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May 2013 Archives

Isabelle Laflèche: "J'adore Paris"

J'Adore Paris.jpg
Sometimes that dream job isn't all it's cracked up to be. In her new novel J'adore Paris, Quebec author Isabelle Laflèche tells the story of a woman who thinks she's going to be strolling along the Champs Elysées when he moves to Paris, but she ends up investigating high-fashion crime.

This is the second novel in the J'adore series after J'adore New York. This story takes place in the fashion capital of the world at one of its most prestigious fashion houses. The main character, lawyer Catherine Lambert, tracks counterfeit goods to some seedy places and, with her assistant, gets into some trouble.
Author - and ex-lawyer - Isabelle Laflèche spoke with Sonali Karnick about her latest novel in studio.

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Perspectives: Montreal on Trial

Black Theatre Workshop - Montreal on Trial.jpgAn intriguing new production by Black Theatre Workshop is putting Montreal on trial. And we're the jury.

Here's the case:

The last descendant of an Iroquois family has discovered an historical contract that seems to make her the lawful owner of the city of Montreal. To claim what is hers, she has to go to court to make the case that Montreal hasn't lived up to the terms of that contract. If she wins, 3 million Montrealers could be kicked out of their homes.

To help us judge the case, we've invited in two of the participants in this collective creation: Deborah Forde is the director of Perspectives : Montreal on Trial . She's also the program director for the group that created the play - the Youthworks Airhead Ensemble. Michaela di Cesare is artist in residence at Black Theatre Workshop. She's also part of the ensemble cast.

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Abitibi Tourism's travellin' van

abitibi tourism book.jpgThe idea of spending a summer in a Volkswagon bus has a kind of romantic ring to it. For boomers, it's a throwback to that orange bus from the Summer of Love.  

Well, this summer, it's the Tourism staff in the Abitibi-Temiscamingue that's taking to the road in a camper-van: a sky-blue Westfalia. They'll be travelling not only the region, but taking the highway to Montreal and Toronto too.

The head of communications for the office in Rouyn-Noranda, Stéphanie Lamarche, told us about the plans for the camper-van and how it will be given away!
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Tourism Quebec: Sunday

Micheline Lachance from Tourism Quebec has a bunch of day-long activities for the family:

Montreal Museums Day
On today

La fête du chocolat de Bromont (Eastern Townships)
On today

Les Grands Rendez-vous Cyclistes de Charlevoix
 Through November 3rd   

For further details on activities or reservations, go to:, or call
toll-free: 1 877-Bonjour (1-877-266-5687).

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Clara Venice, a one-woman-band

Clara Venice.jpgThey are D-J's, singers, songwriters and loop artists, and they're all one-man bands. This weekend, Montreal hosts the second One Man Band Festival.

Fifty-seven one-man and one-woman bands have come here from all over the world, and from all musical genres. These days, the technology makes it easier to make a big sound alone. (Not to mention it's cheaper than touring with a band.)

Jon Cohen, the ex-guitarist of The Dears, started the One-Man-Band festival last year, after years of touring solo and meeting lots of other solo performers. This festival aims to showcase their ingenuity and musicianship.

Case in point: One of the artists Jon Cohen is listening to these days is Clara Venice. She's a singer and violinist who's become one of the rare people in the world who plays the electronic instrument called the theremin. Clara Venice is performing tonight at the One Man Band festival. We caught up with her in Toronto before she left for Montreal.

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Lentils + rice

lentils and rice.jpg

Lentils and rice are just the beginning.

The Concordia University Perform Centre presents a workshop on all kinds of protein combinations in their healthy cooking program. It's about food pairings that make up complete proteins when you're not eating meat. They're not only better for your health but for your wallet  and the planet as well.

Théa Demmers is a dietician with Concordia's Perform Centre and she is teaching the class on healthy cooking. She joinedSonali Karnick in studio this morning.

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Great Canadian Travel Bucket List

Grizzly1-537x333.jpgCanadians love to explore their own backyards.  In fact, about eighty per cent of tourism dollars spent in Canada are spent by Canadians.

So this summer, we're launching a new series with Kim Gray, editor-in-chief of the award-winning travel blog Toque& 

Over the next few months, she'll be sharing her Great Canadian Travel Bucket List with us. Today she speaks with Sonali Karnick about a grizzly adventure. (Photo of khutzeymateen grizzly by david buston; courtesy of

For more info on the first topic of her summer series, Canada's Great Bear Rainforest - listed as one of the top ten wildest places on earth by CNN and flagged as a must-see destination for 2013 by National Geographic - check out:

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Spirit Week at Queen Elizabeth High, Sept Iles

Spirit Week photo 1.JPGStudents in a small high school on the North Shore recently decided to take charge and make a change.

There are only 74 students at Queen Elizabeth High School in Sept Iles.
But even there, they thought there was a lack of school spirit, that students didn't have a sense of belonging.

The solution they came up with was Spirit Week.

Spirit Week photo 2.JPGThe CBC's Marika Wheeler was in Sept Iles recently and she dropped by the high school on the final day of activities.

(Spirit Day photos by Marika Wheeler)


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Tourism Quebec: Saturday

It's spring festival season in the province and Micheline Lachance from Tourism Quebec tell us about some of the first of the season:
Festibière de Gatineau (Outaouais)
Through Sunday

Festival des Guitares du Monde en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (Rouyn-Noranda)
Though June 1st

Carrefour international de théâtre (Quebec City)
Through June 8th

For further details on activities or reservations, go to:, or call
toll free: 1 877-Bonjour (1-877-266-5687).

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Cavalia's new show Odysseo in Laval

Angela Turner on horse.jpgThe star performers in Cavalia's new show, Odysseo, are paid in hay, oats and the occasional carrot.
Nice work if you can get it (for a horse).

Odysseo is a unique form of circus with performers ranging from its stars - the horses - to acrobats, musicians and dancers.

The show has been touring with its 67 horses since it started in Laval, under the Big Top, two years ago.

Angela Turner is one of the trainer-performers with Odysseo. She performs everything from classical dessage to trick riding that will have you holding your breath.

Angela speaks with Sonali Karnick about the amazing experience of working with the horses.



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Five Days by Douglas Kennedy: second chances

Five Days.jpgBestselling novelist Douglas Kennedy has just come out with his eleventh novel. It's called Five Days, and it explores life's regrets - and second chances.

The story takes place in Maine, where 42-year-old Laura has spent her whole life. She works as a hospital radiographer, but she's finding herself less able to ignore the daily reminders of her own mortality. Her husband is out of work and is emotionally withdrawn. Her son is in college and her daughter will leave home soon. And she's questioning her choices in life.

Then, at a five-day medical conference, she meets a man, they connect, and she's faced with the kind of life she might have had.

Douglas Kennedy's previous work has been translated into 22 languages. He lives part-time in Montreal.


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"Sarah préfère la course" at Cannes Film Fest

sarah prefere la course.jpgBlockbuster films, mega-movie stars and opulence of the French Riviera - the Cannes film festival is underway again.

For the fourth time, 25-year-old Quebec filmmaker Chloe Robichaud is back on the Croisette. This time she's entered her first feature film, "Sarah préfère la course".

It's a coming-of-age story of a young woman from Quebec City who lands a track scholarship at a University in Montreal.

Chole Robichaud spoke with Sonali Karnick from the Cannes International Film Festival in France.

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Tourism Quebec: Sunday Update

Micheline Lachance from Tourism Quebec looks at the Activity Forecaster.  It's search engine and an iPad/iPhone app that has information about events and activities in the province along with the weather forecast for that area.

For further details on activities, making accommodation reservations or receiving brochures, go to or call toll-free: 1-877-Bonjour (1-877-266-5687)
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Folk-blues band Whitebrow

Whitebrow album.jpgCanadian folk-blues band Whitebrow started out as a solo project by singer-singwriter Gabriel DeSantis.

It's now a four-member band with a first LP just out, and they've been building up some buzz, including on CBC Music where they scored a single of the week in March.

They're playing today at Café Bloom in Montreal (11am-2pm), in Pointe St-Charles - and maybe doing some busking in Old Montreal too.

Gabriel DeSantis joins Sonali Karnick in-studio.

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Ted Reader: "Gastro Grilling"

Gastro Grilling.jpg
Last year around this time, chef Ted Reader talked with us about his cookbook on mixing beer and barbecue called Beerlicious. This year, he's grilling up something a little more elaborate.

His new cookbook is called Gastro Grilling: Fired-up Recipes to Grill Great Everyday Meals. Just to whet your appetite, that means dishes like grilled beef tenderloin with fire roasted red pepper and goat cheese, rum-injected rotisserie pineapples, and chocolate peanut butter coffee cake. 

Ted spoke with Sonali Karnick about how to bring the barbeque to another level. 
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The art of composting, at Ste Anne's Farmers Market

Ste Anne's farmers' market.JPGThe Ste Anne's Farmers Market holds their annual Garden Kick-Off Day today.

What that means is: fresh vegetables, organic meats, local honeys, along with seeds and flats of annuals, and baskets of flowers - not to mention meals - all for sale.

And all the farm products are locally raised and most of it is organic.

There's help for the home gardener, too. Frank Teuton leads two workshops on composting that are billed as a lot of fun. He's active in community composting. (He's even invented a few things to help the small-scale composter.)

Frank Teuton drops by the studio this morning to talk about easy composting - or "LAW'N order", as that workshop is called. (There are other workshops, and puns!)


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Tourism Quebec: Saturday Update

Micheline Lachance of Tourism Quebec looks at shows and events in the province this weekend.

Through June 9th

Through Monday

For further details on activities, making accommodation reservations or receiving brochures go to or call toll-free: 1 877-Bonjour (1-877-266-5687)

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Lufa Farms: rooftop greenhouse

Lufa farms tomatoes.jpgA couple of years ago, we told you about a new farm on the island of Montreal that's in an unusual place - a rooftop in the middle of an industrial park.

Lufa Farms occupy a 31,000-square-foot greenhouse on that roof in Cartierville-Ahuntsic.

They grow a wide variety of tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, chili peppers, lettuce, chards and herbs - many of them less common varieties. The farm is hydroponic -- meaning the plants grow in water, without soil. And they deliver their baskets of produce to a hundred or so drop-off points in Montreal so you get it as fresh as possible.

Lufa Farms give regular guided tours around the greenhouse, and there are several today in English, all through the day. (Since it's Mother's Day, there's a basket of produce to win! Take your mom.)

Lauren Rathmell is the greenhouse director, and one of founding members of Lufa Farms.


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The Story of Spanish by Nadeau and Barlow

story of spanish cover.jpgThe Spanish language is the world's second most spoken language. It's the official language of 21 countries, and the unofficial second language of the U.S.  But it's neither of the offical languages of Jean-Benoit Nadeau and Julie Barlow.

They're the co-authors of a new book - a "biography" of the language - called The Story of Spanish.

Jean-Benoit Nadeau and Julie Barlow are partners in life, as well as in languages.

Julie is originally from Ontario, and Jean-Benoit is from Sherbrooke. Together, they've written the best-selling book Sixty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong,
followed by The Story of French. Now they turn their attention to the language of Cervantes.

Jean-Benoit Nadeau and Julie Barlow join Sonalie Karnick to tell us a bit of that story.


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Erin Balser on baseball books

The boys of summer are back - on the field and off.  There's the baseball movie about Jackie Robinson, 42 : it had the highest opening weekend ever for a baseball movie. But the real baseball boom is coming soon to bookstores: 15 new baseball books will be out, even before the all-star break. 

To help you pick among them, Erin Balser from CBC Books steps up to the plate with three recommendations: The Might Have Been by Joseph Schuster, Whenever I Wind Up by R.A. Dickey, and Color Blind by Tom Dunkel.


Color Blind.jpgWhenever I wind up.jpg

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Tourism Quebec: Sunday

Micheline Lachance from Tourism Quebec is back with more new attractions for your summer holidays:

Fossilarium, Thematic Fossil Center (Notre-Dame-du-Nord, Abitbi-Temiscaming)

Val Jalbert Historical village (Saguenay Lac-St-Jean)

Red buses arrive in Québec City (Quebec City)

For further details on activities, making accomodation reservations or receiving brochures, go to : , or call toll free at 1 877-Bonjour (1-877-266-5687).

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Blood Pressure, a new Canadian thriller

Blood Pressure still.jpgIn Sean Garrity's new thriller, Blood Pressure, an anonymous caller turns the world of a 41-year-old pharmacist and mother upside-down. The Observer offers her a way to realize her full potential: all she has to do is show she's interested by placing a green card in her window. She does - and ends up risking everything.

Blood Pressure is director Sean Garrity's second movie in cinemas. His film My Awkward Sexual Adventure has been on-screen since mid-April.

He joins Sonali Karnick from Toronto.

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Edward Rutherfurd's Paris

Paris.jpgAfter London and New York, Paris was inevitable.

Edward Rutherfurd's latest novel of historical fiction takes place in The City of Lights. We follow aristocratic and working-class families down through the centuries - linking us to major moments in history and iconic monuments, like Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Eiffel Tower.

There are juicy scandalous storylines and a few complicated relationships, but it's the descriptions of Paris though the ages that will make you want to get on a plane after the first chapter.

Edward Rutherfurd will be in Knowlton this morning (call Brome Lake Books to reserve) and at Books and Breakfast tomorrow morning at Paragraphe bookstore in Montreal.

He joins Sonali Karnick in studio.

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Japanese Bazaar in Montreal

Japanese image.jpgToday is the annual Spring Bazaar held by the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre in Montreal. There are about 3000 Quebeckers of Japanese origin here, but we're all invited to join in and try the Japanese pastries and experience the culture. Susan Shoji-Lévesque is the program director at the centre. She spoke with Sonali Karnick about how she re-discovered her Japanese heritage.

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Fair trade and fresh produce at Ste-Anne's market

Ste Anne's farmers' market.JPGThe Ste-Anne's Farmers' Market opens today on the waterfront at Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, and since today is World Fair Trade day, they're offering a variety of activities - and some food for thought.

James Maynard will be talking about fair trade and what it means to ethical consumers. He's the manager of the local Coop du Grand Orme, which sells green products and services to the community.

James Maynard spoke with Sonali Karnick on line from Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue - a Fair Trade town!

(Photo of Ste-Anne's market by Lise Anne Briand)

**The market opens from 9am- 2pm; the presentation on fair trade is from 10 -11 am.

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Tourism Quebec: Saturday

This morning, Micheline Lachance from Tourism Quebec takes a look at what's new for tourists this summer: 
Canopy cycle (Vélovolant, Station au Diable vert, Eastern Townships)

Discover Charlevoix from the air, Héli-Charlevoix (Charlevoix)

Mosaicultures internationale de Montréal: Land of Hope (Montreal Botanical Gardens)
 June 22nd through September 29th

For further details on activities, making accomodation reservations or receiving brochures,  go to : , or call toll free: 1 877-Bonjour (1-877-266-5687).

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April Cornell clothes: made in India, responsibly

april-cornell-picture.jpgIt's time again to pull out those cotton shorts and summer sun-dresses.

But this year many of us are doing some soul-searching about where those clothes come from - after the tragic factory collapse in Bangladesh.

The Montreal designer and retailler April Cornell is well aware of the debate. Her colourful cotton prints have been made in India since the mid-70s. Now you can find her clothes across North America and online.

We've called her up this morning to talk with her about her own story and how she deals with the issue of overseas manufacturing.

April Cornell still has a flagship store in Montreal, but these days she's based in Burlington, Vermont. That's where Elizabeth Robertson reached her this morning.

(Photo , above, of April Cornell; courtesy of April Cornell)

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Kate Conner: unlikely road to stand-up comic

Kate Conner.jpgKate Conner turned to stand-up comedy later in life.
She was 36 when she first got up on that stage. That was two years ago.

Before that, she was working with her husband at their own small software company in Montreal and raising four children.

But she'd always loved comedy and the kids were fertile territory for humour. So her latest stand-up set brings those two loves together.

She's part of a 3-woman performance called "Parental Dissension Advised: A Mother's Day Show."
Kate Conner will be at the Comedy Nest on Sunday night.

She spoke with Elizabeth Robertson about her late start in comedy and her childhood in a religious cult. 

(Photo courtesy of Kate Conner)

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Take a walk in the spring woods

Trout-Lilly-open-600x450.jpgSpring has truly sprung. The wildflowers are out, the migratory birds have returned, and the frogs are calling.

It's a perfect time to walk in the spring woods - or visit the Morgan Arboretum.

The Morgan Arboretum is a forest reserve at the western tip of the island of Montreal. It's part of McGill University's Macdonald Campus in Ste. Anne de Bellevue. At this time of year, it's bursting with life.

Chris Cloutier works at the Arboretum and he's leading a number of walks in the spring woods. He joins Elizabeth Robertson to talk about what's out there - as well as about National Wildlife Week.

(Photo of Trout Lily by Chris Cloutier; courtesy of Morgan Arboretum)

**Click here for the Morgan Arboretum's nature blog.

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Jane's Walks in Quebec City and Montreal

promenade_de_jane_vignette_2_version_20_nov_2.jpgJane Jacobs was a journalist, author and activist who changed the way we think about cities.

She believed that neighbourhoods are the heart and soul of cities and that urban environments should be planned around the people who live there.

Jane Jacobs passed away in 2006 in Toronto, but her legacy lives on. For the past five years, around her birthday (which is today), volunteers in cities around the world have organized "Jane's Walks." The idea is to get people out exploring their neighbourhood and meeting their neighbours.

This weekend, there will be more than 60 different Jane's Walks taking place in Montreal and in Quebec City. Tristan Bougie coordinates the walks at the Montreal Urban Ecology Centre, and he joins Elizabeth Robertson in studio. 

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Meghan Telpner's "Undiet" approach to health

MeghanTelpnerUnDiet.jpgOn this weekend's Food Feature, we meet Meghan Telpner, author of the new book Undiet: Eat your way to vibrant health.

She calls herself a 'nutritionista'. She's actually a certified nutritionist, but nutritionista is more fun to say.

Fun is a big part of her approach to healthy living. Her new book re-imagines the way we look at our health and our power to change it - and a sense of humour is part of it.

She knows, because she's had to do it in her own life.  Meghan was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease at the age of 26.


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Barry Webster: The Lava in My Bones

Lava in my bones.jpgMontreal writer Barry Webster's new novel The Lava in My Bones is a mythical, magical, sensual tale of identity, transformation, and our connection to the earth. He describes it more simply as "a fairy tale about sex and global warming."

Here's the story in brief:  A geologist from Labrador named Sam is studying global warming. After experiencing his first same-sex relationship, he becomes obsessed with eating rocks. His sister, who's a high school student, is going through some adolescent growing pains - but not like most of us. Honey is actually oozing through her pores. Meanwhile, their mother, a religious zealot, plots against them....It's pretty wild stuff.

Barry Webster just got back from New York, where the book was a finalist for the Ferro-Grumley award. He'll be returning to the city soon, because the book is a finalist for another award there, the Lambda Literary award. In between this jet-setting, he's found the time to stop by our studio to talk about The Lava in My Bones with Elizabeth Robertson.

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Put down that trowel!

brick-wall-and-ivy.jpgBefore you start planting this spring, you have to think of your house first. Trees, vines, and flower beds can all affect the foundation of your home.

Elizabeth Robertson talks about what to look out for with our home renovation columnist, Jorge Rodrigues.

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Tourism Quebec: Saturday

It's time to start planning your summer!  Micheline Lachance from Tourism Quebec is back with some vacation ideas that may not have occurred to you: Québec's lighthouse trail!

For example:

Pointe-au-Père Lighthouse National Historic Site of Canada (Bas St-Laurent)

Pointe-des-Monts Lighthouse (Baie Trinité, Manicougan)

Phare du Pot à l'eau de vie (Duvernor, Rivière-du-loup, Bas-St-Laurent)

For further details on activities, making accomodation reservations or receiving brochures, go to:, or call toll-free :1 877-Bonjour (1-877-266-5687).


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