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Original submitted photo and resulting painted portrait, 2020. Copyright People of Canada Portrait Project 2020

Where we you born?

Chole ~ Halifax NS

John ~ Alliston, ON

Where do you call home now?

Both ~ Ottawa, ON we're in the suburb called Orleans

What are your occupations?

Chole ~ most of the time I'm a domestic engineer or stay at home mom to our 3 kids, Working at the Canada Revenue Agency during tax time. 

John ~ Public Servant for the Gov't of Canada

Where is your favourite place to eat, other than home? Favourite cuisine?

John ~ My Moms house, she's the greatest cook!

Chole ~ currently I enjoy eating at a place called OCCO a little take out place that has amazing fish tacos & hamburgers. We've become friends with the owner we go there so often.

Are you bilingual?

Chole~ no, but I can understand a bit 

John ~ Yes

Who is your favourite Canadian music artist?

Chole ~ That's tough... of all time The Tragically Hip I like way too much music to limit myself to one! Lol

John ~ Matthew Good 

What is your favourite thing to do on a Sunday?

Chole ~ go for a long hike through the woods

John~ Downhill Skiing

Politically speaking, which way do you lean?

Chole ~ Neutral I go with whichever party I feel covers the topics that are relevant at the time 

John ~ Neutral

Do you or your family play any sports? Favourite sports to watch?

Yes, we all enjoy Skating, Tennis, swimming 

John & Kenna are avid skiers 

Broden (middle child) plays football

Both boys have played hockey 

We all enjoy watching hockey, but Chole is the biggest fan, especially The Ottawa Senators. John is a football fan, his team is The New England Patriots. 

Do you have a hidden talent or hobby that you enjoy?

John ~ playing guitar & drums

Chole ~ I can touch my nose with my tongue. As for hobbies, colouring (it's a chill out hobby) I'm pretty crafty too ...everything from knitting, cross stitching & painting. 

Are your kids aware of said hidden talents?

Chole ~ Yes! on all accounts

John ~ they think I'm a rock star! 

What is the most important issue to you as a Canadian citizen? Economy? Children? Veterans? HealthCare?

Chole ~ I don't really have one stand out issue. I am fairly passionate about Education reform in this country I feel the current system fails a lot of our kids. Mental health is another topic that I feel needs to be dealt with even more, which ties into the healthcare system needing a bit of an overhaul. 

John ~ hospital wait times and even obtaining a doctor is pretty worrisome. Thankfully We have been healthy! 

Where do you go to be in nature? Is this important to you?

Being outside is very important to us we love long walks thru the park or hikes in the woods. We enjoy camping and spending time at the cottage on the lake. John is an avid cyclist too, so we spend time cycling as a family.

I have three days in Ottawa, what must I not miss to get a real sense of Ottawa life?

Chole ~ You have to walk thru the Byward Market

Walk (or Skate,if it's winter)along the Rideau Canal while eating a beaver tail.

Visit Parliament hill & the National Gallery of art.

Take a drive along Sussex Drive, go for a hike through Gatineau park.

Visit the museum of civilization and see the view of parliament hill from the grounds behind the museum, do some shopping in the Glebe & if you're lucky see a Senators game.

But there's SOOO much more too!


Do you have a favourite museum or art gallery?

Chole ~ The Museum of Nature & The National Gallery

John ~ National Gallery is my favorite as the space. The old science and technology museum was pretty great also.  

Mounties, hockey, maple syrup, beer, maple leafs and eh…do you partake? Do you wish Canada would get over all the stereotypical icons of Canadiana? 

Chole~ Absolutely! we should embrace them and be proud of everything we stand for!

John ~ as far a stereotypes go, those aren't too shabby! Do we have a maple beer made from Rocky Mountain water? I bet that would taste good watching the good old hockey game!

What does being Canadian mean to you?

Chole~ being Canadian is being strong yet caring. It's having freedom, diversity & natural beauty! 

John - being Canadian is enjoying 4 seasons, working hard, and playing harder, enjoying your friends and family and never quitting. 

I see you holding Tim Hortons in your photo? How often to you grab a Timmy’s?

Chole ~ quite a lot, we even use Tim Hortons pods in our Keurig!

John ~ I have a coffee problem. 

Where in Canada would you like to explore that you have not yet?

Chole~ Newfoundland! I've seen every province except Nfld 

John ~ I would love to ski in the Rockies, I should do that before I'm a geezer! 

DO you volunteer your time or support any Canadian organizations?

Chole ~ we donate to the heart and stroke foundation and recently have started participating in an event to raise funds for cancer research after a good friends husband became ill & passed away. It's a great event in memory of a great guy. 

John~ I like to volunteer for school field trips with my kids! Pretty sure I'm the cool one. I often donate to the heart and stroke foundation and the children's hospital.

Beer, Wine or Whiskey?

Chole ~ Wine please, although a nice cold beer on a hot summer day is always appreciated 

John ~ All of the above, hey, I'm Irish! 


Thank you Chole and John for sharing your slice of Canada! It is clear that you bring a hip sensibility to your daily life and care deeply for your family, friends and country.

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