Nestled in a leafy corner of the Richard and Annette Bloch Cancer Survivors Park in Alta Vista is the new Maplesoft Centre, a beautiful stone and wood building that resembles a large family home. Step inside and you're instantly enveloped in the Centre's tranquil, welcoming environment.
Designed as a hub to provide a vast array of services for cancer patients, survivors and their families, the Cancer Survivorship Centre also serves as a warm refuge.
"We've structured the physical space and the programs we offer with one thought in mind - to be as supportive as possible," explains Shannon Bain, vice president, communications and marketing for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation. "This is a place where everyone understands what you are going through."
Built with the generous support of many sponsors, the Maplesoft Centre includes a state-of-the-art kitchen that is flooded with natural light and features stainless-steel appliances flanking a beautiful granite island. Like a well-designed home, the space opens to a gracious, well-appointed living area.
"The kitchen is the heart of the home for many families, which is why we wanted to develop a bright, open place where people can enjoy the positive, social aspect of gathering together in the kitchen," adds Shannon. "Our kitchen was designed by Astro with interaction in mind and clearly, while functionality is a priority, style has not been sacrificed in any way."
Cancer survivors and their families will be able to participate in interactive cooking demonstrations. The Shore Club's Duane Keats willingly volunteers his time and talents to impart practical advice on boosting nutrition.
For Chef Keats, it's a cause near and dear to his heart. "My wife is a cancer survivor and we lost her mother to cancer recently. I know from experience that eating well improved my wife's comfort and health during her treatments and she firmly believes it hastened her recovery," he explains.
Chef Keats is passionate about introducing people to nutritional information in a way that is informative and fun. "If I can teach them a few new techniques, or show them how to incorporate some new foods into their diet, I'll be very pleased."
For Chef Keats' impressive, easy Salmon Wellington recipe and a list of healthy ingredients to incorporate into your menus, visit www.ottawaathome.ca.
Stocking the Kitchen
It takes effort and money to stock a kitchen, particularly one that's going to be used by hundreds of people. C.A. Paradis has set up an online gift registry (www.caparadis.com/collections/ottawa-regional-cancer-foundation) for the Cancer Survivorship Centre Kitchen. Among the items they are looking for the community to purchase and donate are juicers, tableware, cutlery, mixers, cookware, kitchen utensils and more. In addition, C.A. Paradis will match 50 percent of the total value of items purchased from this wish list. Donors can pick up their items at C.A. Paradis, deliver them to the kitchen in person, have a tour of the facilities and pick up a copy of their official tax receipt. Why not skip the cheesy office holiday gift exchange this year, pool your resources and purchase an item or two from the registry?