← Load previous


The world around us is always in flux. We, as individuals and as communities, affect how and why, as well as when and where, we push for change. This month, 137 cities will be exploring the shifting lenses and multifaceted theme of Change


More specifically, our chapter will be talking about the ever changing and evolving food scene in Ottawa. The Ottawa restaurant scene has changed significantly over the last few years with more trendy restaurants and food trucks popping up in neighbourhoods such as Hintonburg, New Edinburgh, Centretown, Westboro and even the suburbs of the nation’s capital. To help us speak on this topic, we’re happy to introduce our pals and foodie extraordinaire; Jenn Lim and Don Chow of FoodiePrints. 



Jennifer Lim and Don Chow are the founders of the highly successful foodinprints.com, a blog highlighting their love of food and their city. Which Jenn will tell you apparently happened by accident, but I’m sure they’ll tell you more about that on Friday!

Both born and raised in Ottawa, Don and Jenn grew up in families where food was the centre of family and holiday celebrations. By day, Don works in the federal public service while Jenn teaches advance mathematics at the elementary school level. In December 2006, Don founded foodiePrints, with Jenn officially joining him as editor and blogger a year later. Initially, it was meant to be a collection of recipes but soon grew into a collection of stories and reviews of restaurants. They learned that their hometown prepared and served great food. From meeting restaurateurs, chefs, cooks, farmers, and other local producers, they have been documenting it all, sharing it with their readers around the world. 

In fall 2014, they released their first book Ottawa Food: A Hungry Capital; which documents the local dining, food and drink scene since the late 1970s to 2014.


Friday, April 1, 2016 

Doors at 8:30 AM 

Lowertown Brewery, 73 York St, Ottawa

Tickets will be released on Monday, March 28 - Stay tuned!

CreativeMornings Ottawa with Zvi Gross


This month we’re talking language in the way it relates to design. More specifically we’re talking evolution of design and how it parallels the evolution of language - influenced by economics, trade routes, common fashion, etc.

To talk to us about this parallel is Zvi Gross, furniture maker and founder of Mostly Danish Furniture. Born in Hungary, he grew up in Israel and eventually immigrated to Canada. It was when he began his new life in Canada that he discovered his passion for woodworking and Scandinavian furniture design.


What began many years ago as a small operation of buying and selling unique Danish furniture at local auctions, has today become the largest warehouse of original Scandinavian and mid-century modern furniture in North America. Most recently having opened a boutique store-front in Ottawa’s trendy arts district of Hintonburg called Mostly Danish Boutique. The boutique provides an ever evolving selection of original pieces by famed Scandinavian designers. The warehouse in Ottawa’s South end is where Zvi can be found almost everyday, refinishing and re-upholstering furniture that he has imported from around the world, as well as building his own designs.

Having no formal training in drafting, design or woodworking, Zvi says that the designs for his own unique pieces normally manifest in his head. He stays true to the traditional principles of Danish craftsmanship when building his furniture - organic forms that are to human scale, functionality and simplicity.

“When you create a piece (of furniture) it deserves to be as perfect as you can make it.”

Event Details: 

When: Friday, January 29, 2016 @ 8:30AM to 10AM

Where: 4th floor, Azrieli Pavilion, Carleton University (see below for directions)

Event is free but please make sure you claim your spot here


Arriving to Carleton via Colonel By dr, turn onto University dr, turn onto Library rd (circled in orange), then park in the parking lot circled in green.  There is a sidewalk leading from the parking lot to Azrieli Pavilion behind the library (ML) that follows library road. There are glass doors on the ground level by the stairs next to Azrieli (circled in red).  If you walk into those doors, there is an elevator on the left.  Take it to the fourth floor and you will walk directly into the space. 

We’re back and with a special edition of CreativeMornings - Ottawa Architecture Week! This Friday we’re welcoming speakers Christopher Alderson and Daniel Warder of The Lake Partnership Inc. They’ll be giving us a glimpse inside the design and construction of Shopify’s Elgin Street headquarters — the craftsmen’s and builders’ perspective.

What? Free breakfast lecture series

Where? Geneva Hall, Knox Presbyterian Church, 120 Lisgar St Ottawa

When? 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Friday, September 25

Who? Christopher Alderson and Daniel Warder of the Lake Partnership Inc.

Registration is now open! Be sure to set your alarm and register here!



Christopher Alderson, Senior Project Manager

Christopher joined The Lake Partnership at the beginning of 2013. He brings construction and project management experience as well as technical proficiency from previous work and ongoing studies in Architectural Technology. The Lake Partnership also benefits from Christopher’s critical thinking, research and communication skills honed during doctoral studies at Carleton University.


Daniel Warder, Senior Site Supervisor 

Dan has been with The Lake Partnership since 2006. Mentored by Kevin and Darryl over four years, he became Site Supervisor/Foreman in 2010, and has since managed teams at key projects including Kenwood, Mississagua Lake House, Acacia, and our LEED Gold CertifiedSpringfield Towns.


Ottawa Architecture Week is a public forum that explores the ways in which architecture and urban design affect our daily lives. Throughout the week, they celebrate the role of architecture and the related trades in a way that is fun and engaging. They strive to bridge the gap between the architectural community and the public, in order to facilitate a constructive dialogue on the relationship between the built environment and Ottawa’s people.

Each annual edition is curated around a trending theme relevant to the architectural profession and the Ottawa–Gatineau community as a whole. The program features a variety of public events that include talks, exhibitions, installations, workshops, film screenings, tours, and panel discussions.

In 2015, for OAW’s 27th edition, we will explore what it means for Ottawa to be a livable city and a capital.

April’s Creative Morning Ottawa Speaker Annoucement

It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for! (Drum roll please….)

We’re excited to announce that this month’s speaker on #humility, Co-founder, CEO, and Creative Director of your new favourite #Ottawa shop, Frank & Oak! Ladies and gentleman, I present to you, the stylish, the trendy, Ethan Song!

About Ethan:

Independent and determined, Ethan has launched and collaborated on an array of creative and entrepreneurial endeavors. As co-founder, CEO, and Creative Director of menswear e-tailer Frank & Oak, Ethan enhances everything customer-facing, including the product, marketing campaigns, and online shopping experience. His vision of creating a simple and innovative company at the nexus of fashion, technology, and retail makes him an inspiration to his team and those around.

Originally from China, Ethan has traveled and worked on most continents, including more pronounced stints in Shanghai, Paris, and Vancouver. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer and Electrical Engineering from the University of British Columbia, and professionally performed and studied drama and dance for several years.

Ethan’s extensive retail experience and interest in sales and marketing made his early career as a strategic management consultant a natural fit. In 2012, he co-founded Frank & Oak to revolutionize the traditional retail model and offer men the simplest way to shop online. Ethan’s entrepreneurial spirit and passion for both the arts and sciences make him a successful driving force behind the innovative brand.

Event Details:

Please standby event details to come shortly!

About Speaker:

Brandon Waselnuk is Co-founder and CEO at Tattoo Hero (@Tattoo_Hero) previously Investment Lead at IBM for Business Intelligence and Predictive Analytics. He builds stuff, loves coffee, startups and meeting great people.

Earlier this week we sat down with him for a short Q&A…

CM: This month’s theme is ink, what does ink have to do with your start-up? 

BW: I once asked a tattoo artist what they use to make tattoos so permanent, I forget exactly what they said but I’m pretty sure it had something to do with ink…

CM: What kind of business is tattoo hero? 

BW: Tattoo Hero is a software as a service business at its core. We’re also building the community around tattooing with our website that helps people find the best tattoo artist for them.

CM: Where did the idea for Tattoo Hero come from? 

BW: My co-founder Steve Tannahill came up with the idea at a Startup Weekend Ottawa event when he got tired of all his friends asking him where he got his tattoos done and who to go see. He figured “man, there’s got to be a better way…” cue the dramatic music and montage.

CM: If you could do anything you wanted right now, what would it be? 

BW: Take every person who’s helped me build this business on a trip to Berlin for a weekend of partying and sight seeing as a way of saying thanks - even though that wouldn’t be enough to thank them all properly.

CM: Where do you find your best creative inspiration? 

BW: In one-on-one conversations, sharing ideas with someone I really respect and trust - so that I can get all my terrible ideas out and on paper and then get down to the good stuff. It’s always helped me to have someone to bounce my ideas off of and build up from there.

CM: Okay, this is mostly for my own curiosity. Do you have any tattoos? If you do, did you get it/them before starting Tattoo Hero? 

BW: Yes I do on my left shoulder, I got it after starting Tattoo Hero as the company helped me find a really awesome artist to do the piece I wanted, it’s pretty detailed.

CM: Creative Mornings is all about community. How has living and working in Ottawa impacted your career?

BW: Immensely. On the living side - I’d literally be dead if it wasn’t for the charities and support programs that exist in our city, I’ve spoken on this before in a video for the United Way. Having a life in Ottawa is also pretty great I think, there’s a lot of remarkable people here doing cool things, it’s unfortunate we get a bad rap for being a government town (or the town that fun forgot) I believe there’s lots going on in the city, you just have to spend some time finding what you love and getting into those groups. For work, there’s a huge amount of support here - tons of great mentors and people that have ‘done it’ before who are ready and willing to help out young companies and founders. To the people who reached down the ladder to give me a hand up - I’ll never be able to express how much that means to me, other than to pay it forward.

CM: What are your thoughts on lower back tattoos (the so called “tramp stamp” jeez I hate that term)? 

BW: I think the term needs to die a horrific death. Just like calling a woman in a leadership position ‘bossy’ instead of ‘driven’ compared against male executives (you’re fucking right I believe in gender equality)! A lower back tattoo is a place for a tattoo that a person likes - there’s no further meaning behind it. And I’d encourage you to check out the great opinion piece written by Amber on the Tattoo Hero Blog here’s an excerpt: “From sternum/under-boob tattoos being called the new “tramp stamp”, to sweeping (and grossly inaccurate) statements that “tattooed women are broken”, it seems that negatively portraying tattooed women has become an unfortunate trend.”

CM: You go boy!

CM: Lastly… If you were stranded on a deserted island, who would you want to be stranded with? 

BW: Louie CK - cause then I’d most likely die of laughter and that’d be an awesome way to go. At worst we’d become best friends and that’d just be super cool.

No rest for the weary. Get ready for our second CM this month! We’re talking the temperature of our surroundings as we dive into our theme, climate in 100+ chapters around the world. Our topic expert is none other than Jonathan Westeinde - founder of Windmill Developments - who is trying to build the most sustainable community in the country. The project is currently called ‘The Isles' and we look forward to hearing his thoughts on climate and sustainability this Friday. The theme was chosen by us(!) and illustrated by the talented Dave Arnold. 

About the Speaker:

Jonathan is the founder of Windmill and brings a great deal of experience in corporate strategy, finance and business development as it relates to green development practices. Jonathan has spearheaded a new national consortium that is focused entirely on green building retrofits as part of Ledcor Construction. Prior to founding Windmill, Jonathan was a founding partner of Venbridge, a venture capital services division of Gowlings, one of Canada’s leading law firms.

Event Details:

Friday, February 27th, 8:30 a.m.
HUB Ottawa
71 Bank St. (6th floor)
Ottawa Get directions here.
Registration is open! Be sure to get your tickets here.

We’re obviously NOT talking about super babe Jesse Alberto! This dude oozes cool from head to toe and might just be the most fashionable man in the ByWard Market. For years, he’s been raising the bar in this city’s hair game and has been delivering everything BUT ugly cuts. Now as co-owner of Ottawa’s urban retreat for men - House of Barons - Jesse has a unique take on entrepreneurship, the industry, and the ugly side of the beauty and barber biz.

This talks theme is all about embracing the ‘ugly’ beginnings of making any vision real. We’re exploring the messy part of the creative process with the theme Ugly in our third annual Creative Mornings holiday party at a familiar yet brand new location. Special guest appearance by our first holiday party speaker Steve Beauchesne of Beau’s All Natural Brewing Co.

Registration is already more than half sold out! Be sure to get your tickets here!

Wednesday, February 11th, 5:30 p.m.
Kivuto Solutions Inc.
126 York Street #200
Ottawa, Ontario ON K1N
(Shopify’s former space in the Market)

Get directions here.

CM: Craig, this month’s theme is chance, rolling the dice and letting the cards fall how they may. Can you elaborate on two occasions where this might have worked out in your favour and where it might not have? 

Craig: There are 2 moments in particular I remember, that changed my life.  In fact, both were starting companies.  But the great leaps faith they took are what I have to laugh to myself a bit when I remember them.

 When I started my first company (Devshop), I had experienced a straight upward climb in my career, for the last 10 years.  The economy was good, jobs were plentiful, and I was hitting my stride.  I’d known nothing but good times to this point.  Life seemed pretty easy.  I had a beautiful country home, a corvette for the summer, a 4x4 for the winter, a motorcycle, home music studio with drums and piano and other toys.  I ate out at nice restaurants most nights and took vacations whenever I wanted.  Then something changed.  I got bit by the entrepreneur bug.  I decided it was time to go out on my own.  I sold EVERYTHING I own.  Literally down to my laptop and the clothes on my back.  I went back to living in a $500 student apartment in Vanier and ate Kraft dinner most nights.  A life as an entrepreneur began.  No biggie, I thought.  I’m going to be rich in a couple years - this idea is gold!  lol.  Some say that naiveté is a critical ingredient in the DNA of an entrepreneur - I couldn’t agree more.  Needless to say, things didn’t quite turn out the way I planned…
Fast forward some years.  I’m contemplating starting a new company.  Everything’s coming up gold at first.  I even get an acquisition offer right out of the gate!  But, nah, I can do better.  People are verbally offering to invest all over the place.  I can do WAY better!  But alas, verbals and head nods are not done deals…  Oh shit. What did I JUST DO?!  Ah but life changes once again…
CM: Creative Mornings is all about community. How has living and working in Ottawa impacted your success?
Craig: I’m sure anyone who’s asked this question feels like they should jump right into how wonderful Ottawa is and start on a cheerleader kick.  Ottawa’s a great city in a lot of ways - overall quality of life being the biggest.  But let’s talk business.  I’ve spent my whole career in the private sector here and have been an entrepreneur in this city for the last 12 years.  7 startup companies in total, 2 of those I founded.  Ottawa has a pretty tight knit startup community, which is really great when you’re going out on your own for the first time.  It’s great to be able to swap stories and ideas with the other folks who are trying to do the same thing.
But…  In the grand scheme of things, we are pretty small potatoes.  If the community of movers and shakers in this city is going to grow and really put Ottawa on the map, then I believe we have a couple things to work on.
1) I see disconnected communities in the arts, and those in business or technology - and very rarely do they mix.  We’re very cliquey.  The social good folks hang out together in one room.  The techies have their own events.  The marketing communicators have their own events.  And who the hell knows where all the sales people are.  This is not good!  I think all of these communities have a lot to learn from each other.  I’d love to see more blending and cross pollination.

2) Our startup culture here is all “product” (or “service”) people.  Inventors.  In order for this city to have more wins, in any domain, we (collectively) need to recognize that in a lot of cases, having a great product, service or idea isn’t going to cut it.  At least half the battle, if not more than half, is being great at selling and marketing our ideas.  We need to figure out how to cultivate those people and skills, and draw them into whatever we’re trying to build and promote.  Whether it’s a social movement, not for profit, something in the arts, or startup company trying to be the next Google, without cracking that nut, a lot of good ideas just die on the vine.

So in short, Ottawa is a nice place to live, but we can do a lot better.
Hear more of Craig’s thoughts this Friday, 8:30am at Creative Mornings. Registration is open here.


What two talks in one month? That’s right Ottawa and this time we’re welcoming Craig Fitzpatrick, child nerd, college dropout, and serial entrepreneur.  A startup lifer, Craig’s career spans seven software startups, one dot-com boom and bust, one near personal bankruptcy, and most recently, founder and CEO of PageCloud - something he believes can fix the Internet.

The days of needing a programmer to put some content on the Web are numbered.  So are the days of WordPress and other clunky CMS’s.  Like desktop publishing in the 90’s, PageCloud will democratize publishing once again, only this time on the Web.  Anyone, any time, from anywhere, can crack open their browser, create a new page, and hit save.  Instant publishing and sharing for everyone.

Craig has been leading product teams for 20 years, has raised financing for three startups, two of which he founded.  He is a well respected product designer, and member of the startup community.


This month’s theme is chance, rolling the dice and letting the cards fall how they may. It was chosen by our Sydney chapter, find out more here

Creative Mornings with Craig Fitzpatrick is Friday, November 28, from 8:30 a.m. to10:00 a.m. Get your tickets Tuesday morning at 9:00am here!


(Photo credit to John Finnigan Linn)

If you’ve heard of Ottawa’s burgeoning burlesque scene then you’ve crossed paths with Miss Helvetica Bold. If you haven’t, you will in no time as this rubenesque redhead is putting it on the map in a big way. Dubbed “Ottawa’s Favourite Freak” by Daily Xtra, Helvetica Bold is a veteran performer in the Canadian Burlesque Scene; Her performance style incorporates both physical comedy and classic striptease, clearly influenced by her personal penchant for raunch and satire.

Helvetica proudly founded Rockalily Burlesque, Ottawa’s longest-running burlesque troupe, and is a founding member of the Ottawa Burlesque Festival.


Our international theme this month is “Sex” as chosen by our Toronto chapter and we couldn’t think of a more suitable figure to ruffle a few feathers and share all that is Ottawa’s burlesque scene than Miss Helvetica Bold.

We’re also incredibly excited to call the Bridgehead Roastery at 130 Anderson home for the first time. Ever since they opened the gorgeous space we’ve had our eyes on it and welcome you all out to experience this Ottawa gem.

As usual, we’re running from 8:30-10:00am this Friday, May 2nd. Get your tickets Tuesday at 8:00am here!