Men’s Role in Stopping Violence — For All - theHumm January 2023

Men’s Role in Stopping Violence — For All - theHumm January 2023

By Fern Martin

The prevalence and persistence of femicide is a disturbing reality of Canadian society. Who can forget the country’s harshest awakening to its presence on December 6, 1989, when a man murdered 14 women at Montreal’s École Polytechnique? Decades later and much closer to home, on September 22, 2015, a man murdered three women — Carol Culleton, Nathalie Warmerdam and Anastasia Kuzyk — in our neighbouring Renfrew County, a brutal reminder that the danger continues and that ending it will require massive will and effort.

After my previous column in theHumm, I received an email from a male friend. He wrote, “I am ignorant, unknowing, have no idea. I need to get involved”. Reaching the level of awareness that compels someone to take action is the crucial first step, but where to go after that? What are some practical ways to follow through on that desire? The recent Renfrew County Coroner’s Inquest into the murders of those three women resulted in 86 jury recommendations. Number 25 is especially significant to my friend’s issue. It outlines how education is a key part of making real change.

Julie S. Lalonde was one of the presenters at the What Now Lanark County event on Friday, December 9. For many years Julie has provided Bystander Intervention Training to a multitude of men, women and youth. The idea is to encourage individuals who witness sexual harassment to take a stand by supporting the victim and challenging the abuser. Google Julie’s name and you will find a short course on the subject. Better yet, take one of her in-person courses if the opportunity is available to you.

Consider how language can impact interactions and perceptions. I have a personal example. In conversation one day, while commenting about someone being “less than generous”, I used a word that my co-worker immediately pointed out was racist. Instead of being defensive, I welcomed the favour she did for me. I had often used that word without realizing the negative connotations it holds and the effect it can have.

As further illustration of the importance of language, one day I made lists of the derogatory names women and men are called… and the women’s list was significantly longer. While there are those who disdainfully dismiss this issue as mere “political correctness”, I rather think this dehumanization is the basis of most abuse. In my work at Lanark County Interval House, I learned that the abuser rarely uses his partner’s name, and instead calls her many of the names found on that list.

I have become aware that those names, and even threats of death, can be used by anonymous abusers on social media to target any woman who has a public image; be they a politician of any level, a reporter, a health care professional, etc. Instead of being silent virtual bystanders, I suggest that, as a way to balance this abuse and be a needed force for good on social media, we could take the time to send positive messages to those women whose work we admire and thank them for their dedication to their jobs.

Another way to become involved is by getting to know someone already working to decrease violence in our county, to see why, what and how they contribute to the effort. A good example of a local man making a difference is Bill Janes, who lives near Union Hall. A willing recruit, he started volunteering at Interval House many years ago. Our goal in approaching Bill was to show boys living at the shelter that there are gentle men, a simple but potentially life-changing idea. On a Sunday afternoon he would play with them in the shelter’s backyard, take them for walks in the country, or go to the bowling alley. Most of the boys loved these opportunities.

Bill, at that time a carpenter and now a retired mental health nurse, remains very involved in the community, including with the Stir It Up Collective, a group that offers comprehensive support to women who are recovering from sex trafficking. As sad as it is to contemplate, young women in the area are in great danger from human trafficking — shockingly, the Ottawa area has one of the highest rates of this abuse in Canada.

Bill is also involved with the Moose Hide Campaign, a grassroots movement of Indigenous and non-Indigenous men and boys who are standing up against violence towards women and children. Wearing its moose hide tag signifies your commitment to honour, respect and protect the women and children in your life.

Finding and adopting appropriate actions to stop men from assaulting and killing women can feel daunting and difficult to contemplate, but bear in mind that men are also in danger from abusive and violent men. In fact, many more Canadian men than women are murdered each year — almost three times as many. The homicide statistics for 2021 show that 586 men and boys were murdered versus 197 women and girls. Solving the problem of male aggression and violence will have an even broader societal impact than we might have originally imagined.

Related to this, it was heartening to see a number of the world’s men’s soccer teams competing in Qatar use what means they could to protest human rights abuses and show support for LGBTQ2+ rights as well as the safety of women in that region and other parts of the world. Even small gestures can make a difference, especially when the eyes of the world are on us.

My friend who is determined to become part of a positive change in our community will come to learn that there are many ways to gain the awareness, knowledge and tools needed to make a difference. In fact, I must congratulate Lanark County Council for demonstrating its own willingness to effect and encourage change by becoming the first municipality in Ontario to name intimate partner violence as an epidemic, adopting the first recommendation of the previously mentioned Coroner’s Inquest into the triple murders in Renfrew County. Erin Lee, Executive Director of Interval House and Community Support brought the idea of the motion to council and it was wholeheartedly adopted.

One more thing. The What Now Lanark County group is busy organizing a conference to be held at Almonte District High School in May. (It’s not too early to mark your calendars!) The conference will consist of many speakers and workshops on issues facing women and men, including femicide and climate change. Julie S. Lalonde has already been booked to present her Bystander Intervention Training course. You can also look forward to a concert the evening before at the Civitan Hall.


Carolyne Buchanan — Every Day’s a Dog Day - theHumm January 2023

By Sally Hansen

Art… and Soul

And that’s a good thing at Hounds of The Hood Studio at Carolyne Buchanan’s art-festooned home in Carleton Place. This multitalented artist has a mission — to popularize “dog art” to the status of “real art.” On Carolyne’s canvasses, it definitely is.

Why do we tend to dismiss dog portraits as less “real” than portraits of people? For many wo/men, their dog is easily their best friend. Over time their pets’ expressions communicate as effectively as words, and they are never as hur......


Welcome Back the Birds - theHumm January 2023

By Glenda Jones

The holidays are behind us, and it’s time to start working on your entry for the Backyard Beauties 2023 Auction! If the snow shovel has lost its appeal, birdhouse builders and artists can turn their attention to the return of the Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust birdhouse auction, slated for May 2023.

Coordinators Barbara Carroll and Glenda Jones have listened to previous entrants and are broadening the scope this year to include all things “bird” — houses, bird baths, feeders and ga......


January 28: Jim Bryson, the Piano, and Friends - theHumm January 2023

By — Sandy Irvin is the Artistic Director of the Folkus Concert Series

We’re opening our 2023 Folkus Concert season with a real treat. January 28 will feature Jim Bryson, the piano, and friends. Jim Bryson is a songwriter’s songwriter, producer and player, who has worked with Kathleen Edwards, The Tragically Hip and the Weakerthans, among others. Recently, a number of CFMA-nominated albums have come out of his studio down the road in Stittsville, including Ken Yates, The Skydiggers, Suzie Ungerlieder,......


Karen & Co.
A Celebration of Art at the Textile Museum
- theHumm January 2023

When Dr. Karen Dover likes an artist’s work, she doesn’t just say so — she puts her financial support, time, and considerable talents into promoting it. Cosmetic and laser physician by day, both artist and art patroness in her “spare” time, Karen draws inspiration from synergies and symbioses. Her own abstract art results from a fearless fusion of influences and life experiences, and she strives to connect diverse people and ideas.

Towards the end of January, Karen Dover Mo......


MERA PresentsWonderful Winter Activities - theHumm January 2023

This winter, MERA (McDonalds Corners/Elphin Recreation & Arts) has plenty of fun activities for all ages. Join us at 974 Dalhousie Concession 9A in McDonalds Corners to stay connected to your community.

To welcome the new year, join us for a Lantern Walk and Twelfth Night party. On January 6, meet at 6:30pm at the Highlands Country Store in McDonalds Corners and walk up to MERA. Those who do not wish to walk can meet at the Schoolhouse at 7pm for a sing-along, snacks and games. King’s......


The Time In-Between - theHumm January 2023

By Susie Osler

There once was a planet that was inhabited by caterpillars. It was a dazzling planet of jade and emerald greens, and sapphire and turquoise blues. Leafy, textured and abundant. In their short creeping lives the caterpillars ate, and ate, and then ate some more. Periodically their expanding bodies needed more room and they’d trade their old skins for new skins that could accommodate their expansion. This happened five times throughout the course of each of their lives. And one day, finally sa......


Jeff Mills — A Visionary and a Doer - theHumm January 2023

By — Carebridge is one of Lanark County’s largest, most established nonprofit agencies in the health care and social services sector and the region’s largest affordable housing provider.

Jeff Mills says that when you see inequities, it’s hard to walk on by. And he never does. Last month, Jeff retired after a long career in community development and 16 years at Carebridge Community Support. But of course, we all know that this isn’t really farewell. Jeff will never stop supporting our community through his caring nature and good work. And we are all thankful for that!

Jeff’s community roots are deep. His father and mentor Stan Mills was a founding member of the Almonte Communit......


Men’s Shed Unveils Memorial Plaque - theHumm January 2023

The Naismith Men’s Shed, part of Men’s Sheds Ontario and Men’s Sheds Canada, has been operating in and contributing to Mississippi Mills since the fall of 2017. In that time the Shed has grown from 15 to 50 members. But since most members are retirees, and even though the focus is on living as healthy and happy lives as possible, Shed members are undeniably in their twilight years. Consequently, from time to time a member passes to the great Shed in the Sky.

Being desirous of showing respect fo......


Excellent Start, Lanark County!
First in Canada to Declare Intimate Partner Violence an Epidemic
- theHumm January 2023

In a historic move, Lanark County Council became the first county in Ontario to declare Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) an epidemic in accordance with the Culleton, Kuzyk and Warmerdam Inquest’s jury recommendations. The resolution was formally passed at the County Council meeting on December 14.

The five-person jury presented 86 recommendations as a result of the inquest, which took place in June of this year. The first recommendation is for the province t......


Men’s Role in Stopping Violence — For All - theHumm January 2023

By Fern Martin

The prevalence and persistence of femicide is a disturbing reality of Canadian society. Who can forget the country’s harshest awakening to its presence on December 6, 1989, when a man murdered 14 women at Montreal’s École Polytechnique? Decades later and much closer to home, on September 22, 2015, a man murdered three women — Carol Culleton, Nathalie Warmerdam and Anastasia Kuzyk — in our neighbouring Renfrew County, a brutal reminder that the danger continues and that ending it will require massi......


Shall We Talk?
Learning Again in Almonte Offers Two Courses
- theHumm January 2023

Learning Again In Almonte offers two courses that explore the power of communication in unique ways.

Every aspect of our lives is impacted by our interpretation of the communication we receive and the effectiveness of the communication we deliver. This winter, Learning Again in Almonte is offering two very different courses that will open your eyes to what lies behind successful conversations.

Over the holidays, did political chats with your opinionated uncle get a little testy? Are ......


A New Year, a Fresh Start to a New You - theHumm January 2023

By Submitted the Carleton Place Toastmasters Club

Take a step in your lifelong learning journey and check out the Carleton Place Toastmasters Club. Our next Open House is scheduled for Thursday, January 26 at 7pm on Zoom. For more information, contact or visit our Facebook page.

The Christmas parties are over and you stumbled through a toast to a co-worker; you thought you could have done better. It’s a new year now — a fresh sta......


Garden Dreamin’ - theHumm January 2023

By David Hinks

Thick glossy catalogues from the purveyors of “garden porn” fuel fantasies of the most amazingly productive vegetable garden imaginable. But rather than being seduced by the seed catalogue descriptions of the merits of different varieties, it is time to get practical. Am I going to have a successful tomato crop with the best-tasting heritage tomato variety, or should I pick the new hybrid variety with all kinds of disease resistance? Perhaps compromise and grow some of each!

Why go to all the ef......


Another OneCome and Gone - theHumm January 2023

By Glenda Jones

So there I sat in December trying to write scintillating messages in Christmas cards (yes, I still do that, but not the fifty or so I did at one time), and it all sounded pretty trite. Except for the chainsaw course, still a highlight, all I had to add was that I took up basket weaving in the summer. Lordy, that caused so much excitement you should all sit down and have tea. “Basket weaving? Really??” I’m sure my far-off friends will think I’ve tipped over the edge.

I’m going to make a concerted effort this year to have significant events to write in those cards. Already the birdhouse......


Thinking Globally: Acting Locally
Climate Network Lanark Plans for 2023
- theHumm January 2023

By Chandler Swain

In Lanark County, Climate Network Lanark is working to provide leadership on the various issues that we can control to look after our precious land, water and air to ensure this place we love will support us and our grandkids, and theirs. Literally millions of folks all over the planet are doing the same. Citizens are working hard to keep the focus on how little time we have to stop runaway climate chaos, where there will be no turning back from the fires, droughts and floods we are now beginning to......


Bibliophiles, Rejoice!
New Year Promises Outstanding New Reads
- theHumm January 2023

By John Pigeau

While visiting my parents over the holidays, I was bundled-up and reading in the garage next to a fair-sized stack of books I’d just picked up at a library used book sale. Dad, who doesn’t like clutter on his work bench, said to me, “What are you doing with all those books?

“Readin’ ‘em,” I told him.

He crinkled his brows. “Don’t you think you have enough books?” “No,” I said. “Never.”

I might have added that come the new year I’ll be adding many more to my collection......


Anne of Green Gables in Perth - theHumm January 2023

Perth Community Choir is thrilled that their fall 2022 production is finally going it hit the stage — if a little later than expected! The cast and orchestra have been working since September, and unfortunately had to reschedule due to circumstances beyond their control.

Anne of Green Gables, The Musical is a retelling of the classic Lucy Maude Mongomery novel of the same name. The story centres on orphan Anne (with an “e”) who ends up placed with siblings Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert......


Sivarulrasa Gallery
Looking Forward to an Exciting 2023!
- theHumm January 2023

By Sanjeev Sivarulrasa

In 2023, Almonte’s Sivarulrasa Gallery will continue presenting curated, rotating exhibitions in our three distinct exhibition spaces: Galleries I, II and III. We are delighted to showcase original Canadian art from all across the country. Our first exhibition in Gallery I, starting in mid-February, will feature a new body of works by Gatineau-based artist Louis Thériault. The Gallery’s regular hours will resume on January 4 — we will be open for in-person viewing We......


MM Youth Centre is Back in Action! - theHumm January 2023

By Maybe McInnis

Mississippi Mills Youth Centre (MMYC) is proud to announce our January-March 2023 calendar starting Monday, January 9, featuring FREE programs for youth ages 10–18. Located in Almonte, MMYC offers a wide variety of drop-in and structured programs six days a week to support our youth membership’s diverse interests, goals and talents.

MMYC staff — Lilli, Maybe, Joey, Emery, Lena and Karma — have been working hard to maintain our supportive relationships with local youth through our inclusive, low-press......


“Did You See Who Shot Him?”
Murder Mystery Raises Funds for Homeless Youth
- theHumm January 2023

On January 12 and 28, Great Gatsby! It’s Murder is coming to Kanata, and on February 18 it will be performed in Smith Falls at The Station Theatre. Rachel Paul’s acclaimed comedic play, set in a fantasy flapper era, is filled with glitz, glamour and murder. This absurd whodunnit will have you roaring in your seats and accusing your favourite characters of crimes.

Directed by award-winning Canadian actress Shannon Lawson, this theatrical event is a fundraiser for Operation Come Home’s Homeless Youth Hot Breakfast program and has partnered with the Kanata Legion to raise money for local......


Jack deKeyzer Plays The Cove - theHumm January 2023

Acclaimed guitarist, singer, songwriter, band leader and producer Jack de Keyzer rarely sits still. With 12 records, 1 DVD, 2 Junos and 7 Maple Blues Awards, de Keyzer delivers the goods wherever and whenever he performs. He usually plays over 100 shows a year, and his music is steeped in Chicago blues, London England blues rock, Detroit Motown, Muscle Shoals deep soul, Memphis rock and roll, and Philadelphia’s funky soul jazz. For 46 years — or roughly a couple million miles — de Keyzer has be......