Roberta Bondar concerned with Ottawa band using her name

Canada's first female astronaut wants an Ottawa band to stop confusing people by using her full name.

Letter from Bondar's lawyers suggests name that doesn't include both 'Roberta' and 'Bondar'

Canada's first female astronaut thinks the public might assume an Ottawa band using her name is endorsed by her, according to a letter sent to the band by her legal team.

Dr. Roberta Bondar flew into space in 1992, becoming the first Canadian woman ever to do so. (Courtesy Roberta Bondar)
Dr. Roberta Bondar flew into space in 1992, making Canadian space flight history.

The Roberta Bondar band, meanwhile, makes "steamy noise rock" sounds (that's from their website) in Ottawa.

On Wednesday, a member of the band announced to her bandmates and friends on Facebook that a cease and desist letter had arrived from the real Roberta Bondar.

The rock band Roberta Bondar is made up of (from left) Alex Maltby, Gary Franks, Lidija Rozitis and Tyler Ivan Goodman. (Photo courtesy Kathy Roussel)
Ottawans quickly chimed in with some other name suggestions, including:
Boberta Rondar, Bobby Rondar, The Artist Formerly Known as Roberta Bondar, and Roberta Buzzkill.

The letter — from lawyer Jonathan Colombo of the Toronto firm Bereskin & Parr LLP — says that while Bondar is "in one sense, flattered" by the choice of name, she's also "concerned that her name is being used without her consent and, more importantly, that Canadians who discover your brand will assume that your band is connected with or endorsed by Dr. Bondar."

Case closed, with a happy ending

But don't worry, everyone, the case is closed. And it's even got a happy ending.

On CBC Radio's All in a Day Thursday afternoon, host Alan Neal asked band member Lidija Rozitis: "Are you willing to change the name?"

"Oh yeah, totally," she said.

Bondar's publicist, Christine Yankou — who was also a guest on the show — said Bondar would love to meet the band the next time they play in Toronto.

It's worth mentioning that Roberta Bondar isn't the only Ottawa band using a real person's name (or something a lot like it).

The electronic trio Silkken Laumann has managed to get away with it by not spelling Silkenn Laumann — the Canadian Olympic rower's name — exactly right.

Poll question