Noreen’s career has spanned over many years and across continents. She was born and raised in Zambia, Central Africa and has lived in South Africa, England and the United States before coming to Ottawa in 2008. Noreen has a multimedia journalism degree from the University of North Carolina. After working as a freelancer, Noreen became Xtra Ottawa’s news reporter for two years and their interim Managing Editor from July to November, 2011. Noreen is a queer activist and a firm believer in community-powered news. Noreen was on the Board of Directors for the Ten Oaks Project and currently serves on the Board of Directors for Pink Triangle Services. Noreen is open and willing to receive suggestions and comments from readers.
A Jack (or Jill) of all trades, Lara has been an elementary school teacher, a birthing educator, a doula and a farmer. She currently works full-time as Education Coordinator at sex shop and book store, Venus Envy. Her writing has graced the pages of Xtra, Xpress, Rabble.ca and the Ottawa Citizen with a focus on the arts, queerness, sex and politics. Lara enjoys the daily deviance of wielding dildos, and the gentle learning and unlearning that happens in sex-ed. A single mama, Lara can be found growing green things with son, riding bikes and playing with a pony called Woo.
Jeremy Dias was born in Edmonton, Alberta, and grew up there until moving to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, where he attended high school. As a youth, he was motivated by social and political inequality to take action, volunteering with numerous organizations and charities.
After coming out in high school, Jeremy faced extreme cases of discrimination by students & school officials. At 17, he began a legal case against his school and school board, and at 21-years-old won Canada’s second largest human rights settlement. Jeremy used the money to found Jer’s Vision: Canada’s Youth Diversity Initiative, the international Day of Pink and the Jeremy Dias Scholarship.
Jeremy has been featured on Canada AM, Much Music, CTV News, Global News and CBC News; and has been a keynote speaker at countless conferences and events.
He has completed a degree in Psychology and Political Science at the University of Ottawa, continues to volunteer for a number of organizations including Housing Help and the Imperial Court. He is also a columnist for 2B Magazine in Montreal. Jeremy Dias currently serves as Jer’s Vision’s Executive Director.
Mama to a sixteen year old and a six month old, Dawn Moore is filling her entire adulthood with parenting. An academic by day and wannabe country queer by night, Dawn and her wife are raising their family in the wilds of Quebec and are just hip enough to be part of the latest gayby boom in Ottawa and environs.
Terry Godbold was born and raised in Ottawa. He was involved in advertising and sales for many years. His current interests include running, swimming, yoga, photography and gardening. Terry believes in the necessity of a strong community to provide support, opportunities to socialize, and to foster a healthy mind and body. Showing his sense of humour, Terry writes that he is possibly the only contributor to typeQ who has no relevant education or background to justify this bio.
Ben Welland is an Ottawa based professional photographer who specializes in shooting edgy editorial portraits as well as mouth-watering food photography for local newspapers and magazines. Ben is also the owner of byfield~pitman photography, a company of Ottawa photographers who provide Ottawa brides and grooms with candid, artistic, and "cheese free" wedding photography – captured through the eyes and lenses of some of Ottawa’s finest photojournalists including Paul Galipeau, Jamie Kronick, and the “orange-loving” Ben Welland.
Eric is the chef and owner of Todric’s restaurant and catering. He graduated from Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec in 1989 with a management culinary degree. Since then he has worked for large corporations such as Marriott, ARAMARK, Eurest, and also for La Société des Restaurants des Casinos du Québec. Eric has a lot of experience in various sectors of the food industry. He has worked at a university, colleges, senior’s residences, a manufacturing plant, and a telecommunication and engineering company. Eric and Todd Christopher, his husband, started a catering company in 2002 and named it Todric’s. Five years ago, they expanded the catering company and added a restaurant.
Simon Lever has been making some progress in his goal to try everything at least once. He's survived a career in government, was fabulous in theatre school, and learned several now-defunct trades that were a sure bet for the future according to some well-qualified guidance counselors. While freelancing for Capital Xtra, Metroland and The Humm, Simon became addicted to writing, and it has since become the primary way he avoids legitimate employment. Simon was born in Ottawa, but he ran away from the city a few years ago, and now spends his days wrestling sheep, playing in the dirt, and enjoying the company of all the other like-minded escapees in beautiful Lanark County.
F.C. Estrella, aka Festrell, is a performer, writer, educator, and community organizer whose work focuses on deepening the understanding of intersectionality to resist oppression through a combination of direct action, education, healing justice, liberation space, decolonization, and creative expression. They is also a sex-positive, genderqueer, geek, transfeminist, survivor, and animist who is part of the Bikolano/Filipino diaspora.
Mario Larochelle has been working in the hospitality business most of his professional career. From dishwasher to cook, waiter to sommelier, he was always driven to create a memorable experience for its customers.
After studying restaurant service and hotel management against his parents wishes, Mario worked at several hotels, restaurants and resorts in Quebec, Alberta and with Club Med, from both end of the spectrum. While working at the Château Montebello, he completed his first sommelier certificate at the Ecole Hôtelière des Hautes Laurentides with Mr. Jacques Orhon.
Moving to Ottawa and working part-time with the LCBO as a casual employee and still a waiter, he obtained his second sommelier certification with the Algonquin College before being hired as a Product Consultant for the LCBO in 2000.
Improving his knowledge and expertise while taking classes with the Master Sommelier programme (level 1) and Master of Wine (higher and advance certificates), he took part of the first Best Ontario Sommelier Contest in 2004, finishing first runner-up and winning the Best Wine & Spirit Blind Tasting Award.
Mario is also the part of the organizing committee and the original creator of Swirl & Twirl, a beer, wine and food tasting fundraiser event our community in Ottawa.
Céline Larocque is a beer enthusiast and specialist. She acquired her formal brew education through the Toronto-based Prud’homme Beer Certification program. Now a local LCBO employee, she revels in discussing beer with her clients, offering tips, facts and expert recommendations. Céline lives in Ottawa with her wife and their four furry feline daughters.