Kim Mannix Vermette

Take time to be courteous to other riders

Last week I talked about driver courtesy, but most days as a bus rider it’s the common courtesy — or lack thereof — of other passengers that can make taking the bus a treat or a trial.I am now in my last few weeks of pregnancy with my first baby, and since I have been noticeably showing, taking the...

Monday, July 13, 2009, 10:37 AM

The good – and bad – of transit drivers

On any given day, encounters with OC Transpo drivers can leave me smiling or gritting my teeth.Most of the time, I find bus drivers in Ottawa just fine — not outstandingly friendly, but certainly not grumpy either. And hey, I know there are a lot of difficult things about their jobs, so I tend to...

Monday, July 6, 2009, 10:54 AM

New fare hikes punish those who use transit the most

On July 1, regular transit riders in Ottawa will again be paying more to ride.While the cash fare price of $3 remains the same, tickets are increasing by 15 cents each – 30 cents per ride – and an adult bus pass will go up $3.75, while the student pass will go up $3. It’s something we’re all used...

Monday, June 29, 2009, 10:34 AM

Transit union vote could see boss ousted

Late last week, Ottawa’s 2,300 unionized transit workers decided to delay a vote concerning the possibility of any future strikes.The vote, which would’ve happened Thursday — but which will now likely happen in September — is a necessary next step following a proposal by union leaders to waive the...

Monday, June 22, 2009, 10:34 AM

Calling out stops enhances bus service

Recently, I’ve noticed more bus drivers are calling out the stops.Perhaps I am just fortunate enough to ride on routes, or at times of day, where the drivers find this easier to do, but stats collected since March seem to suggest the drivers are at least making an effort.Earlier this year, the...

Monday, June 15, 2009, 10:43 AM

Bus riders a captive audience for germs

A few weeks ago, shortly after the news of the potential severity of the influenza A?(H1N1) virus, also known as swine flu, broke, my co-worker’s three-year-old daughter asked, “Mommy, do you know what hygiene is?”She had recently had a lesson in daycare about general cleanliness and, more...

Monday, June 8, 2009, 10:57 AM

Food, drink proposal tough to swallow

About a year ago, I was waiting for a bus on Wellington Street when two teens asked me if it was going to be OK for them to bring their recently purchased smoothies on the bus.I kind of laughed and said, “Of course.” I must have given them a strange look, because they explained they were from...

Monday, June 1, 2009, 11:11 AM

Changing anything is hardly ever simple

Last week, the City of Ottawa’s transit committee met to discuss Transplan 2009, a report recommending transit route changes that would take effect in September.The overarching goal of the proposed changes is to make the system “more efficient.” It sounds both positive and simple on the surface,...

Monday, May 25, 2009, 11:29 AM

Tip your hat to OC Transpo’s positives

To some extent I think it’s human nature to complain.It’s less common to hear those around us (or ourselves) doling out compliments than it is to hear rants about everything that’s wrong.Certainly there are many rant-worthy elements to Ottawa’s transit system, but when you ride the bus day in and...

Monday, May 11, 2009, 11:09 AM

Tumultuous jazz legend’s life, death takes to stage

Until recently, I had never heard of the influential Canadian jazz guitarist Lenny Breau.But after talking about the guitarist with Ottawa writer and actor Pierre Brault, who has based his most recent solo show on the life and death of the legendary musician, I certainly wish I’d discovered Breau...

Friday, April 11, 2008, 10:25 PM

Show Tune Showdown draws in musical audiences

I will admit that musical theatre is not usually my thing, but even I can concede that a good show tune, sung well and with conviction, rarely fails to entertain.If I needed convincing, I need look no further than Show Tune Showdown, the annual fundraiser for Tone Cluster choir that — according to...

Friday, April 4, 2008, 10:58 PM

Director mixes comedy and life lessons in Bat Boy musical

Dave Dawson was in a line in New York City, waiting for bargain tickets to see a Broadway show.A woman suggested he see Bat Boy: The Musical, and after establishing that this particular play was not about baseball, but actually something much zanier, Dawson decided to bite.It was 2001, and that off...

Monday, March 24, 2008, 8:52 AM

Improv troupe gives two hours of ‘unadulterated fun’

Insensitivity training ‘having lots of fun’ every Sunday nightIt starts with the ringing of a bell, and immediately the ambient chatter stops and the attention of all those seated at the tables turn to the front of the basement pub.There — looking eager and ready with smiles on their faces — stand...

Friday, March 14, 2008, 6:13 AM

‘Old man of Canadian theatre’ tells his own tales

Actor and writer Allan Merovitz has a deep affection for Canadian people and places.Though he’s more experienced than elderly, he considers himself an “old man of Canadian theatre” and has performed in shows from coast to coast.But the lively Smiths Falls native is in the midst of a homecoming —...

Sunday, March 2, 2008, 10:53 PM

Live show best shot at understanding Republic

If The Most Serene Republic were a country, and not a musical outfit, it would be “communism working perfectly.”At least according to producer, keyboard player and self-declared tyrant, Ryan Lenssen.“Imagine Stalin with a good sense of philosophy, an understanding of the human condition, and...

Monday, February 25, 2008, 2:52 AM

There’s a reason why a good single never hurts ...

Adam White, vocalist for The Reason, says he certainly didn’t expect such a “simple” song to help make his band so recognizable.Yet that’s exactly what the single We’re So Beyond This — written and performed with Sara Quin of Tegan and Sara — has done. With regular rotation on radio airwaves, and...

Friday, February 8, 2008, 4:41 AM

Actor, editor turns focus on bright side of life

ManciniActor Michael Mancini says he’s optimistic by nature — grateful for the good in his life and always striving to look on the bright side.And he was that way long before he found himself starring in the wry comedy The Optimists, the current offering from the Great Canadian Theatre Company.In a...

Sunday, February 3, 2008, 11:33 PM

Montrealer creates dance the natural way

Process is the key for choreographerThe show is called Dance Creation in Progress, and aptly so.The title succinctly sums up Chanti Wadge’s approach to developing a modern dance show. For her, the first priority isn’t necessarily what’s created, but how it’s created.“For me, there is a lot of...

Sunday, January 27, 2008, 2:38 PM

Year of galactic growth for Montreal rockers

For Young Galaxy, the year 2007 started with a lot of buzz.The talk was about what this dreamy duo of Stephen Ramsay and Catherine McCandless would bring to the Arts & Crafts label, where labelmates Broken Social Scene, Feist and Stars were already flourishing.The answer was a fresh yet...

Sunday, January 20, 2008, 10:52 PM

Three Women unleashes passion of Flamenco

When a show works well, it’s only natural that you want to do it again.For Flamenco dance artist Juliana Pulford, re-mounting the full-length music and dance program based on the tragic female characters of writer Federico Garcia Lorca at the National Arts Centre, following a successful run in...

Friday, January 11, 2008, 3:20 AM