In a series of short profiles, Capital Current introduces some of the people working hard to improve life in Ottawa.

Who is he?

Ottawa’s Charlie Senack is the editor of the Kitchissippi Times and a freelance reporter.

What’s his background?

Before becoming a writer, Senack was focused on photography. “I got involved with this community documentary project, but, long story short, I realized it wasn’t for me,” Senack told Capital Current.

The move to reporting developed over time. As a teen, Senack said that, during the trial of Sen. Mike Duffy over housing and expense claims in 2014, he would visit the courthouse.

“While I was there, I was introduced to journalists,” Senack said. “A photographer told me about potentially getting involved with a community paper.” This led Senack to start writing for the Barrhaven Independent. He has freelanced for many media outlets since.

What is he known for in Ottawa?

For the Kitchissippi Times, which is celebrating 20 years or operation, Senack has written on a wide range of topics that affect Kitchissippi Ward. He has covered protests and Pride events, as well as local businesses and the arts. Reporting by Senack and his team resulted in 22 nominations in this year’s Ontario Community Newspaper Association Awards.

At a city-wide level, Senack has criticized The Ottawa Hospital for failing to take sufficient precautions to protect patients from COVID. Senack had a personal experience with this as his mother, Glenda, sick with pneumonia and cancer, was infected with COVID while hospitalized. 

What do people say about him?

Dave Allston, who has written for the Kitchissippi Times since 2015, said Senack brings a “refreshing” vision to the paper. Allston said Senack is constantly trying to get on top of breaking news, a switch from the slow-paced approach often associated with community papers. “He’s doing this in an effort to try to increase the relevance of the paper,” Allston said.

Laura Porter, owner of the Cupcake Lounge in Westboro, who was featured in coverage of Pride this summer, is appreciative of the efforts he has taken to diversify the Times’ reporting. “This was my first summer and Pride Month as owner, and having Charlie reach out to me directly to feature our Pride events was really touching,” Porter said by email.

What’s something people don’t know about him?

Senack collects owl figurines and sculptures. “I just at some point realized that I like them,” he said. “If you go into HomeSense at any season of the year, you’ll see owls for all different festivities.”