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Made in Montreal...

Our OOHLALA office space is conveniently based in the beautiful city that is Montreal. The city has so much to offer! There are many reasons why Montreal is as attractive to us as it is but we are going to try and narrow it down to three:

1) Food

If you haven't heard of the "poutine", then you are definitely missing out! This meal made of French fries, cheese curds covered with brown gravy is one that was created in the Province of Quebec and has many cities claiming to be its father nation. - Suggested: La Banquise, 994 Rue Rachel Est  Montreal, H2J 2J3

Montreal smoked meat is a "treat" that you have give yourself if you swing by the city! You should probably plan at least 30-60 minutes of wait time. The line-up is always crazy long! - Suggested: Schwartz Hebrew Delicatessen, 3895 Saint-Laurent boulevard  Montreal, H2W 1X9

The bagel is something that Montrealers are also proud of. Its daily freshness attracts both the locals and the tourists of the town looking for a finely baked treasure. Suggested: Bagel Saint-Viateur, 263 Rue Saint Viateur Ouest  Montreal, QC H2V 1Y1

Many ice cream merchants claim to have found the secret recipe for their frozen desserts but Montreal has undoubtedly one of the best ever. It's occasional tasting events are worth every second, we promise! Suggested: Les Givrés, 3807 Rue Saint-Denis, Montréal, QC H2W 2M3, (514) 373-7558

2) Sports

We've labeled this last point as "sports" but honestly, the town eats, breathes and dreams hockey. Montreal has been coined the mecca of hockey by the National Hockey League and by international media around the world for a reason. It's truly a religion for the fans here. The Montreal Canadiens is the team the city lives and dies for. The Canadiens are the most decorated team in the history of the NHL with a total of 24 Stanley Cup wins! The team has seen its share of  high- and low-points in the past couple of years. Its fans are still hopeful it will soon see the success it has been accustomed to some decades ago.

3) Startup Scene

Montreal has increasingly been a location of choice for Canadian small and medium businesses in the past ten years. This trend is only going to intensify as startup incubators, investors and entrepreneurs are progressively aggregating in the Quebec metropolis. The provincial government has also helped make Montreal an attractive destination with initiatives like the implementation of its tax refunds and credits program for small and medium-sized businesses and venture investment programs.

Needless to say that we are enjoying every bit of our time in the Canadian multicultural nest!

Spring Fashion 101

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="480" caption="Spring is just around the corner!"]

Winter is finally on its way out! Students are progressively shortening their outdoor get-ups: short skirts and heel sandals are out for the girls while guys are unearthing their best looking shades and sneakers. The campus will likely be swarming with bike riders and you will start hearing the air conditioning system blast inside the buildings. This will only mean one thing. Spring is finally here!

However, for every ying there is a yang! While all these enjoyable events will happen on campus, some students will undoubtedly jump on the occasion to ruin your daily landscape with less than stellar fashion decisions. For the occasion, we have piled up a list of 5 of the worst spring fashion trends you will notice on campus.

1) Crocs: Whenever you ask anyone about this one, the undisputed answer you get is "Shut up, they're so comfortable". Your answer to this should sound like: "I don't care, they're horrendous!"...because they are.

[caption id="attachment_864" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Crocs"][/caption]

2) Ed Hardy Shirts: To be honest, Jersey Shore is a bit to blame for this but we can't put 100% of the blame on 8 people. This is a subculture trend thing. Some people have called this "The Douchebag Effect".

[caption id="attachment_842" align="aligncenter" width="287" caption="Oh Snap!"][/caption]

3) Jeggings: If you have never heard of this before, this word is a sum of "jeans" and "leggings". We have a hard time understanding why anyone would wear simili-jeans. Stay clear of these!

4) Nerd Glasses: This has become the trendy thing in the past couple of years. They are everywhere. We are not completely against wearing good looking prescription glasses but people have started wearing non-prescription ones to look "nerdy". If you have perfectly functioning eyes, why would you burden yourself with extra accessory to look smarter? Get back to class and actually be it.

[caption id="attachment_859" align="aligncenter" width="237" caption="The Nerd Look"][/caption]

5) Popped Collars: OK. This trend has lost popularity at an alarming rate in the past couple of years. We just want to make sure this style hits extinction status as quickly as possible.

[caption id="attachment_854" align="aligncenter" width="200" caption="How many do you count?"][/caption]

What do you think of this list? Are you for or against all of these coming trends?

Photo Highlights: Montreal Tuition Protests

Over 100,000 Quebec students walked out on their classes in a protest against the government’s planned 75 per cent tuition fee hike (of $1,600 over five years). They came together on March 22nd  to hit the streets in what media outlets have described as a "monster protest".

Words cannot do it justice, but time lapse video can.


We were on the scene for the entire thing and here's some of what we saw...


[caption id="attachment_913" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="St. Laurent is NEVER this empty. Even at 7am on a Sunday"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_876" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="Woah. The vibe transformed from quiet to electric in a matter of seconds."]

*tumbleweed* all non protestor traffic appears to have "peaced the scene".



[caption id="attachment_879" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="Residents along the route show their support."][/caption]


[caption id="attachment_880" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="Cool cats"][/caption]


[caption id="attachment_881" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="I asked her to look serious so her expression would match the photo. This is what happened."][/caption]


[caption id="attachment_915" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="My favourite so far. One of many posters based on internet memes. "][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_884" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="Solidarity is an amazing thing."][/caption]


[caption id="attachment_897" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="Rhino."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_885" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="The second guy does not look impressed. He should. I had to run like crazy to get this shot."][/caption]



[caption id="attachment_886" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="Supporters were lining the streets, honking from cars and waving from rooftops. Brilliance. "][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_899" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="All programs of study had pretty solid representation."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_887" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="Considering I can barely draw a straight line, I was quite impressed by this bust. "][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_898" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="Police and protestors. Coexisting. It was actually pretty great to see."][/caption]


[caption id="attachment_901" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="...especially when you consider the chaos and volume of people."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_888" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="Youngest protestor!"][/caption]



[caption id="attachment_900" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="Peace Out!"][/caption]

Summer Music festivals: Part 1

The advent of summer heralds the arrival of many amazing things. Warm weather, BBQ's, patios, chilled drinks, camping, outdoor sports, open air shows and shorts. Roll all of these into one and amplify the "fun" factor of everything 10x . The result is the music festival. I try to check a few out each year and they never disappoint. Open air, great artists and eclectic vibes come together over multi day showcases of brilliant music, body art and intoxication.

Europe  arguably has the best annual festivals in terms of artists, venues and overall vibe. Each year millions of music lovers camp out and brave the elements to check out multi day festivals encompassing every conceivable genre. Some of my favourites:

[caption id="attachment_823" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="The efficient way to crowdsurf."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_822" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Camping and gigantic amps. Yep."][/caption]

America is no slouch. Some of the kickass fests there include:



Canadian offerings have generally paled for the most part compared to our fellow music lovers across the Pond and down South. Just compare Edgefest to Coachella for an idea.  However, over the last decade, things have been heating up!  The Virgin Festival made its way over here a few years ago, hosting the likes of The Smashing Pumpkins, Bjork, The Killers, MIA, Oasis and tons more. The Canadian arsenal of festivals now includes  Heavy MTL,  it's Ontarian brethren Heavy TO, Edgefest, Pop Montreal, The Montreal Jazz Festival and of course Osheaga to name a few. We are in the midst of a music festival renaissance!

The 2012 Osheaga lineup is what has me the most excited. It was just announced and my goodness it is epic! Throw its reputation for being extremely well organized and the fact that it is in Montreal, one of my favourite North American cities, and you've got a winner.

Check it out along with an accompanying playlist (courtesy of Genevieve) to get a taste of what you'll be hearing:

OSHEAGA 2012 by Genevieve on Grooveshark'}" alt=""/>

Quebec Tuition Protests: 2 Sides of the Coin

Students in Montreal found an innovative way to inform morning commuters about their distate for Quebec's proposed tuition hikes.

This morning, (March 21st) several key city monuments, including the George-Étienne Cartier monument at the base of Mount Royal were draped in the protest movement's signature red. While distracting, the move was certainly more subtle than the traffic blockade on the Champlain bridge during Tuesday morning rush hour.

[caption id="attachment_794" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="You have to admit, they look quite fetching in red..."][/caption]

Over 100,000 Quebec students have walked out on their classes in a protest against the government’s planned 75 per cent tuition fee hike (of $1,600 over five years) and a fairly epic protest is set to take place tomorrow, March 22nd, spanning the core of downtown Montreal. Here's a picture from the Montreal protests on March 13th, to get an idea.

[caption id="attachment_796" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Might be a good idea to leave the car at home..."][/caption]

The government  is sticking to its guns thus far on its plan to increase tuition fees in Quebec, as part of a larger series of measures to increase funding for the province’s universities.

Any issue can be viewed from multiple angles, and this one is no different; garnering an equal share of supporters and detractors. The following link features an online debate between two students - Irmak Bahar of Concordia University and Olivier Johnston of the Universite de Montreal. The debate is then opened up to public comment. As you will see, things got quite interesting...


Cheers to the Montreal Gazette for hosting.

Tomorrow's protest starts at 13:00 and will follow the route below. Be safe and try to avoid driving in the downtown core.

[caption id="attachment_795" align="aligncenter" width="245" caption="March 22nd protest route."][/caption]

The Anatomy of an All Nighter

Now that exam season is rearing its ugly head you'll notice Starbucks employees looking pretty happy. Why? Their stock options are being improved by the massive spike in all nighters - all nighters that pervade libraries, cafes and living rooms all across the country; a caffeine fuelled contagion.

While a lot of work can be accomplished during all nighters, they are best employed in moderation. The infographic below demonstrates what happens to your body and mind and how you can achieve better results.

Best of luck with the studying but do be effective if you're planning on burning the midnight oil. "Effective" does not mean the following routine:

1. Put together a cool playlist to pump you up. After all, this is getting done. Tonight. And the right soundtrack is in order for this epic academic endeavour.

2. Go out and get snacks and supplies. You are a human (aren't you?) and hence will get hungry. Chips, cookies, brownies. That should do. "Sugar rush"? Please.

3. Come back and realize you've got the food and the tunes. The workspace needs to be similarly kickass. So you clean the desk so that you have an effective place to work

4. Desk is clean. You're on a roll. Let's do some laundry now.

5. Call friend to discuss how pumped you are about finishing all the readings. In one night.

[caption id="attachment_757" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="We've all been there."][/caption]

6. Actually begin reading.

7. 20 minutes in, you decide to check Youtube for some interviews to back up your notes about the latest UN resolution. Wait, is that a cat riding a bicycle...

8. 2 hours later, every cat video online has been exhausted.

9. It's 7:30am?? Ok,  you take a 20 minute nap and decide to finish the readings in the morning.

10. Alarm rings. Snooze. 10 more mins. 2pm?!?!?

Don't let this happen to you again. Check this infographic and be a bit more effective ;) Really.





Some Drinking Songs - Our Soundtrack to St. Patrick's Day

As far as social perceptions and keeping up with appearances goes, there are few days as amazingly judgment-free as March 17th. When else can you get applauded for being belligerent,  start your day with multiple drinks, and "credibly" proclaim to be from a nation that you've probably never even visited? No, not Lindsay Lohan's birthday. Only St. Patrick's Day.

[caption id="attachment_724" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Because everyone loves having a green tongue at the end of the night..."][/caption]

In the name of celebration, and for those of you who live by the maxim "all things in moderation, including moderation,'' St. Patrick's Day is the perfect excuse to cut loose. We've compiled a few tracks that definitely help us kick our St. Patty's day into gear. There are about as many types of drinking songs as reasons to have a drink - some celebrate jobs well done, some bemoan the morning after while others, are just about being disorderly. Let us know in the comments what your favourite drinking songs are.

*Note: while putting this list together, we discovered nearly as many euphemisms for drinking as drinking songs themselves. Fancy a tipple? Or perhaps you'll pass because you imbibed too much last time...Errr.....

Also, we found some interesting cover versions of some of these "classics". Find them attached for your listening pleasure.

In no particular order, and without further ado....

Flogging Molly - "Seven Deadly Sins"


Any Flogging Molly track would be right at home on this playlist; if you've ever heard them, you know what I'm talking about.

Dropkick Murphys - "Finnegan's Wake"


Reel Big Fish - "Beer"


Thin Lizzy - "Whiskey in the Jar"


Metallica - "Whiskey in the Jar"

This Metallica cover of the Thin Lizzy classic ramps things up a notch and turns the volume up a bit past 11...


Beastie Boys - "Brass Monkey"

 Quotable: "Cause I drink it anytime and anyplace/When it's time to get ill, I pour it on my face"


Snoop Dogg - "Gin and Juice"


 Quotable: "Now, that, I got me some Seagram's gin/ Everybody got they cups, but they ain't chipped in/ Now this types of shit, happens all the time/ You got to get yours but fool I gotta get mine"

The Gourds - "Gin and Juice"

What would life be without country renditions of Snoop Dogg?


Dead Kennedys - Too Drunk to Fuck


Nouvelle Vague - Too Drunk to Fuck

Nouvelle Vague is worth checking out for their other covers. Fantastic renditions avec un twist.


Ludacris - "Everybody Drunk"


Eminem - "Crack a Bottle"

Enjoy the songs, and have fun... but be responsible ;)

Former NCAA Davidson Wildcat Max Paulhus-Gosselin Talks About Life During March Madness

Unless you have been living under a rock, you probably have noticed that the NCAA Men's Division 1 Basketball Tournament, also known as the March Madness, is under way in the United States. If your university has been selected to the annual college basketball dance, you will shortly start observing changes on campus. Class attendance will fall, you will start getting multiple invitations to viewing parties and gatherings on Facebook and the town will be buzzing. This is the craziness of the March Madness.

In 2008, a basketball player from Quebec, Canada had front row seats to the agitation occuring on campus when his Davidson College Wildcats went all the way to the tournament's Elite Eight. Maxime Paulhus-Gosselin gave us a little idea of what it was like playing for his varsity team during the month of March.


How was the fan support of the men's varsity on campus at Davidson College?

Davidson is a small community and the basketball team has always been something that the student body cares about, so when the team is good on top of that the student body really does support the team. There are buses of fans going on road games, but most of those fans are alumni or supporters from the town of Davidson.
The entire town was in the student union with most of the students and a lot of media for selection Sunday. Then we were very disappointed in our seeding, so there was no party that at attended as players there only was a meeting where coach McKillop established the course of action for next couple of days of practice and then off to bed. I am sure some students celebrated, but our participation in those celebrations before the tournament would have been unacceptable.


How was the support felt on the social media platforms?

All the players' Facebook accounts and text inbox exploded. Twitter was not big in 2008 so that did not move much. There were facebook events for our games and other student gatherings. The most Impressive was the number of text messages and Facebook requests that Steph Curry had. It took him about 4 months to sort it all out.



In what forms came the support of your school fans as you moved forward in the tournament? Would you have your own crowds at games?

The entire town and campus was decorated with signs to congratulate us and to encourage us after we came back on campus after beating Gonzaga University and Georgetown University. There were painted bed sheets hung from balconies all over town.

After it all, the mayor declared the official men’s basketball day in honour of our run in March 2008. That day is still celebrated in Davidson.

How did the media attention change as you moved forward in the tournament? How did you feel being labelled the “Cinderella team” of the tournament?

Whatever we were called did not matter to me personally. We had more media attention than Davidson ever had. We were prolonging our season and we were all loving it and enjoying every minute. The media attention got pretty crazy with interviews after every practice and cameras on campus. Will Archambault and I got a lot of attention from the French media in Quebec, and that was fun because we felt connected to the people back home for the first and last time in our careers.

After the tournament, how was the atmosphere on campus?

The atmosphere for the rest of the year, after we got over the fact that we had lost, and that the dream was over, was a party atmosphere. Anything was a good reason to celebrate. We had to go about our student business as usual, but everybody’s mood was at its best on campus and in town.

After the tournament, did students recognize you more on campus?

The campus of Davidson is tiny and there are only 1700 students so everybody knew everybody before the tournament. But the people in Charlotte also recognized us now, that was fun!

What was the best memory of your time at Davidson College?

My best memory is everything I shared with my teammates and friends from Davidson. The highs and the lows, the whole experience of living in a different culture and being part of Davidson College, this small town college from the southern part of the United States. It was all amazing.

I know you are probably looking for something about the tournament. Something shocking happened to us when we played in Detroit. We had a police escort of 6 cars on our way from the hotel to Ford Field. The bus did not slow down. The highway was blocked off for us to get to the game in time and without stress. The streets were blocked off by police cars only for our bus to go through, we stopped at no red lights and people were screaming “let’s go, let’s go” when they saw the bus in the city. It was unbelievable!