Lois Siegel has never been one to avoid trying something new.
"I play all day,
every day. Everyday is different,"
she says of the different work she does.
A multitude of projects occupy her time. Siegel has been a
filmmaker, a photographer, an English teacher
and a video production professor at Concordia
and the University of Ottawa.
She was interested in music,
so she took up the violin in 1997
and now plays Celtic music at a variety of events.
Recently, she noticed that
there were few agents for artists
in the area, so she took that up as well.
"I only do fun things."
Though she has moved away
from Montreal where she did
photography of big name celebrities,
the pictures she takes today reflect other artists.
"All of these musicians (that
come to the region for various events)
some of them people don't even know,"
she points out of fiddlers and country musicians that she
has been photographing lately.
The art industry in which she
plays many parts has had to deal
with new issues in recent times in Siegel's opinion.
"Now with (Prime Minister)
Stephen Harper cutting all the funding
it's a bit depressing for all these artists.
It's a real struggle for a lot of people," she mentions.
Though federal support has
left, local support has increased in her
"Ottawa is absolutely fantastic
(for its support of amateur musicians)," she says noting the
development of bands and jam ensembles.
After many years of living
comfortably in Montreal, Siegel's
Paul Jean came to her with a question.
"How would you like to move to Ottawa?" She was puzzled. "Where?"
He works in the high-tech
sector and an
opportunity came up in Ottawa.
Though she had only been to the city a few times,
she agreed to make the move.
"The compromise was that we would live in Orléans, because it's closer
to Montreal. That was great for me."
Having lived in Orléans since
1997, Siegel has grown quite fond of the
"I love Orléans. I wouldn't want to move. I've seen all kind of developments.
People speak French and it reminds me of Montreal."
The growth of the arts
community and the addition of the
Shenkman Centre don't hurt either.
The 'Musicians' show moving to the Ottawa Bagelshop
was previously showcased at the east end's arts hub.