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August 2012 Archives

Stress, Part 1: driving ourselves NUTS

Well-stressed.jpgEarlier this season, we spoke with Dr Sonia Lupien about her new book "Well Stressed: Manage Stress Before It Turns Toxic." There was so much more to talk about that we've invited her back.

Dr Lupien is the founder and director of the Centre for Studies on Human Stress in Montreal, which combines research with public outreach. She's also a professor of psychiatry at the Université de Montreal.

In 2003 she was voted one of the Top 10 Canadians Who Make a Difference by MacLean's Magazine.

Benoit Aubin wrote this about her:
"In the rarefied circles of research on how hormones can affect the brain and influence our behaviour, health and happiness -- that's psycho-neuro-endocrinology -- Lupien is a star.

She has established clinically to international acclaim what many of us know intuitively: stress can make us sick."

Over the next few weeks, we're going to ask her about how we can figure out what stresses us and what to do about chronic stress so that it doesn't end up making us sick. Today, she tells Sonali Karnick about her NUTS formula.

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Tourism Quebec: Sunday Update

Micheline Lachance of Tourism Quebec joins Sonali Karnick for the second part of her series on wildlife parks and aquariums in the province:

The Québec City Aquarium

Magdalen Islands Aquarium

Refuge Pageau (Abiti)

Chouette à voir (Montérégie)
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Rajendra and Nirupama perform classical Indian dance

Nirupama and Rajendra.jpgAn ancient form of Indian dance called kathak will be performed tonight at the Oscar Peterson Concert Hall in Montreal.

Bollywood dance is all about the flash and sparkle. But the focus of kathak dance is storytelling through movement.

The husband and wife duo of Rajendra and Nirupama have performed kathak all over the world.  This is the only Canadian show on their tour. They joined Sonali Karnick in studio to talk about the tradition and how they're bringing it into the 21st century.

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Chuck Hughes goes to Mexico

Chuck Hughes in Mexico.jpgThere was no way Chuck Hughes was going to do Mexico on his usual "day off."  So he took a week.

Chuck's Week Off premieres on the Food Network Canada on Tuesday, August 28th. The series is about the Montreal's chef's wild and tasty adventures in Mexico, from Barbacoa in Humantla to Chocolate Clams and Salsa in Loreto.

And when Chuck isn't on a day or week off, he's the chef and co-owner of the restaurants Garde Manger and Le Bremner.

He came into studio to tell Sonali Karnick about his Mexican adventures.

(Photo, above, Chuck Hughes cooking in Mexico; courtesy of Chuck's Week Off)

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Alexandre Trudeau's documentary The New Great Game

The New Great Game poster.jpgThe Montreal World Film Festival is underway. And one of the featured documentaries this year takes on the ambitious topic of a whole new world order.

It's called 'The New Great Game" by Alexandre Trudeau and Jonathan Pedneault.

The filmmakers spent three years documenting the West's declining control of the waterways of the Middle East. They discovered a region in flux - with new players both locally and globally who want in. The focus, as always, is oil.

Alexandre (Sacha) Trudeau joined Sonali Karnick in-studio to tell us more about it.

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Mini-Maker Faire in Montreal

Maker Faire Robobrrd.jpgMontreal's holding a quilting bee this weekend. Not the usual kind, but a digital quilting bee.

It's called the Mini-Maker Faire and while Maker Faires are popping up around the world now, this is a first for Montreal.

Other descriptions of the event include  'a futuristic arts and crafts" fair - and the 'greatest show-and-tell on earth."

But that's still pretty confusing, so we invited in Danielle Dyson, the local organizer, to explain.

(Photo, left, Robobrrds by Robotgrrl; courtesy of Mini-Maker Faire, Montreal)

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Tourism Quebec update: Saturday

Micheline Lachance from Tourism Quebec suggests we try one of Quebec's many zoos this weekend:

Zoo sauvage de Saint-Félicien (Saguenay, Lac-St-Jean)

Parc Omega (Montebello, Outaouais)

Granby Zoo (Granby)

Parc Safari (Hemmingford, Montérégie)

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Rafaël Ouellet's Camion in cinemas, TIFF

Camion.jpgThere's a new Quebec film in cinemas this weekend.
It's called Camion, and it's set against the beautiful backdrop of the Lower St-Lawrence.

The basic story of the film is very simple:

An older trucker is involved in a head-on collision, and the accident kills the driver of the other car. The trucker becomes depressed, so his son drives in from Montreal with his brother, and the two of them head back to their hometown to help their father.

That's it. But under that simple premise lies a sea of very complicated and delicate emotions.

Rafaël Ouellet wrote and directed Camion.
It just won two awards at an international film festival in the Czech Republic - the Karlovy Vary festival. And it's heading to the Toronto International Film festival. Rafaël Ouellet spoke with Elizabeth Robertson about the film and how his father inspired it.

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Louise Penny's The Beautiful Mystery

Louise Penny with Elizabeth Robertson.JPGLast week, we had the opportunity to meet with award-winning author Louise Penny at her home in Sutton.
She welcomed us into the small cottage she uses as an office to talk about her new movie and the new book that comes out next week.

(You can still listen to what she said about the upcoming CBC movie Still Life - it's also posted on our website.)

This week, Louise tells us about her novel The Beautiful Mystery.
It's the eighth in the Chief Inspector Gamache mystery series.

Most - but not all - of the series is set in the fictional town of Three Pines in the Townships. This time evil is afoot in a remote monastery.

The monks who live there-- the Gilbertines-- have very little contact with the outside world. They devote their lives to prayer and Gregorian chant. In fact, their singing is so beautiful and mesmerizing that when they finally release a recording of it, they become a world-wide sensation. The Beautiful Mystery.jpg

Then one of the monks-- the choir-master-- is found brutally murdered. And that's where Chief Inspector Armand Gamache comes in.

Here's Part Two of our conversation with Louise Penny...

 (Louise Penny's new novel will be launched on Saturday, August 25th in Knowlton.)

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Brome Lake Books launches The Beautiful Mystery

Danny and Lucy at Brome Lake Books.JPG

The Beautiful Mystery is the eighth mystery in the Chief Inspector Gamache series written by Louise Penny. The series has won Louise a number of big awards and landed her on the New York Times bestseller list.

But when she launches her books, she always goes back home to the Townships, where the novels are set. So The Beautiful Mystery will be given its send-off next Saturday in Knowlton, as always. 

Vive Gamache mug.JPGLucy Hoblyn and Danny McAuley (photo, above), the owners of Brome Lake Books, have launched all the Gamache books. I dropped by the bookstore last week to talk with them about what the mystery series has meant to them - and about the people who come to the store searching for the fictional town of Three Pines.

Lucy started out by showing me the Louise Penny merchandise -- from the signed book plates and calendar to the Vive Gamache! café au lait mugs....

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Election polls : what you need to know

We're at the midway point in the current election campaign. And our impressions of how the election is going are shaped by many things,including social media, the official media - and opinion polls.

Two new opinion polls just came out yesterday - and not the first or last in this campaign.

How accurate are they? And how well do we understand what they're saying anyway?

To help us answer those questions, we've invited Claire Durand into studio this morning.

She's a specialist in polls, as well as a professor in the Department of Sociology at the Université de Montréal. Her blog is called "Ah les sondages!" and she also happens to be a former pollster.

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Cooking with garlic at Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue festival

Patti Murphy aka Madame Taco.jpgThe annual garlic festival in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue starts in less than an hour at the local farmers market. It's a day devoted to tasting, shopping and learning about garlic.

Local farmers will be selling their certified organic garlic bulbs.

The Great Garlic Dessert Challenge asks cooks to come up with a delicious garlic dessert - like last year's Triple Garlic Cheesecake, chosen for its 'garlicocity."

And there are workshops about garlic braiding, the curative powers of garlic -- and of course, cooking with garlic.

That last one is led by a woman known as Madame Taco at the farmers market.

Everywhere else, she's Patti Murphy. (photo, above, courtesy of Patti Murphy)

Elizabeth Robertson spoke with her about cooking with garlic and Patti gave us some of her favourite recipes. (For her delicious spicy Roasted Red Salsa, click on "Read More" to get the recipe! )

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Mount Royal Cemetery tour

Mt Royal Cemetary.JPGMont-Royal Cemetery is a beautiful place to wander around in. It's peaceful, full of flowers and greenery -and there are fascinating stories, one behind every gravestone.

The cemetery came into existence 160 years ago. To celebrate, there's a special walking tour offered this Sunday at 1pm. Elizabeth Robertson got an advance tour - the short version - with Myriam Cloutier, director of Heritage Programs.

(Photo courtesy of Myriam Cloutier)

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Tourism Quebec: excursions by boat

Micheline Lachance from Tourism Quebec tells us about a variety of river excursions :


Short excursions:

Whale-watching :

- Departures from Percé and Gaspé and Forillon National park

- Departures from Tadoussac, Bergeronnes

Dinner cruises:  Magog and St-Jean-sur-Richelieu

Fireworks - cruises in Montreal and Quebec City


Longer excursions: 

Cruise St-Lawrence Association 

CTMA : cruise to the Magdalen Islands

Relais Nordik down the Lower North Shore

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Louise Penny: looking for Gamache ... and Three Pines

Louise and Elizabeth with flowers.JPGNew York Times best-selling mystery writer Louise Penny talks with Elizabeth Robertson about her latest exciting project: turning the Chief Inspector Gamache series into a CBC TV movie.

We'll also hear about the Three Pines tour . People want to find the fictional town, but where is it??

The fictional village of Three Pines with its cast of complex characters is a big part of Louise Penny's success.
But it's Chief Inspector Gamache - wise and flawed - who's the constant.
As a US publication put it, "If you don't give your heart to Gamache, you may have no heart to give." So the search for Gamache is key to the new movie. As for Three Pines, Louise talks about where they'll film it. 

Louise is also just about to launch her eighth book in the series. We'll tell you more about that next week, as we approach the launch date in Knowlton.

(Photo of Louise with Elizabeth at her writing table near her Townships home)

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Kent Nagano: a second date

Thumbnail image for Kent Nagano.jpgPart Two of our feature interview with Kent Nagano, the conductor of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra :

Last week we heard about the symphony's "Cool Classical Journey" - an event that was presented as a sort of speed-dating with classical music. This week, the Maestro talks about his new goals for his second mandate.

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Social media : door-to-door campaigning for savvy politicians

Last week, we spoke with a marketing specialist at Concordia University. Professor Harold Simpkins talked about the election campaign, and how the politicians are managing their images. We also talked about how social media can be a very effective way to get your message across... but only if you know how to use it.

This week, we're going to take a look at how well the major political parties are at using Facebook and Twitter.

Sébastien Fassier is a senior consultant with the PR firm National Public Relations. He specializes in social media strategy and he's been following the campaign closely online.

He spoke with Elizabeth Robertson about how things are shaping up online in this election.

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Derek's Kitchen: hot summer, cool dishes

cucumber_and_dill_shrimp_salad.jpgWe've had some pretty extreme heat this summer. And who wants to turn on the stove when the humidex is at 40?

But we still have to eat. So to help us find some creative solutions, we've invited back Derek Bocking.

Derek is the sous-chef at the Montreal restaurant Chez Ma Grosse Truie Chérie. He's also an alumnus of the first season of Top Chef Canada on the Food Network. And his food blog is called Derek's Kitchen.

On the menu today: Melon Soup with Prosciutto Chips and Cucumber and Dill Shrimp Salad.

Click here to find menus for these delicious summer dishes!

(Photo courtesy of Derek's Kitchen.)

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Tourism Quebec: unique lodging experiences!

Micheline Lachance from Tourism Quebec talks about some non-traditional places to stay in Quebec this summer:

YURT, SEPAQ.jpg Den (tanière) (Quebec City region)

Gypsy Caravan (St-Elie de Caxton, Mauricie)

Hobbit house (Eastman, Eastern Townships)

Treehouse: Les Toits du monde (Laurentians)

Treehouse: Canopée Lit (Saguenay- Lac St-Jean)

Mongolian Yurt (many parks in province)

Huttopia tents (many parks in province)

  (Photo of yurt courtesy of SEPAQ)                 

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Kent Nagano's Cool Classical Journey

Kent Nagano.jpgElizabeth Robertson went out to meet Maestro Kent Nagano this week for a feature interview. The conductor of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra is bringing classical music to the downtown summer festival scene with a huge event. His "Cool Classical Journey" on August 11th will feature twenty concerts in one day.

Click here to find out more on

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Medal winners Abel and Heymans compete later today

Abel and Heymans win bronze.jpgTwo of the bronze medals that Canada has won so far at the London Games this year came from two female synchronized divers from Quebec. One winning team, comprised of Jennifer Abel and Emilie Heymans, will compete individually this afternoon in the 3m springboard event.

On this side of the pond, divers and enthusiasts will head over to the Centre aquatique Malcom Knox in Pointe-Claire to watch the broadcast. Isabelle Cloutier will be there too. She's the director of Plongeons Quebec. She has known the pair for more than 15 years, and used to coach Abel.  We got her impressions of the action so far.

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"Stones and beer" tour of Montreal

Millions of years ago, Montreal was buried deep under the ocean, and even after all this time, remnants of that period still exist in the stone - and stone walls -  around Montreal.

You can see ancient fossils in the walls of the Redpath Museum or in the side of an apartment building. But you may need a guide to understand them.

That's what the Stones and Beer bike tour is all about. The tour takes participants to sites around the city to see what building stones can tell us. (The next tour is today from 4pm to 8pm. Call to reserve: 514-398-4094.)

Ingrid Birker leads the tours.  She's also the outreach coordinator at the Redpath Museum. She dropped by our studio this morning to speak with Elizabeth Robertson.

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Tourism Quebec: Sunday update

Here's this week's activity list from Micheline Lachance of Tourism Quebec.

The theme is gardens:        

Garden of the Ursulines (Québec City)

Jardins de l'Anse (Sept-Iles, Duplessis)

Jardin des curiosités (St-Ours, Montérégie)

And to find out more about all 453 gardens throughout the province, ">click here.          


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Fêtes de la Nouvelle France in Quebec City

New France festival.jpgThe streets of Old Quebec City look a bit different this week.  Les Fetes de la Nouvelle-France (Festival of New France) bring to life the early days of the French colony. This year the festival highlights the great changes and technological advances of the period.

Stephan Parent is director of programming for the event. He's the one who has filled the city with sailors, blacksmiths, explorers, and perfumers this week. He spoke with Elizabeth Robertson from Quebec City. (Photo courtesy of Fêtes de la Nouvelle France.)

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Cooking with lavender

Chef-bleu-lavande.JPGYou may have noticed that lavender isn't just prized for its aroma anymore. More and more chefs are embracing it as a flavouring for food. It's even shown up on American and Canadian food trend lists for 2012.

Bleu Lavande is a lavender farm in Stanstead in the Eastern Townships that's open to the public. Among their activities are weekly cooking demonstrations. They teach you how to incorporate lavender into everything from a French pork dish to whipped cream-topped desserts. Simon Beaupré is a local chef who leads the workshops. He also owns La Maison de Ville, a bed and bistro in Magog where he cooks with lavender for his guests.

Simon Beaupré spoke with Elizabeth Robertson this morning.

(LAVENDER RECIPES on next page! Click on "Read more," below.)

(Photo, above, of chef Simon Beaupré at Bleu Lavande: courtesy of Simon Beaupré) 

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Eric Lamaze competes in London Games on new horse

Eric Lamaze with Derly Chin de Muze.jpgThe equestrian events are underway at the London Games as we speak. One of the riders to watch is Montrealer Éric Lamaze.

He's the defending gold medallist in show jumping. But a lot has happened since the Beijing Olympics.

Nine months ago, Lamaze's world was turned upside down. His champion horse, Hickstead, died very suddenly during an event. It was heartbreaking for Lamaze, and for people around the world who watched or heard about it. But Éric Lamaze didn't give up. He found a new horse, and now he's competing in London.

Marie-Hélène Poitras is an author (Griffintown) who is passionate about all things equestrian.
She interviewed Éric Lamaze just before he left for the Games, and she came into studio to tell his story.

(To find the schedule for equestrian events, click here.)

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Falafel! Give Peas a Chance

Falafel Give Peas a Chance.jpgThis summer, on Saturday nights at 7pm, CBC Television is presenting a new show called "Absolutely Quebec". It's a series of documentaries written for, by and about Quebeckers.

This week's film is about... falafel - the delicious sandwich made of pita bread filled with fried chick pea balls.

The documentary explores the idea of how falafel fits into Israeli-Arab relations. Ari Cohen directed it. He's usually based in Montreal, but at the moment he's in northern Canada, in Nunavut, working on another doc. And that's where Elizabeth reached him.

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Tourism Quebec: Saturday update

Here's this week's activity list from Micheline Lachance of Tourism Quebec.

The theme is waterparks:

Village Valcartier (Québec)

Super Aqua Club (Pointe Calumet, Laurentides)

Mont Saint-Sauveur (Laurentides)

Ski Bromont (Eastern Townships)

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