Monthly Archives: May 2019

When the rivers meet in Spring


Madawaska River flowing to join the Ottawa River

Arnprior has been our home since 2011.  We love the small town lifestyle because it is quiet and friendly and we can walk to almost everywhere in town.  There are many hiking trails and parks here, and the beautiful Galilee Centre for retreats and get togethers with friends and our Oblate community.   Arnprior has been in the news lately due to the record spring floods. Thought I would share a few photos from around town.


Where these two rivers meet was flooded out


Ottawa River at its first peak


Sadly about a dozen houses where flooded


Our house (right) on the Madawaska remained high and dry

The Ottawa has now subsided and things are getting back to normal as the massive cleanup proceeds.  People are searching for a reason why this happened (again) and what can be done to prevent it in future.  Certainly climate change is a plausible reason, but what is causing this change remains controversial.  I believe that we know implicitly that we are damaging the environment through our throw-away lifestyle and fossil fuel dependence and that we all must make changes to ensure our long term survival.

Arnprior has great recreational facilities e.g, hockey, swimming, library and lot’s of services for seniors.  On the short side for youth is a lack of local post secondary education facilities and not being able to find long term high paying employment opportunities.  Some complain that the shopping here is limited and statistics show there is a local shortage of nursing home beds.  We do have a great hospital and good medical care.  There are so many fundraisers it is hard to keep track.  There are many talented musicians, artists and trades people here and there are 4 local golf courses, a curling club, a bridge club, yoga studios, 10 churches, etc., etc.  It’s a great place to live, work, play and retire.

It is true that we are located on “unceded” Algonquin First Nation territory here (as is all Eastern Ontario).  However there is an agreement in principle with the Ontario Algonquin tribes to address this.  A treaty could be in place soon to address this historical shortcoming.  You can read more about this interesting development here.


Samuel de Champlain canoed right by Arnprior in May 1613


A morning dove is getting ready for summer in Arnprior

Cheers.  Have a great rest of Spring!




Filed under Uncategorized

A Cultural Extravaganza



Jorge Fajardo wows us with his tenor voice and expression

Last night we were treated to a cultural extravaganza chorale concert at St. Paul’s University chapel in Ottawa.  Thanks to Bro. Len Rego, OMI for making us aware of this free concert.

It was sponsored by UNAM Canada – the University National Autonoma de Mexico campus located in Gatineau, QC as well as St Paul’s and a few other organizations.  It was entitled Rencontre chorale: A une voix – One Voice choral festival.


Coral Feminino Harmonia

The highlight for us was the all female choral group from the Tepic area of Mexico, just 2 hours down the road from Nuevo Vallarta.  They are one of only two all female choral groups in Mexico.  They are on their 2nd international tour.  To see a short video of them click here.

We were mesmerized by their pretty costumes, happy faces and the beautiful singing of traditional Mexican songs.  There were rolling R hoots and catcalls from the audience and loud shouts of Viva Mexico throughout.

Not to be outdone was the operatic like stage theatre of the Ensamble del Insituto Aleman Goethe from Mexico DF.  They sang and acted out with expressive faces while they chased each other around the floor bringing everyone to their feet at the end for a rousing cheer.


Then there was the Coro UNAM Canada ensemble group led by Ana Cristina Ramirez who sang one of our favorite latin American songs – Solamente una vez.  It is written by the famous Mexican songwriter Agustin Lara whose full name is Ángel Agustín María Carlos Fausto Mariano Alfonso del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús Lara y Aguirre del Pino!   You have likely heard another of his songs called Granada which the Aleman Goethe group performed for us too.


Coro UNAM Canada

Two other francophone groups from Gatineau sang in English.  At the end, the mass choir was fantastic.  We joined then in singing Beau Dommage’s delightful La complainte du phoque en Alaska (Complaint of a seal in Alaska) and, Leonard Cohen’s masterpiece Halleluyah, which brought tears to our eyes.  We can honestly say we have not had so much fun at a concert in a long time.  We thought we were back in Mexico with a dash of Quebec thrown in.



Au revoir – hasta la vista – bye for now.

Dave and Marie


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized