Uptown Mugs #59 . James Walsh

We all know and appreciate the beauty of the city and most likely have been wowed by images from one of our local photographer rockstars, James Walsh.  James is part of the impressive team at Rod Stears Photography.  From sports events, tourism promos, photography instruction, videos and drone work, all the way to wedding photography and taking pictures just for fun, James knows his stuff.  Uptown Saint John recently installed in their office space, a large mural of King’s Square at night taken by James.  Feel free to stop in and have a look.  Keep your eyes out for his talented perspective through his beautiful photography.


Let’s get to know James…


Where were you born/Where are you from?

I was born in Saint John & grew up in GrandBay-Westfield.
How long have you been a part of the uptown scene?

Ive been working in Saint John since May 2013 & have no plans to leave.  I have dedicated my time here to do my part in SJ & to grow the Rod Stears Photography name.  Its important to grow the company to provide more work for us & grow in the future.
Name one or two people who you look to for inspiration?

Rod Stears the owner of the company because he has given me a chance to work right out of school & teach me about the business. Not very many people in SJ have the opportunity that I have had.
What is your favourite season, and why?

Summer – it’s our busiest time for business & I’m happy to make a difference & provide a service to the city.
What is your ultimate favourite snack food?

Lays Chips
Coffee, tea, or other?

We have a coffee Machine in the office that never takes time off.
Any pets?

No pets at the moment, But my girlfriend has 2 cats that I always have to feed & look after when she is out of town.

Worst habit?

Being to organized, trying to get to much done in short time.
Favorite Musician?

Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. There’s a lot to the music industry which you can apply to your business.  I use a lot of his approaches to the things he does to work with here.
What is your Uptown Insider Tip?

I love walking up the streets of SJ to see the beauty that we have here.  Being in the uptown core provides me with this everyday. We take advantage of the restaurants here, so far the best service & food is Ryan Duffy’s.

Find James Walsh and Rod Stears Photography..

On the Street:  1 Market Square

FACEBOOK:  Rod Stears Photography

Uptown Mugs #58 . Enchan & Melissa

Enchan and Melissa are truly one of our uptown power couples!  Both unique, both super talented, and both lending a wonderful, contagious positive energy to our uptown scene – and both with such genuine smiles, it makes ones day better to even experience a ‘hi’ from them when passing on the street.  Enchan and Melissa share their expertise and skill at EN Sushi Bar on Canterbury Street, where the sushi is fresh and created care and pride.  This sushi is not only beautiful, as good sushi should be, it also is a truly divine tasting experience.  Unique to the restaurant, is also the display of incredible art by Enchan, one of the most brilliant and humble artists in the city.


Let’s chat with Enchan and Melissa..

Where were you born/Where are you from?

Enchan:  Fukuoka, Japan

Melissa:  Saint John, NB, Canada



How long have you been a part of the uptown scene?

Enchan: Since 2004. I began my journey here as a dishwasher. This was my first introduction to Saint John’s restaurant scene.

Melissa: I would say since 2004 after returning from Japan with Enchan & our daughter. This is when I finally began to feel a part of this city because I was now looking at it from a different perspective. I left originally in 1993 for Vancouver (5yrs), came home for 1 year then promptly left again for another 5yrs to Tokyo. Returning with a family and a partner who was both looking at the city for the first time & Canada gave me a sense of wanting to rediscover what my home town was and meant as “Home”. I am glad to say we now both Feel that sense of “Home”.


What is your favorite season, and why?
Enchan & Melissa:  Summer! The heat, the colors, the smiles & more street conversations.


What is your ultimate favorite snack food?

Enchan:  Korean Nori

Melissa:  I’ll second that



Coffee, tea, or other?

Enchan: White wine

Melissa: Red wine


Any pets?

Yes, 2 Cats living and one in ghost form


Most guilty pleasure?

Melissa:  Beef Vindaloo 10X spicy cooked by our friend Guljar at Thandi’s



Favorite Musician?

Enchan:  Michael Jackson

Melissa:  Nina Simone



What is your Uptown Insider Tip?

Our insider tip…. blink: the artists’ free space!

This Space is devoted to exhibition and encouragement of local creativity.  FREE of charge to local artists open to all creative artist and skill levels.

Located street level at 96 Princess, you can also follow on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/blinkbyink/

Uptown Mugs #55 – Bernard Cormier


It is difficult to walk an uptown street or attend a city function without seeing this very familiar and amiable face.  Bernard is always sharply dressed, composed, charming, and affectionately witty – we all appreciate Bernie and his important place in our community.

He is valued part of our landscape, a very important piece of our cultural fabric, a friend to many and a wealth of information, as well…often has a few tricks up his sleeve.
Let’s get to know this man about town…


Where were you born/Where are you from?
Born, raised, educated, and always worked in Saint John.

How long have you been a part of the uptown scene?
I’ve been part of the uptown scene all my life. As a child a grew up in the city centre.  I graduated from St. Malachy’s High School and always worked uptown.

Name one or two people who you look to for inspiration?
Other than my parents, I was inspired by one of my elementary school teachers, the late Sister Rosalie (a.k.a Sister Helen O’Neill).   She believed in my artistic abilities and entered one of my artworks in a national competition in Toronto and I won first prize from over 10,000 entries.

The other person who had a profound influence in my life was the late Dr. Thomas J. Condon, former Vice-President of UNB Saint John.  We became close friends in the early 1980’s and worked together on so many great projects including the Canada Summer Games, Festival by the Sea, and the Imperial Theatre, among others.   He was a true gentleman and never distanced himself from anyone.
What is your favorite season, and why?
I find beauty and enjoyment in every season. Each brings its own characteristics, holidays, and delights.
What is your ultimate favorite snack food?
Buttered popcorn (but it must be real butter).
Coffee, tea, or other?
I love my cup of tea with toast, muffin, or cookies.  Also enjoy a glass of wine with my dinner.
Any pets?
Yes. A 5-year old American Bombay cat named Merlin, which we rescued from being euthanized.  He is the boss in our household.
Most guilty pleasure?
Listening to Lounge music.

Worst habit?
Sharing my puns, one-liners, and groaners.
Favorite Musician?
There are so many fine local musicians to choose from that I find this extremely difficult to answer.  Saint John is blessed with talented artists in all genres of music.  I’ll keep my favourite a secret!
What is your Uptown Insider Tip?
The uptown offers something for all the senses.  My top tip would be…take time to savour the walkability of our urban core.  Explore the architecture and history of the city.  Enjoy the flower arrangements, public art, and monuments.  Take in a performance or visit one of the many galleries or museums.  Relax using retail therapy and the abundance of dining experiences offered.  I am fortunate to live uptown and can do this daily, and never tire of it.


You can find Bernard most days, out and about in the city. Otherwise, he also has a strong social media presence, and is an excellent account to follow to keep up on what’s going on in the city.

Twitter:  @EventsSaintJohn

Uptown Mugs #54 . Kate Thompson

When one thinks of fashion uptown, Kate always comes to mind. With an impeccable eye for style and always on the cutting edge of the latest trends, Kate is the model proprietor of one of our smartest fashion boutiques uptown – Lordon, located at 20 King Street.  Lordon combines classic and contemporary styles with upbeat designs, as well find chic accessories and unique gift items.


Let’s get to know Kate:

Where were you born/Where are you from? I’m actually a Newfie, I was born in St. John’s, Newfoundland however, I have spent the better part of 26 years living here!

How long have you been a part of the uptown scene?
A little over 6 years and loving every single minute of it! There has been so much positive change in the past few years and it’s so exciting to be a part of.

What is your favorite season, and why?
Fall- the weather and the fashion.


Coffee, tea, or other?
I love both but I do prefer an iced coffee in the summer over anything hot.

Any pets?
Yes! If my husband would let me I would have a lot more but we currently have two dogs- a ten year old Westie named Pixie and a five month old NewfiePoo named Chesley, a one-eyed cat named Salem, and four year old miniature African frog who’s name is too embarrassing to mention.

What is your Uptown Insider Tip?
I just discovered this but the most delicious sandwiches and salads are at Real Food Connections…the also carry PEI Cow’s chocolate covered potato chips…yum.

Find Kate and Lordon:
On the Street:  20 King Street
Phone:  696-9266
Facebook:  Lordon
Twitter:  @shopLORDON
Instagram:  @shoplordon
Online:  www.shoplordon.com

Uptown Mugs #53 – Emily McCumber

Emily is a juried member of the NB Crafts Council and has worked uptown at Good Fibrations for two years, and we are lucky to have her talent and presence uptown!  She has recently won two awards – the Professional Artist Fund award through the SJ arts centre and the NB museum and the Nel Oudemans award through the Sheila Hugh MacKay foundation.  You can find Emily and her work at Good Fibrations, 90 Germain Street and at these upcoming events: Etsy Made in Canada sale in Sussex on September 24th and the NB Crafts Council Show, December 2-4 at the Marco Polo Cruise Ship Terminal.

Let’s get to know Emily!


Where were you born/Where are you from?

I was born in Newcastle, NB but grew up in Long Reach, NB on the beautiful  Kingston Peninsula.

How long have you been a part of the uptown scene?

I moved uptown after finishing university in 2008.  I lived uptown for 4 years before moving out of the city and going back to school.  Now I’m back and working at Good Fibrations on Germain St.

What is your ultimate favorite snack food?

All Dressed Ruffles chips dipped in plain yogurt. 

Coffee or Tea?

Both. Coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon.

What is your Uptown Insider Tip?

There are some pretty incredible local artists showcased in a variety of stores uptown. If you’re looking for a one of a kind, quality, handmade gift – from art to pottery to jewellery to textiles – check out Buckland Merrifield Gallery on Canterbury St, Handworks Gallery on King St, The Butcher’s Daughter in the City Market and of course Good Fibrations on Germain St, as well as the variety of art galleries in the uptown. New Brunswick has some pretty incredible makers. Support local!

Find Emily:

Online:  www.thespinnerweaver.ca

Facebook and Etsy:  The Spinner Weaver

Instagram:  @thespinnerweaver

Uptown Mugs #52 – Sarah Rankin

Chances are, if there is something theatre related happening uptown, Sarah is involved.  This energetic beauty not only works behind the scene at Saint John Theatre Company and as Festival Director for the Fundy Fringe Festival, she is a talented lady on stage as well.  She can often be found on the scene uptown, at Picaroon’s General Store, and soon will be running at full steam during the Fundy Fringe Festival, August 16-21st.

Let’s get to know Sarah…


Where were you born/Where are you from?

I was born and raised in St. Stephen (Chocolate Capital of Canada!). 

How long have you been a part of the uptown scene?

I moved to Saint John in October of 2010 to be closer to my boyfriend (now husband), Rob. We’ve lived Uptown the whole time! First Peter Street, then Princess, and then finally bought a home on Duke St. I threw myself into the Uptown arts scene as soon as I could by acting in shows with the Saint John Theatre Company. From there, I was afforded the opportunity to help shape and run the Fundy Fringe Festival. I’m so happy that Saint John has embraced it, and sees the value in it. Our volunteers are the best too! I’ve never met a more dedicated group of people in my life. Getting to know all of them, and the artists and audience, I feel like I’ve been living here my whole life, despite having only lived here for 6 years.

What is your favorite season, and why?

Summer! There are so many exciting events that take place Uptown in the summer! We’ve got Fundy Fringe Festival, Third Shift, Area 506, Loyalist City Shakespeare, Buskers. Not to mention patios are open!

What is your ultimate favorite snack food?

Guacamole and chips

Any pets?

My 15 month old Siberian Husky, Watson. He’s an Uptown pooch. It’s amazing how many store are dog friendly. It’s a good feeling, knowing he can come with me when I’m running around, rather than being stuck at home. I also have two very needy lap cats, Jett and Schrodinger.

What is your Uptown Insider Tip?

Lunch at Real Food Connection/Picaroons! Real Food Connection makes the best sandwiches, and they pair perfectly with a Picaroons brew. Picaroons is also dog friendly, which means Watson gets to be my lunch date.

Find Sarah and all of the details on Fundy Fringe Festival:

Online:  Fundy Fringe Festival

Facebook:  Fundy Fringe Festival

Twitter:  @FundyFringeFest