects a turnout of nearly 3000 attendees. Residents can look forward to getting information about their favourite festivals, and learning about new upcoming ones.

“We are very excited to be a part of FestiFest” says David Northrup, founder of Ottawa Beard Fest, “We are a fairly new organization, and are excited at the opportunity to share our vision with so many people”.

FestiFest will showcase popular Ottawa Festivals, such as Bluesfest and Ribfest, but will also feature lesser known events, such as the Orleans Festival, Pugfest, and ObamaFest. Tickets for the event can be purchased through Capital Tickets, or from any other Ottawa Festival.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

#72 - Megan Miller

In this episode, we spoke to Megan Miller, a musician living in Ottawa and performing this weekend at Pressed in Ottawa and The Table in Montreal with her band, Valois. Megan talks with us about her issues trying to rejoin her bandmates in the US after being deported, and about something she calls buttvertising

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This episode is also brought to you in part by Audible.com. Visit audibletrial.com/ottawhat today and get a free audiobook and free 30-day trial, and feel good in helping support the show.

Oct 2nd at Pressed - "Megan Miller Night"
Oct 4th in Montreal at The Plant
Nov 19th CD release show at Live On Elgin!