Ottawa Citizen article heralds evolution of Guerilla magazine


Friday, April 25, 2014

Photo: Chris Mikula, Ottawa Citizen





Tony Lofaro of the Ottawa Citizen wrote a nice little profile about editor Tony Martins and the latest evolutionary phase for Guerilla magazine.


The magazine is currently seeking ownership and publishing partners to remain viable in the near future and longer term.


Read the piece here.


Rubicon LP Relaunch: Will the third time be the charm?

For accordion-playing songstress Gillian Kirkland, will the third time be the charm? After two attempts at a CD launch gig were foiled, another one is slated for this Saturday night at Mercury Lounge.


To illustrate the commitment of working musicians, here she describes in painful detail what led to the second failed attempt back on November 23. The identity of the venue in question remains veiled.




By Gillian Kirkland






It was a dark and snowy night, during an exceptionally cold and snowy Ottawa winter. Piano man and drummer boy along with the unstrung cellist and squeezebox diva sat bundled in heated cars, futilely spewing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere as they waited for the doors of “Café X” to open. But alas, the appointed hour of the sound check came and went and still the doors remained locked. 


“Oh, why oh why have we been thus forsaken,” wailed the diva—and she figured that she may as well get started on a new song since drama tended to inspire her.


Drummer boy rapped his fingers and unstrung cellist let out a yawn, but piano man, who was a pioneer of modern technology, pulled out his cellular telephone and called security.

“Allô,” said he, “y-à-t'il moyen de parler avec le gérant du Café X.” 


“We'll have to get back to you on that,” replied the anonymous agent at the end of the line. After an hour or so of ever-increasing tension, the phone rang. It was a staff member of Café X. 


“Sorry, we forgot to tell you,” she said, “but the manager has been let go and we have decided to cancel all performances.” 


“?!!?!!!?,” said piano man


''AHHH!!!!!!,'' wailed the diva.


“Mais ce soir nous avons un lancement,” said piano man, “and ze people are coming!!!” 


The carefully bundled musicians, with their carefully bundled instruments sat scratching their uncombed heads as their carefully prepared show unravelled in the snowy night.


Suddenly, with a glint in his eye, piano man once again pulled out his cellular telephone and called up Le Grand Chef who managed a club in the netherworld across the river. And so it was agreed that the performance would be displaced “alla gypsy caravan.” Unstrung cellist deftly produced a paper and pen and a notice in shaky writing was pasted on the cold glass door of the Café. It read, “Lancement annulée. Spectacle transféré chez le T…” 


The intrepid musicians raced across the great divide to arrive at that other solitude. And in the new venue—which was warm and welcoming and unfortunately also smelled of fresh varnish which had been surreptitiously applied by the upstairs neighbours only a few hours before—they set up for the show. A few brave souls made the journey but mostly they were forced to evacuate before the end of the second song because of the fumes and the draft of cold air coming from the open window. All told, it was a night to be forgotten ...


The moral of this story is to never show up for a secretly cancelled CD launch without a cellular telephone and a last-minute backup plan.


For anyone hearty enough to tempt fate a second time, you are cordially invited to attend the Rubicon Relaunch on Saturday, January 11 at the Mercury Lounge at 8 pm. Be sure to dress warmly and inhale deeply.

Read about the making of Gillian Kirkland's new recording, Rubicon.


SPAO hires new director, revamps web site, launches donation fund

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Now approaching a decade of education and achievement, the School of the Photographic Arts: Ottawa (SPAO) took three important steps in recent weeks: the hiring of Tony Martins as Director of Development; the launch of a dynamic new web site ( and establishment of a charitable donation fund through the Community Foundation of Ottawa (CFO).
Martins joined SPAO as Director of Development in August of 2013 after a long and varied association with the school as a project collaborator, board member, and instructor in the part-time studies stream. In addition to teaching and administrative duties, Martins now oversees SPAO's marketing, recruitment, and development initiatives.
“Tony brings solid industry experience and a diverse skill set,” said SPAO co-founder and Creative Director Michael Tardioli. “His respected presence in the local arts scene and his talents with marketing and events are a great fit for SPAO right now. He’s also an inspiring teacher of artistry and creativity,” Tardioli added.
As founder, editor, and creative director of Guerilla magazine since 2004, Martins has worked closely with some of the region’s most talented photographers, illustrators, and graphic artists. Martins earned multiple industry awards as a marketing creative both as a freelancer and while working with Ottawa's McMillan agency. He holds a master’s degree in language and professional writing from the University of Waterloo.
Completion and launch of SPAO’s revamped web site was one of new director's first tasks. The site ( is a flexible and dynamic platform for showcasing the school’s unique approach to photographic arts education.
“As we grow, we need a web presence that can accommodate the variety and volume of content that the school produces on a weekly basis,” said Martins. “I’m routinely amazed at all that happens here and the new site—along with our social media presence—gives us a great forum for sharing as much as possible.”
SPAO establishes donation fund with the Community Foundation of Ottawa
Since opening in 2005, SPAO has operated almost exclusively through tuition revenues alone. As a key step toward building new funding streams, the school has partnered with Community Foundation of Ottawa (CFO) to establish a charitable fund on SPAO’s behalf. The fund allows CFO to issue tax receipts for charitable donations made to SPAO while the school’s application for charitable status remains pending.
“We are thrilled to have collaborated with such a respected partner in CFO and look forward to building our charitable donations initiatives with CFO guidance,” said SPAO Director of Development Tony Martins.
CFO is a public, non-profit organization created by and for the people of Ottawa. Since 1987, it has helped generous citizens to enhance the quality of life in their community and to achieve their own charitable objectives through permanent, well-managed endowments.
Donation cheques to SPAO should be made out to “School of the Photographic Arts: Ottawa Fund” and sent to the Community Foundation of Ottawa, 301-75 Albert Street, West, Ottawa, Ontario, K1P 5E7.
Donors can also give online by visiting the CFO website, clicking on the red “donate” button at the top right of every page, and searching for “School of the Photographic Arts: Ottawa Fund.”
About SPAO
SPAO is an independent, not-for-profit photographic visual arts school. Our mandate is to provide an intensive and collaborative learning experience and to enrich the photographic and visual arts culture of Ottawa and beyond. SPAO’s activities include community collaborations, classes and workshops, exhibitions and outreach. We aim to offer our students the knowledge, resources, and environment necessary for the advancement of their photographic artistry, visual literacy, and personal vision.
SPAO draws on traditional and contemporary photographic technologies and ideas. Educational opportunities are available to novice and advanced students alike. We place special emphasis on advancing individual style, on conceptual development, and on the acquisition of knowledge about photographic theory and history.
SPAO's overarching objective is to advance the school’s motto: Vision, Content, Craft.


One World Film Festival connects us to the human condition

Thursday, September 26, 2013


Post by Pixie Cram  /  Photos by Julie MacCormack






Tonight (September 26) is the opening night of the 24th Annual One World Film Festival. Eight feature documentaries are about to premier in Ottawa over the next three days at the Library and Archives Auditorium.


Through a mixture of love of the cinema and of the exquisite challenge of putting on large-scale events, I began as the festival's program manager three years ago. This year, after five months of programming meetings, viewing and debating the 60-plus documentaries that came in answer to our call, a crew of dedicated volunteers, board members, interns, and I, have put our heads and hearts together to give Ottawa another edition of the festival. 


Human rights documentaries can be unsettling—too much truth, it feels like, sometimes. Often when watching the films, questions arise in me: How much do I really need to know about what's happening in the world? Where do I turn when another's reality shakes me to the core? And what is my responsibility in the face of injustice? The gift of the One World Film Festival is its ability to connect audiences with the human story, and with each other.  


What is unique about the OWFF is its commitment to giving people a platform for dialogue. The audience is invited to pose questions to filmmakers and panelists after the films, and the discussion often spills into the foyer between screenings, where meals are served by an Indian food caterer, New Nupur Restaurant. This year there is also a bar.


GuerillaLIVE #37 to open so many worlds

This joyous joint production contains ...

  • The vernissage of Illustrated Worlds, a selection of original works curated by Guerilla editor Tony Martins for studio sixtysix
  • The launch of Guerilla magazine #37 online and in print
  • Live performance by vocalist/accordionist Gillian Kirkland (profiled in Guerilla #37)
  • A live Polaroid Photobooth with ace shooter Angelina McCormick
  • DJ Brendan Murphy spinning ambient tunes

GuerillaLIVE #37
Illustrated Worlds
Friday, September 27
studio sixtysix
66 Muriel Street
6 to 9 p.m.
No cover / Cash bar