Photos by Kyle West

By: Andrew Mrozowski

Tucked away on Barton Street East are a ton of local Hamilton shops with a lot to offer. On Barton Street East and Emerald Street North, a coffee shop is quickly approaching its one-year anniversary. Aptly named Emerald Coffee Co, the space creates a larger than life quality that has been ten years in the making.

Owner Phil Green grew up in Montreal. For the past ten years, Green worked in the automotive industry and lived in the United States, but he yearned for change. Leaving his job with thoughts of opening a coffee shop at the back of his head, Green made the choice to move back to Canada and live in Hamilton.

“I was walking my dog and saw that this place had a lot of potential. The neighbourhood was filled with young families, but they had to walk 15 minutes to get a coffee…A coffees hop is the hub of a neighbourhood and I wanted to create that hub here,” said Green.

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In the summer of 2017, Green embarked out into Hamilton to try and find a place. Setting up home base on Barton Street East, the owner knew that he was taking a chance with this spot.

“I took a risk and opened in a location where most people wouldn’t have but once the idea was in my head, I wanted Barton Street. We wouldn’t have been the same if we opened somewhere else,” said Green.

The doors to Emerald Coffee Co. were officially set to open in February 2018 but had to be delayed as the building was not up to code. Green eventually opened a month later on March 31, 2018 and received an unanticipated warm welcome.

“It’s been great! The neighbourhood has been amazing, I’ve met amazing people, and the coffee scene in Hamilton is friendly. It doesn’t feel like competition here, it feels like we are all friends. There is a real sense of community,” said Green.

Emerald Coffee Co. is a unique coffee shop as everything they use is natural. Green makes his own vanilla syrup using vanilla beans, a rose syrup from dried rose petals, and goes to the United States to get hazelnut milk.

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With a wide range of espresso-based beverages such as lattes, and americanos, Green also has kombucha and cold-brew on tap all year around. Emerald Coffee Co. also gets in a different roasts of coffee every two weeks to keep things fresh. A fan-favourite of Emerald is their hazelnut latte made with real hazelnut milk instead of using traditional hazelnut syrup.

“We try to make everything as genuine as possible,” said Green.

About once a month, Green also develops a special seasonal drink. Bringing back a fan-favourite, the rose latte will be featured for the shop’s one-year anniversary along with one-dollar coffee throughout the last weekend of March.

Aside from coffee drinks, the shop also has sandwiches and salads for customers to enjoy as well as sweets from local Hamilton bakeries such as Donut Monster.

Currently, Green is trying to develop a way to bring a nightlife crowd to Barton Street East.

“It’s a really gay-friendly neighbourhood with a lot of the owners being queer, and we are welcoming to everyone. Hopefully in the near future, I’ll have some coffee cocktails to serve in the evening because we really need a nighttime crowd in the neighbourhood,” explained Green.

Isolated from the hustle and bustle of the downtown core, Emerald Coffee Co. is a great place to study or enjoy a great beverage with friends in a warm and inviting atmosphere amongst a community that is working together to show more of what Barton Street East has to offer.


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Photos C/O Catherine Goce

By: Natalie Clark

This year marks the 125th anniversary of the Women’s Art Association of Hamilton. To kick off celebrations, the WAAH is featuring their annual juried exhibition at the Art Gallery of Hamilton. The Celebrations! exhibit features art from current and past members of the WAAH.  

The WAAH was created in 1894 by a group of women who feared that cultural and artistic pursuits would be lost in Hamilton’s booming industrial growth. The ambitions of the organization at the time were simple.

WAAH wanted to create a general interest in art, establish art scholarships, hold lectures and seminars, hold exhibitions of paintings, designs and sculptures and develop art and handicrafts in Canada.  

125 years later, these ambitions still hold true, though there have also been some changes.

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Zorica Silverthorne, WAAH exhibitions chair and vice president, notes that technology and digital media have contributed to the recent changes made to the organization.  

“Our website hosts online exhibitions featuring artist members, there is an online gallery for our members to exhibit their works and we are even digitally selecting some of our exhibitions,” mentions Silverthorne.

Meanwhile, old traditions are also being kept alive. From the tireless efforts of the founding women of WAAH to the current executive board have ensured that an annual juried exhibition has taken place every year since the organization’s inception.

For the past seventy-two years, the exhibition has made the AGH it’s home. Long before that, the organization played a crucial role in establishing the AGH itself. Needless to say, WAAH has a lot to celebrate.  

“Our exhibition statement is ‘it is in our nature to celebrate’… whether with a large group of people, small intimate gathering or solitude… ‘Celebrations!’ is open to interpretation,” said Silverthorne.  

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Some of the works of past WAAH members are currently on display in the gallery’s permanent collection. Silverthorne notes that this is an important aspect worth celebrating.

“Even if the woman is no longer with us physically, her work and what she’s contributed should not be forgotten… it’s a chance to bring new life and new exposure to her legacy and not to mention looking to our past and learning from it is always an advantage,” said Silverthorne.

Silverthorne gives special mention to various different women presented in the exhibit but mentions that it’s difficult to mention only a few given the many talented artists that are involved in the WAAH.

“Some artists to celebrate are Maria Sarkany who had a coin design chosen by the Canadian Mint, well-known local artists Sylvia Simpson, Claudette Losier and our award winners Jodi Kitto-Ward, Jodie Hart and Susan Outlaw,” said Silverthorne.

Kitto-Ward, voted “Best in Show” for the exhibit, joined the WAAH in 2009. She currently has two of her pieces featured in the exhibit; “Celebration” and “In the Forest (The Bruce Trail 50th Anniversary)”. Kitto-Ward has a background in accounting and was employed at an accounting firm before her beginning her career as an artist.

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“I always had a love for art and enjoyed drawing and visiting art galleries as a child, but I was very self-critical and didn’t think I had what it took to pursue art on a professional level,” explained Kitto-Ward.

Later in her life, Kitto-Ward decided she wanted to pursue what made her happy; art. As she began taking courses at Sheridan College, she finally started to feel more confident in her work as an artist. Kitto-Ward now balances art, accounting and being a proud mom.

“I have experienced the support and opportunities provided by the WAAH first hand and I am proud to be a member and part of this historical and celebratory exhibition,” said Kitto-Ward.

“It’s important for me to be included in this exhibition… because of what this organization has achieved with women coming together for a common goal of supporting the arts, bringing so much to this city and beyond.”

The Women’s Art Association of Hamilton 125th Anniversary Exhibition: Celebrations! Is currently on display at the Jean & Ross Fischer gallery at the AGH until March 3, 2019. Admission is free and more information on the exhibit, and future WAAH shows, exhibitions and events can be found at


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Aurora Coltman

Silhouette Intern

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McMaster University has quite a few services designed to help students navigate their school, career options, and career paths. Distinguished among them is Student Accessibility Services, now celebrating its 25th year in action.

The program has dedicated itself to providing students with the tools they need to navigate their school environment. For some students, that encompasses physical disabilities; for other students it is a service that offers them support with mental illnesses or learning disabilities.

These programs first appeared on the McMaster University campus 25 years ago, and have since transformed under names such as the Office of Ability and Access. In May of 2011, the title changed to become Student Accessibility Services.

Much of SAS’s earlier campus work targeted how to make the campus accessible to the physically disabled. That included adding ramps or elevators to buildings, ensuring doors were automated, and making washrooms available. Now, although SAS still handles such issues as they arise, they are also focusing their efforts on other projects.

“Probably the most dramatic changes that will take place now [is with] technology, the use of technology in classes to help teach students – the use of video displays, and other technologies that are useful to help gather and create things,” Tim Nolan, the director of SAS said.

Nolan explained that they cater to the needs of the students, but also attempt to comply with what the individual wants. For example, if a student with a writing or sight disability wanted to “write” their work themselves, they could speak to a digitized system that would then transfer their words onto a digital platform. Likewise, if the student felt uncomfortable with such technology, they could have their work scribed by someone else.

“Or if they are prepared to learn [to use the technology],” Nolan said, “then we will train them on it. We will work with them [to better their academic experience].”

Nolan and the rest of SAS have worked towards fulfilling the needs of students for 25 years now, and shall continue to do so for many yet. “We’ve hopefully touched a lot of students, and helped make a difference to them,” Nolan said. SAS will continue to operate to achieve its goals and help fundamentally increase the livelihoods and academic experiences of those who wish to take advantage of SAS’s services.

He has seen chickens scrambling across the JHE lobby, attended twenty-nine out of thirty Welcome Week concerts and has his own soul-rock and basketball radio show on CFMU. In his three decades at McMaster, Dr. Phil Wood has seen it all.

Dr. Wood celebrated his 30-year teaching anniversary on Jan. 2 this year, having arrived at McMaster in 1983. On Jan. 6, the SRA passed a motion to give Dr. Wood honorary MSU membership.

John McGowan, General Manager of the MSU, stated how rare a distinction this is; Dr. Wood one of only 16 honourary members of the students union since 1965.

Dr. Wood, who is revered in McMaster’s Engineering department, came from a teaching post at Michigan State University to join McMaster’s Chemical Engineering Department.

At the start of his career as a professor, Dr. Wood maintained a fine balance to ensure he was both a strong teacher and researcher. Along the way he was mentored by noteworthy professors, such as Don Woods, and went onto mentor generations of students, administrators and faculty members.

Dr. Wood first interacted with students teaching in Chemical Engineering, then later as Associate Dean of Engineering and in his current role as Associate Vice-President of Student Affairs.

Upon receiving a 3M Teaching Fellowship Award, Dr. Wood remarked that the key to his success was continuously “turning the crank,” churning out research while ensuring student success in the classroom.

Across the board, students and staff have whole-heartedly agreed: Phil Wood genuinely cares about students and the McMaster experience.

Elizabeth Edwards, Director of BioZone and Professor in Chemical Engineering at University of Toronto, recalled how effectively Dr. Wood engaged students in class.

“He once came into a class with a bucket of water and a power drill. The class burst into laughter as he proceeded to drill holes in the bucket and the water peed out the side in different arcs, which effectively showed the function of pressure. I co-taught with Dr. Wood when I first started and I am so grateful to have learned from him.”

Anecdotes from Dr. Wood’s colleagues and students are ripe with examples of his hardworking spirit, his indelible commitment to student success and his creative methods of engagement.

Don Woods, Professor Emeritus at McMaster, recounted how Dr. Wood used beer-cooling experiments in a heat-transfer course and looked at why golf balls are dimpled in a fluid mechanics course.

Former MSU President Vishal Tiwari (2009-10) jokingly recounted the easygoing nature of his relationship with Dr. Wood. “We had this saying, that ‘We’re Rolling with Big Wood,’ he said.”

“Dr. Wood has a genuine interest in students. Dropping by Union Market regularly to get coffee is just one example of small consistent gesture that makes him a quick friend to any McMaster student.”

When The Silhouette sat down with Dr. Wood, it was clear he, too, would miss the student-centred nature of his job.

While his career took off in the Faculty of Engineering, he quickly assumed more leadership roles at the departmental and administrative level. But his memories of these positions and the campus as a whole reflect a deeper evolution he has witnessed.

Wood proudly noted how in the last several years he has witnessed the growth of school spirit, partly due to the Vanier Cup win, and partly as a result of several years of individuals building the “Think Maroon” campaign.

As his term concludes on June 30, there are many things students may remember about him. Perhaps it will be hearing his voice over the airwaves on his radio show, “Soul in the Hole,” or his contributing music reviews for the Sil’s ANDY section.

“I’ll miss being somebody that students want to engage with,” he said. “I’ll still be the number-one fan out at the games and on campus … but I’ll miss having a chance to make a difference.”

By: Jaslyn English and Mary Ann Boateng


McMaster students and Westdale residents take advantage of the diversity of vendors and community groups along Sterling Street.

On Sunday Sept. 23, McMaster hosted its first Open Streets event - a day in devotion to the idea of closed off streets making a more open community. The event lasted from late morning to late afternoon, running in conjunction with Open Streets Hamilton happening on James St N.

Open Streets Hamilton brings together different communities within the city in an attempt to bridge the gap between residents, small businesses, cultural organizations and special-interest groups.

The McMaster event featured a closed off portion of Sterling Street, turned completely pedestrian for the day, as well as a campus section stretching the length of University Ave. from the student center to the edge of the BSB field.

The Hamilton event is part of a broader movement in various cities across North America. According to its website,, the object of Open Streets is to “temporarily close streets to automobile traffic, so that people may use them for walking, bicycling, dancing, playing, and socializing.”

Hamilton has been running the event biannually on James St North since spring 2010, and this is the first time it has come to the McMaster campus.

Mary Koziol, former MSU President and Assistant to the President on Special Community Initiatives, was one of the organizers of the event.

“We started the project because we wanted to eliminate some of the barriers people perceive to be around campus,” she said of Open Streets. “We wanted a way to welcome community members onto campus and vice versa.”

University Ave. was lined with booths representing several clubs, organizations, and events within McMaster itself. The campus was also equipped with a stage for live performances.

The festival continued down Sterling Street, where booths of many Westdale shops as well as community-based organizations were located. This area of the event promoted the idea of outer-campus community that Westdale provides for McMaster’s students.

“I’ve seen a lot of familiar faces,” said the vendor at the Hotti Biscotti table, commenting on the similarities between this event and Clubsfest, hosted during Welcome Week on the McMaster campus.

Nate Walker, owner and operator of Nate’s Cakes, an eco-friendly alternative to the food truck, explained how vendors benefit from a festival like Open Streets.

“The event provides me the opportunity to know all the university students, he said on Sunday. “Festivals like this are where it’s at… If [it] happens again, I will definitely come back.”

Vendors and community members alike remarked that the event brought the community together, a notion mirrored by McMaster president Patrick Deane’s message recorded before the event took place.

The president saw the event as “bring[ing] down the boundaries between the university and the community” and was hoping for a “cross-pollinating effect” between McMaster and the broader Hamilton area.

While there was a diversity of age groups and walks of life from both the university and neighboring communities, the event failed to grasp the attention of the “broader Hamilton community” that the President was seeking to attract.

“It’s too bad there aren’t more people,” remarked a Westdale woman to her family, two hours after the event had started.

Yet after using one of the every-half-hour shuttles equipped with its own student tour guide, and taking in the atmosphere of the downtown portion of the event, it became evident that a crowdless, laid back vibe was as much a part of the Open Streets project as were the street vendors, and added to the neighborhood feel of the event.

McMaster participated in Open Streets as part of its celebration of the University’s 125th anniversary, but Koziol hopes the festival will continue in the coming years.

“What we are trying to do is a better job of opening our arms and welcoming the community and creating more and more partnerships and a broader network so that people don’t see McMaster as a community in itself but as just one part of this broader tapestry.”

Kacper Niburski

Assistant News Editor


If McMaster University were a human being, they’d probably be dead. That’s because 125 years ago, the school celebrated its modest but nascent beginning.

Arising in 1881, McMaster was financed as a Christian educational centre that focused primarily on theological training. Senator William McMaster, after whom the University is named, endowed much of these funds to house classes in Toronto. It wasn’t until 1890, however, that the first degree programs were offered.

The next year saw subtle but important changes. 1892 ushered in McMaster’s first school cheer that bubbled with off the wall one-liners like “Boom on Star!” and “Boom! Fitz! Boom!” Sixteen students composed the first graduating class in 1894. The school colours were switched from a plaid eyesore of green, yellow, red and blue to the more familiar maroon and grey in 1912. Finally, in 1930, McMaster moved to its permanent home – the Steel City, Hamilton.

By no means does this brief snapshot offer a comprehensive history of McMaster. It barely scratches the surface. There were numerous accomplishments in education and research. There were times of uncertainty and hardship. There were harrowing accounts of students being drafted into the Great Wars proud but never returning.

All of these events, for better or for worse, compose McMaster’s history. Without them, McMaster’s current structure would seem arbitrary and perhaps even asinine.

The 125th celebration is meant to highlight this rich historical context. As an important milestone, the festivities will extend throughout the year. Many unknown contributions from both students and faculty will be recognized, as will the many necessary steps to create such an upstanding institution of higher education.

An anniversary committee presided by Karen McQuigge, director of McMaster’s alumni advancement area, will organize many of the celebrations. “There’s a lot to celebrate here and that’s exactly what we hope to do this year,” she said.

This goes without saying. In 125 years, a lot can happen. Every year, there was a new story. Every year, there were new students. (And every year since 1930, the Silhouette was there spearheading news at McMaster.)

But the Sil is one of many integral parts to McMaster. There is the McMaster Alumni society, the McMaster Students Union, the Student Representative Assembly, Froshweek, Homecoming, University Hall and so much more. Undoubtedly, McMaster is a budding place. Its incipient beginnings were the origin of all of things McMaster and they will be the impetus underlying another successful 125 years. “Boom! Fitz! Boom!” Indeed.

Dina Fanara

Assistant News Editor

When an organization has been around as long as the Society of Off Campus Students (SOCS), which has just this past weekend celebrated its thirtieth birthday, bumps in the road are often faced.

Whether it be the group’s journey from a club under the jurisdiction of the McMaster Students Union (MSU) into an independent society at the University or the yearly struggle to win the “Residence Cup,” SOCS has managed to stay strong and pull through.

Over the years, thousands of McMaster students have been given the opportunity to hold the position of Welcome Week representative for SOCS. In 2001, a student named Jamie Kuss was selected to represent SOCS during Welcome Week of that year. However, only days before Welcome Week was to begin, Kuss passed away after battling for some time with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoblastic lymphoma, which is a cancer that effects the lymphatic system.

Immediately following, SOCS began the James Kuss Memorial Fund, raising money for the McMaster University Bone Marrow/Leukemia Research Fund. For the past decade, SOCS has worked hard to raise money in Kuss’s name. Last weekend, a donation of $20,000 was made by SOCS to the Fund in Kuss’s name.

The initial presentation of the oversized cheque was made on Friday, Nov. 19. The Kuss family made a special appearance the following day at the SOCS 30th Anniversary party at the Phoenix, retelling Kuss’s story and thanking SOCS for the donation made in his honour.

Nichole Fanara, a current SOCS rep, explained that, “the speeches about Jaime Kuss were really moving, people were crying and they retold his story.”

Jamie’s big brother, Tim Kuss, gave a short speech on Saturday. He explained how he wanted Jamie to enjoy his first year at McMaster. However, he was worried when Jamie didn’t get into residence, which had been an important part of his own university experience.

Upon entering first year, Jamie chose to get invoved with SOCS instead, and became a valued member of the society, first as a member, and then as a rep in 2001. The audience listened in silence as Tim recounted the story, ending by explaining that just days before Welcome Week 2001 was to start, Jamie lost his battle with cancer.

The event overall was a very moving one, making past and present members extremely proud to be a part of the society.

Current SOCS Vice-President Athletics, Arjun Sithamparapillai, stated that “It makes me proud to be part of a society whose spirit and dedication shows no parameters. It is extremely rare to witness established alumni cheering as if it was still Welcome Week.”

The event also served as a museum for thirty years’ worth of SOCS items. Whitney Evans, current SOCS Vice-President Social, stated that “the memorabilia room made SOCS alumni feel at home, with old photos, trophies, t-shirts, posters and more.”

Kaialise Mattiozzi, current SOCS Vice-President Promotions, added, “To see the past, present and future of SOCS congregate under one roof was fantastic. To also see the changes SOCS had gone through over the years, as well as what hadn’t changed, was truly remarkable. I thought I couldn’t love SOCS any more than I did, but that night proved me wrong.”

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