Thursday, 22 September 2016

Monthly Film Chronicle – August 2016

Chronique Mensuelles de Film – Août 2016

A monthly chronicle of films (features, medium or shorts) seen throughout the current month from any source. Commentaries will be limited to 99 words or less. Film festivals will be hyperlinked. If time permits certain films will be elaborated on and be posted under the label “Film Box Office” (100-399 words) or “Film Review” (400 or more) (number of words based on English only).
Une chronique mensuelle de films (long-, moyen- ou court-métrages) vu tout au long du mois en cours de n'importe quelle source. Les commentaires sera limitée à 99 mots ou moins. Les festivals du film seront notés avec un lien hypertexte. Si le temps le permet certains films seront élaborer et afficher sous l'étiquette «Film Box Office» (100-399 mots) ou «Film Review» (400 ou plus) (le nombre de mots est basé sur l’Anglais seulement).

(Last update / Dernière mis-a-jour: September 22 Septembre 2016
Films are listed the order seen scrolling down. Films seront énumérés en ordre vue défilant vers le bas.)

20th Fantasia Film Festival International
July 14 till August 03 / 14 Juillet jusqu’au 03 Août 2016

For more information check out the Festival’s web site:
Pour plus d'informations, consultez le site web du Festival:


Monday, 11 July 2016

20th Fantasia International Film Festival

From July 14 till August 03 / Du 14 Juillet au 03 Août 2016

Preliminary / Préliminaire

For this edition, the world’s oldest and largest genre film festival will present an eclectic program of over 130 feature-length films and around 300 shorts that go beyond conventional borders – sure to please the Festival’s continuously growing legion of hard-core fans.
The films will be screened in Concordia University's Hall Theatre, J.A. de Sève Cinema and D.B. Clark Theatre (Fantastique Week-end du Cinéma Québécois – July 28 till 31) and at the McCord Museum, “Mon Premier Fantasia”, consisting of 4 programs (2 Francophone, 1 Anglophone and 1 carte blanche Stop-motion Montreal) of shorts for the whole family.
Pour cette édition, le festival le plus ancien et le plus grand du monde de film genre présentera un programme éclectique de plus de 130 long-métrages et autour de 300 courts qui dépasse les frontières conventionnelles sûr de plaire la légion de fans grandissante sans cesse du Festival.
Les films seront projetés dans le Théâtre Hall, Cinéma J.A. de Sève et le Théâtre D.B. Clark (le Fantastique Week-end du cinéma Québécois du 28 au 31 Juillet) de l'Université Concordia et au Musée McCord, « Mon Premier Fantasia », composée de 4 programmes (2 francophones, 1 anglophone et 1 carte blanche du Festival stop motion de Montréal) de courts métrages pour toute la famille.
For more information check out the Festival’s web site:
Pour plus d'informations, consultez le site web du Festival:

Chronicle of Films seen / Chronique de Films vus
A run-down of all the films seen at this year’s festival. If time permits a more extensive critique (features only) will appear under the label “Film Box-Office.” They will be identified with the Fantasia 2016 logo.
Un aperçu de tous les films vus au festival de cette année. Si le temps le permet une critique plus élabore (long-métrages seulement) apparaîtra sous l’étiquette «Film Box-Office.» Ils seront identifiés avec le logo de Fantasia 2016.

(Last updated /Dernière mise-a-jour: September21Septembre
Films are listed in ascending order – the most recently seen on the top
Films sont énumérés par ordre – le plus récemment vu sur le haut de la page)

After / Après:

Thursday till Wednesday / de Jeudi au Mercredi

WEEK 3 SEMAINE: July 28 Juillet (till August 3 / jusqu’au 3 Août)

WEEK 2 SEMAINE: July 21 Juillet

WEEK 1 SEMAINE: July 14 Juillet

Raman Raghav 2.0 / Psycho Raman, India / Inde 2016, 128m, Anurag Kashyap
This gritty psychological thriller is inspired by the life of Raman Raghav (born 1929 as Sindhi Dalwai, died 1995), a notorious psychopathic serial killer who operated in Mumbai in the mid-1960s – but it is not about him. Set in present-day, it centers on a cat-and-mouse game between a serial killer also named Raman and a corrupt junkie-cop named Raghav.
Their story begins in 2013 – Raman, about to claim another victim, is interrupted when Raghav walks in to buy drugs. The 'victim' turns out to be Raghav's drug dealer. Raghav finishes the task – the two are one.
Ce thriller psychologique qui a du cran est inspiré par la vie de Raman Raghav (né en 1929 comme Sindhi Dalwai, mort en 1995), un tueur en série psychopathe notoire qui a opéré à Mumbai au milieu des années 1960 mais ceci n'est pas sur lui. Ce deroulent dans le contemporaine, il se concentre sur un jeu de chat et souris entre un tueur en série, également nommé Raman, et un flic drogué corrompu nommé Raghav.
Leur histoire commence en 2013 Raman, étant sur le point de réclamer une autre victime, est interrompu lorsque Raghav marche pour acheter des médicaments. La «victime» se révèle d'être le dealer de drogue de Raghav. Raghav termine la tâche les deux sont un.

Creepy, Japan / Japon 2016, 130m, Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Takakura retires from detective work to teach criminal psychology after being seriously injured by a serial killer. He and his wife, Yasuko, move into a small quiet house. A former colleague is compiling a cold-case file. Intrigued by a particular case involving a missing family whose daughter survived, he can't resist investigating it. Meanwhile, as she explores her new neighbourhood, Yasuko encounters Nishino, who lives next door with his 'daughter and ailing wife.' His behaviour becomes increasingly troubling as he insinuates himself into her life. These two story-threads are on a collision course to a aura of bloodcurdling creepiness.
Takakura prend sa retraite de travail de détective pour enseigner la psychologie criminelle après avoir été grièvement blessé par un tueur en série. Lui et sa femme, Yasuko, s'installe dans une petite maison tranquille. Un ancien collègue compile un dossier de crimes non résolus. Intrigué par un cas particulier impliquant une famille disparue dont la fille a survécu, il ne peut pas résister à l'enquêter. Pendant ce temps, alors qu'elle explore son nouveau quartier, Yasuko rencontre Nishino, qui habite à côté avec «sa fille et sa femme malade». Son comportement devient de plus en plus troublant comme il s'incruste dans sa vie. Ces deux fils d'histoires sont sur une trajectoire de collision à une aura de creepiness a glacer le sang.

Terraformers, Japan / Japon 2016, 108m, Takashi Miike
In the twenty-first century, scientists sent massive amounts of moss and cockroaches to Mars in order to terraform it and make it fit for humanity. Initial results were positive, so a first attempt at colonization was made. It failed dramatically.
Over 500 years later, the Earth is in a serious state of overpopulation. The government is preparing another ultra-secret mission. The hand-picked team, led by the unstable Ko Honda, consists of criminals lured by the promise of liberty and a cash reward upon their return. They have also been genetically modified with insect characteristics – the roaches have evolved.
Au XXIe siècle, les scientifiques ont envoyé des quantités massives de mousse et de cafards sur Mars, afin de la terraformer et de l'adapter pour l'humanité. Les premiers résultats ont été positifs, donc une première tentative de colonisation a été faite. Il a échoué de façon spectaculaire.

Plus de 500 ans plus tard, la Terre est dans un état grave de la surpopulation. Le gouvernement prépare une autre mission ultra-secrète. L'équipe cueillies à la main, dirigé par l'instable Ko Honda, se compose de criminels attirés par la promesse de la liberté et une récompense en argent à leur retour. Ils ont également été génétiquement modifié avec des caractéristiques d'insectes – les cafards ont évolué.

For the Love of Spock, United States / États-Unis 2016, 112m, Adam Nimoy
Star Trek is a wildly successful media franchise that first aired as a weekly series from 1966 to 1969. The character known as Spock, played by Leonard Nimoy, became its most popular. Through extensive interviews with his late father and many of his friends, family, colleagues and admirers, and many highlights from Star Trek and his other roles, Adam has created a personal and in-depth portrait of both his father and his iconic alter-ego.
Star Trek est une franchise de médias énormément de succès que qui a été diffusé en premier comme une série hebdomadaire du 1966 au 1969. Le caractère connu comme Spock, joué par Leonard Nimoy, est devenu le plus populaire. Grâce à des entretiens approfondis avec son père décedé et plusieurs de ses amis, famille, collègues et admirateurs, et de nombreux points a souligner de Star Trek et ses d'autres rôles, Adam a créé un portrait personnel et profond de son père et de son alter-ego emblématique.

Heart Attack, Thailand / Thailande 2015, 130m, Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit
Yoon, a graphic designer, does photo retouches for prestigious Thai fashion magazines. To meet even the most impossible deadlines, he neglects sleep, eating and a social life. Unfortunately his body is unable to match his 'limitless' professional drive. After going five nights without sleep, Yoon breaks out in a rash. Against his deeply ingrained instincts, he decides to go to a dermatology clinic. After an exasperating long wait, he is examined by the beautiful Doctor Imm. Seeing right through his facade, she puts him on a strict regimen, and schedules followups. A well-balanced study of the importance of moderation.
Yoon, un graphiste, fait des retouches photo pour de prestigieux magazines de mode Thaïlandais. Pour répondre à même les échéances les plus impossibles, il néglige le sommeil, l'alimentation et une vie sociale. Malheureusement, son corps est incapable de correspondre à son dynamisme professionnel «sans limites». Après avoir cinq nuits sans sommeil, Yoon éclate dans une éruption cutanée. Contre ses instincts profondément ancrés, il décide d'aller à une clinique de dermatologie. Après une longue attente exaspérante, il est examiné par la belle Docteur Imm. Voyant à travers sa façade, elle le met sur un régime strict, et schedules des suivis. Une étude bien équilibrée de l'importance de la modération.

Flaskepost fra P / A Conspiracy of Faith, Denmark / Danemark 2015, 112m, Hans Petter Moland
Detectives Carl and Assad investigate cold cases. When a bottle containing a message beginning with the word 'Help!' washes up on the beach, it is handed to Carl and Assad for investigation. Their investigation reveals that it originated from the elder of a pair of siblings that disappeared eight years ago. Further investigations uncover a web of other pairs of missing siblings, covenants cloaked with religious fanaticism, fear induced silence and the deadly pursuit of a dangerously deluded psychopath. This on-the-edge-of-your-seat and emotionally troubling thriller is an eye-opening reflection on the dangers of blind faith and beliefs accepted thoughtlessly.
Les détectives Carl et Assad enquête sur les dossiers non résolus. Quand une bouteille contenant un message commençant par le mot « Aide-moi! » remous sur la plage, il est remis à Carl et Assad pour l'enquête. Leur enquête révèle qu'il provenait de l'aîné d'une paire de frères qui ont disparu il y a huit ans. D'autres recherches découvrent un réseau d'autres paires de frères et sœurs disparus, des pactes masqués avec le fanatisme religieux, la peur induite par le silence et la poursuite mortelle d'un psychopathe dangereusement illusoire. Ce thriller sur le bord de votre siege, et émotionnellement troublant est un reflet qui nous ouvre les yeux sur les dangers de la foi aveugle et de croyances acceptées inconsidérément.
PRIOR / AVANT: July 14 Juillet

King Dave, Canada 2016, 100m, Daniel Grou a.k.a. PodZ
Adapted from Alexandre Goyette's – who sustains an overwhelming intensity in the lead role – play, this film centers on a young man named Dave – a self-proclaimed king when it comes to hustling. His bravado increases when he is stoned or drunk. This makes him an easy target, as evidenced when he is roped into stealing car stereos. He is 'successful' and celebrates with 'his friends.' What follows is a downward spiral into a personal hell with little hope of survival. Shot in one long take on a nine-km set seamlessly merging constructed and real-life locations. 
Adapté de la piece de theatre d'Alexandre Goyette qui soutient une intensité écrasante dans le rôle principal ce film est centré sur un jeune homme nommé Dave un roi auto-proclamé lorsqu'il est question de bousculade. Sa bravade augmente quand il est lapidé ou ivre. Cela lui fait une cible facile, comme en témoigne quand il est encordé à voler des autoradios. Il «réussi» et célèbre avec «ses amis». Ce qui suit est une spirale vers un enfer personnel avec peu d'espoir de survie. Tourné en une seule longue prise sur un plateau de neuf km qui fusionne parfaitement les lieux construit et réelle.

The Bacchus Lady, South Korea / Corée du Sud 2016, 110m, E J-yong
A touching and compassionate human drama with the right amount of humor that explores the issue of one's right to die with dignity. The director also exposes with courage and without compromise, many of his country's ugliest truths.
So-young offers her services to older men as they hang-out in Seoul's parks. One day, on a visit to the clinic, a Kopino boy (Korean/Filipino) is waiting outside while his mother confronts his father. So-young decides to take care of him until his mother resolves the paternity suit. Complications arise when her regular clients make an unusual request – assisted suicides.
Un drame humain touchante et compatissant avec la bonne quantité de l'humour qui explore la question de le droit de mourir avec dignité. Le réalisateur expose aussi avec courage et sans compromis, beaucoup de vérités les plus laids de son pays.

So-young offre ses services à des hommes plus âgés qui passe leur temps dans les parcs de Séoul. Un jour, lors d'une visite à la clinique, un garçon Kopino (Coréen / Filipino) attend à l'extérieur tandis que sa mère affronte son père. So-young décide de prendre soin de lui jusqu'à ce que sa mère résout le procès en paternité. Des complications surviennent lorsque ses clients réguliers font une demande inhabituelle d'assistés a leur suicides.

A Bride for Rip van Winkle, Japan / Japon 2016, 179m, Shunji Iwai
Iwai's re-imagining of the classic tale of Rip van Winkle is an exploration of alienation amongst today's youth, and their desperate search for love through the internet and social medias.
Nanami is a young part-time teacher. In her struggles to make sense of her existence, she turns to the internet. She meets Tetsuo, also a teacher. They quickly get engaged. To keep up appearances, she uses the services of Amuro, whose agency hires actors to stand-in as relatives. As the web of lies thickens, Nanami's life unravels. She enters a complex world of strange odd jobs and deceptive appearances. 
Ce ré-imagination du conte classique de Rip van Winkle d' Iwai, est une exploration de l'aliénation parmi les jeunes d'aujourd'hui, et leur recherche désespérée de l'amour à travers l'Internet et les médias sociaux.
Nanami est un jeune enseignant à temps partiel. Dans sa lutte pour donner un sens à son existence, elle se tourne vers l'Internet. Elle rencontre Tetsuo, également enseignant. Ils sont rapidement fiancés. Afin de maintenir les apparences, elle utilise les services d'Amuro, dont son agence recrute des acteurs de se tenir en tant que parents. Comme le tissu de mensonges épaissit, la vie de Nanami dénoue. Elle entre dans un monde complexe de petits boulots étranges et des apparences trompeuses.

The Priests, South Korea / Corée du Sud 2015, 108m, Jang Jae-hyun (NYAFF)
Senior priest, Father Kim, has been unsuccessful in excorcising an ancient demon from Young-sin, a teenage girl whom he has known since her birth. In accordance with the rules regarding excorcisms, Father Kim needs a deacon to assist him. Ten have fled. Seminary student Choi is the eleventh. The Dean instructs Choi to secretly videotape Father Kim, who is suspected of inappropriate behaviour towards Young-sin. As it turns out, the threat is far more sinister and threatening than expected. Will Father Kim and Choi have the strength and faith to excorcise the ancient and powerful demon from Young-sin?
Le prêtre élevé, Père Kim, n'a pas réussi à excorciser un ancien démon de Young-sin, une adolescente qu'il connaît depuis sa naissance. Conformément aux règles concernant excorcisms, le Père Kim a besoin d'un diacre pour l'aider. Dix ont fui. L'étudiant séminaire Choi est le onzième. Le doyen instruit Choi d'enregistrer secrètement le Père Kim, qui est soupçonné d'un comportement inapproprié envers Young-sin. Comme il se trouve, la menace est bien plus sinistre et menaçant que prévu. Est-ce que le Père Kim et Choi ont la force et la foi pour excorciser le démon ancien et puissant de Young-sin?

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Monthly Film Chronicle – June-July 2016

Chronique Mensuelles de Film – Juin-Juillet 2016

A monthly chronicle of films (features, medium or shorts) seen throughout the current month from any source. Commentaries will be limited to 99 words or less. Film festivals will be hyperlinked. If time permits certain films will be elaborated on and be posted under the label “Film Box Office” (100-399 words) or “Film Review” (400 or more) (number of words based on English only).
Une chronique mensuelle de films (long-, moyen- ou court-métrages) vu tout au long du mois en cours de n'importe quelle source. Les commentaires sera limitée à 99 mots ou moins. Les festivals du film seront notés avec un lien hypertexte. Si le temps le permet certains films seront élaborer et afficher sous l'étiquette « Film Box Office » (100-399 mots) ou « Film Review » (400 ou plus) (le nombre de mots est basé sur l’Anglais seulement).

(Last update / Dernière mis-a-jour: July 15 Juillet 2016
Films are listed the order seen scrolling down. Films seront énumérés en ordre vue défilant vers le bas.)

The 15th New York Asian Film Festival
Presented by / Présenter par Film Society of Lincoln Center and Subway Cinema
From June 22 to July 09 / Du 22 Juin au 09 Juillet 2016

Screenings will be held June 22 to July 5 at the Film Society of Lincoln Center's Walter Reade Theater (165 West 65th Street, between Amsterdam and Broadway), and July 6 to 09 at the SVA Theatre (333 West 23rd Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues). 51 feature-length films showcasing the best of Asian cinema will be screened.
Les projections auront lieu le 22 Juin au 5 Juillet à la Film Society du Lincoln Centre Walter Reade Theater (165 rue 65 Ouest, entre Amsterdam et Broadway), et 6 au 09 Juillet au Théâtre SVA (333 rue 23e Ouest, entre avenues 8 et 9). 51 longs métrages mettrant en valeur le meilleur du cinéma Asiatique seront projetés.
For more info go to / Pour plus d'info, allez a:

Hitler's Folly, United States / États-Unis 2016, 67m, Bill Plympton
Plympton's fourth live-action film is a hilarious satirical re-imagining of Hitler's 'true' motive for world domination. Using images of Hitler's early artwork, World War II footage and his signature animation style, Plympton re-imagines the Nazi dictator as a frustrated animator who dreamt of building the world's greatest amusement park and animating Wagner's Die Nibelungen. The former would be called Nazi-land and would rival Disney World. The latter would be the most extravagant animated feature-length animation ever produced. It would be four hours long and star a cartoon duck. The story unfolds from the perspective of a government conspiracy revealed. 
Le quatrième film live-action de Plympton est un réimagination satirique hilarant du «vrai» motif de Hitler pour la domination du monde. En utilisant des images d'Hitler de ses œuvres d'art au début, des images de la Seconde Guerre Mondiale et son style d'animation signature, Plympton réimagine le dictateur Nazi comme un animateur frustré qui rêvait de construire le plus grand parc d'attractions du monde et de animer Die Nibelungen de Wagner. Le premier serait appelé Nazi-land et pourrait rivaliser avec Disney World. Le deuxième serait le long métrage d'animation le plus extravagant jamais produit. Il serait d'une duréé de quatre heures et mettera en vedette un canard en dessin animé. L'histoire se déroule du perspective d'une conspiration gouvernementale révélée.

20th Fantasia Film Festival International  
July 14 till August 02 / 14 Juillet jusqu’au 02 Août 2016
For more information check out the Festival’s web site:
Pour plus d'informations, consultez le site web du Festival:


Friday, 24 June 2016

My Love Affair with Merrickville

Pretty, Peaceful, Irresistible

by Nancy Snipper

1840: a beautiful B&B steeped in warmth and village history 

My infatuation with charming Merrickville began at the 1840 Guest House B&B. Its historical foundation – not to mention its allure – is as impressive as the splendid view it offers: Ontario’s Rideau River Canal Waterway. 202 kilometres long with 47 locks, this 19th-century aquatic wonder is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The place to stay – a prime location with hosts in the know

Breezy and impeccably styled, the 1840 Guest House B&B is owned and operated by Mike and Dawn Zaversenuke – genuinely friendly folk who – just like the villagers – are eager to make your Merrickville stay more than just a jaunt or a peek into the extraordinary craft shops in the village. This couple is both knowledgeable and passionate about the village’s history. Mike’s dedication to everything Merrickville is as mesmerizing to the visitor as is the astounding artisan acumen exploding at every corner.

Stone buildings meet the eye and fuel your imagination

Mike took me on a personal tour of landmarks, where he vividly turned Merrickville’s history into a timeless place of wonder with facts full of intriguing human stories. Merrickville is a time warp of sorts. Just look at those crazy old houses – those cedar log facades, stone exteriors, and wooden ornate carvings that seem to be falling off the front. 

They're calling for you to remember and love the Loyalists of yore – the “Merrickville men” – hard-working, sternly stoic settlers who built and settled with their families into these very often freezing houses – many of which are known to be haunted. Then again, I’ve always liked a good ghost story! 

Once an Ontario strategically important site, Merrickville was abuzz with some 58 industries of all kinds. It became a hub between Bytown (Ottawa) and Kingston and the construction of the canal (1826-1832) surely contributed to this. 

By 1860, Merrickville had reached the apex of its industrial development, but about 30 years later, it all came to a halt. Just a stone’s throw from 1840, the setting wistfully evokes its past. He took me to the site where the remnants of a towering stone wall boldly stand. This ruin once housed Merrickville’s mighty wool mill. Is it any wonder that as far back as 1800, the village used to be called Merrick Mills! 

1840 B&B’s claims its own unique piece of history!

Mike and Dawn have their own Merrickville tale to share about their darling 1840 B&B. Know that you’ll be standing on ground that once echoed the voices of children attending a one-room schoolhouse dating back to 1829. So why is it called 1840? Mike will tell you about three walls and what treasured inscription he discovered on one while tearing down the interior walls of the structure. In 2012, the couple bought the old Royal Canadian Legion, part of which had been a one-room school house. But its foundation was so badly deteriorated, it needed a serious overhaul. The school house was gutted, but the original ceiling beams are still there; its back wall is still attached to the B&B. It took nine months of rebuilding to create this “home away from home”. 

Resurrected as bright, sun-filled accommodations, this perfectly located B&B attracts place visitors as far away as Australia and beyond, as well as Montreal and Ottawa folks looking to relax on weekends. Many come to research their own family heritage in the village’s library archives. They are often able to find the home once occupied by their very own great grandparents.

A nook of paradise with tasteful appeal

Proud of its 9.7-star rating from, 1840 Guest House B&B’s walls are laden with lovely quilts and visual prints pertaining to village history and the Rideau locks with old maps and documents resonating bygone days. 

1840 B&B’s interior gallery of vintage furniture also amplifies the century-old village flavour. 

A sublime view is offered from a lovely balcony along and two of the four bedrooms
These front rooms boast huge windows that look out onto a, scenic nature-lush canal vista. The scene is relaxing.

Each warm bedroom has a queen bed and ensuite bathroom. Underfoot is a spanking new oak floor; above hang stunning miniature chandeliers. TV, fireplace and WIFI are all there too. 

Take a look at the colourful, meticulously crafted hand-stitched wall quilts, and the extraordinary simplicity of scenic stained glass window art hanging on the wall – all made by Dawn herself!

A mecca of exciting shops with gorgeous goods

It’s true: you can spend hours in the village, browsing and buying to your heart’s content. Tourists and locals never tire of the whimsical, the wildly wonderful, the fantastically appealing and the unique high-end array of one-of-a-kind boutique shops. Each has its distinct “personality”; you won’t find its duplicate anywhere else in the world; and they’re just a step away from 1840 Guest House B&B. Your first stop right beside the B&B should be the Whistle Post – a place that would gain approval from all hoarders. Thousands of nostalgia pieces, antique rarities and vintage everything to catch your eye. These rare old objects go for unbelievably low prices, thanks to collector and owner, Bill Kenny who opened up the store in the early 1980s. Amazing as it is, Bill can tell you the provenance of every item he sells – whether it’s a tiny thimble or a heavy piece of furniture, like the old beautiful ice storage chest he has there.

You may want to head to Cherry Picked. Run by Lesley and Mitch Roquette, all of the items are made in Canada – the quirkiest mixes with  beautiful, quality products. 

No one dare miss this Merrickville winner: Mrs. Mcgarrigle’s. It’s run by the champion of mustard-making herself – Janet Campbell. 


She exudes an energy that matches the awesome bastion of beautiful food garnishing goods – most notably the amazing assortment of award-winning mustards – five of which garnered top- honour ranking in a world-wide competition: Canadian maple, hot whiskey, red wine and cranberry port and chipote lime. 

Janet even grinds her own seeds which she gets from Saskatchewan.This palette pleasing store sells over a hundred different goodies, including olive oils, chocolates and an enormous potpourri of everything connected to food. Janet also teaches cooking in the store’s huge back kitchen, runs an annual trip to Umbria for aficionados of Italian cuisine, and invites chefs specializing in ethnic dishes to give cooking classes right at Mrs. McGarrigle’s.

Two iconic places that Merrickville is famous for: are Gray Art Glass and Alloy Foundry. Beautiful glass-blown objects both functional and decorative are on display and for sale here. Made by Michael Gray who apprentied under his father Kevin Robert. Gray started at the age of 14, learning glass blowing techniques from his dad at the gallery. 

Michael runs and owns the gallery, and gives classes in glassblowing there, as well. His witch balls with strands of glass inside the colourful orbs are stunning. Oh, and by the way, his fiancée, Liz Wardhaugh, happens to be a super nice real estate agent, so you know who to call when you’re ready to make Merrickville your home.

Alloy Foundry, owned by Carl and Linda Fage since 1990, is practically an “iron-clad” institution here. This fascinating landmark – the oldest in Canada – has been forging functional objects for Merrickville and beyond since 1840.

The Canadian government is one of their clients. An in-house electric inductor is used in making wonderful address signs, plaques, stoves, farm implements and custom-designed commissions.

Do check out Sole Obsession for original style shoes, including pairs made from jeans, and some exotic Indonesian wood sculptures that Bali-loving owners Carl and Lisa Card bring back from their travels. 

The Merrickville haunting theme is absorbed in a fun store, called Wick Witch. Owned by Lianne Kulp-Aultman, this mystic unique store specializes in soy-based candles of several scents, soaps and creams (love her Bad Witch and Big Witch creams – though both are smelly delicious). Lianne can create customize scented candles right in your own teacups and mugs. Just bring them in. She also sells sage rubs. Her sage acts like a small torch of smoke when lit; the smoke eradicates all negative energy in the room. She also has a mosquito repellent that works much the same way. 

The colourful Christmas store that's open year-round adds even more sparkle to the village. Maybe, Merrickville ought to change its name to Merryville!

Restaurants that fill you up and feed your heart 

1840 B&B’s Continental buffet serving table has yogurt, cereal, fresh fruits, orange juice, coffee and muffins; it’s a help-yourself style and at any time. If you yearn for a warm breakfast, head to Main Street Family Restaurant and Patio. It’s across from the B&B. This restaurant has heaping servings for all meals, and their service is so friendly and warm. Their new smoked dishes are super. I had a smoked salmon wrap: very tasty sauce in that one. Order a dish that uses their home-made cheese bread.

Next door is Mythos – a Greek restaurant with an outdoor terrace that opened last December, and they’re packing in people because of the quality of their great dishes; tongues wag about their popular pasta and pizzas. Toppings on pizzas are piled so high, the Leaning Tower of Pisa comes to mind. Mythos is mythic as far as Greek specialties goes, Mythos’s chicken souvlaki in a fried pita, is so fresh and flavourful. The spanokapita is sensational – no grease. The chef and owner is Nondas – uncle to Manos who cooks up the Mythos menu in the kitchen with fiancée Nicoleta. Manos – once the owner of Cina Restaurant in Athens undoubtedly pumps up Mythos‘s palette-pleasing success.

The Yellow Canoe Café is known for its veggie fresh soup – I loved their potato soup; and their cold mango, coconut and pineapple soup is unbeatable. This busy popular place is a food favourite, and one of the few places in the region to serve a vegan soup on a daily basis. Everything here is healthy and very tasty.

There are more meal-time places to choose from – from the exotic to the mainstream. Meander along St. Lawrence Street and turn some corners for more cuisine finds. 

Finally, you can’t come to Merrickville without enjoying the rapturous home-made ice cream and Gelato at Downtown Ice Cream & Candy Shoppe. Over 100 different kinds – all concocted by Shelly Innes, the owner. Many of the fruit-flavoured ones contain fresh fruit, because Shelley has a garden full of fruit; the strawberry and rhubarb flavour has rhubarb right from her own garden. She even makes her own peanut butter, fudge and toffee. I had a deliciously yummy combo of peanut butter/chocolate and the terrific tasting toffee scoop called, “Hokey Pockey”. 

I could go on and on about more Merrickville magic, but what is falling in love without allowing for some surprises! I don’t’ think my romance with this village is ever going to end. After all, I still have walking trails, canoeing, kayaking, bird watching, cruises on the canal, miles and miles of more cycling (using 1840 Guest House B&B’s bicycle), and another unexpected miracle to experience just a heartbeat away.

The website is
Phone: 1840 Guesthouse B&B, contact: 1 (613) 269-3025

Wandering in a woodland garden wonder 

The Rideau Woodland Ramble comprises an amazing woodland series of connecting gardens and trails. In 2015, it garnered the illustrious Canadian Garden Tourism Award – Canadian Garden Centre of the Year. There really is no other garden oasis like this one – so organic – so sweet, so dreamy, and its gardens keep expanding with new creations every year.

Located on 7 lush acres of woodland, this verdant magical place also sells rare hostas (ranging from the world’s biggest and smallest) grasses, conifers, magnolias and a range of shrubs, trees and perennials.

As you weave amidst the circular contours you’ll spy all kinds of ornaments, totem poles and figurative fairies – many made of stone, crystal, clay and other interesting materials. They peek out from the water lily pond, trees, shrubs and branches. Rare and majestic, the six different garden areas are reliant on the particular soil and positioning – two major determinants for the type of growth that will flourish.

Started more than 35 years ago, by geniuses David Dunn and Rob Caron, the gardens reveal rapturous yet subtle natural splendor. They are located at 7210 Burritt’s Rapids Road 23 – only a ten-minute drive from Merrickville. 

There's no charge to enjoy the remarkable setting. 
It's another place that will capture your heart. 
Go ahead; fall in love all over again! 

photo credits: Nancy  Snipper and Mike Zaversenuke