Eve’s Quest

Ottawa XPress, Shotgun, December 22, 2005

Do you know someone who flips through women’s fashion magazines in the grocery store line or has a subscription to Cosmo or Maxim? For 2006, get them the straight goods on chicks. Buy them a copy of Eve’s Quest instead.

From Mother Teresa to Mother Goose, Barbie to Body Shop, PMS to Title IX, Queen Latifah to Queen Victoria, the Eve’s Quest board game will keep you laughing while teaching you more amazing stuff about women than you’ll ever learn from the news racks, where we usually get our daily dose of “Did you know…?” about the ladies.

I’m convinced that the 1,000-plus questions in this trivia game about women’s accomplishments in the arts, sports, politics, on screen and everywhere else will help correct the imbalance of predominating male role models populating our collective conscience.

And if you just rolled your eyes when I said that, or don’t know what I’m talking about, well, it’s even more reason for you to try Eve’s Quest!

I was skeptical too like some of you: not another all-women plug! But fellas, take note. Here’s where you can finally get the upper hand on the value of your dirty magazine collection. Check it out:

True or false? From 1964 to 1983, the Playboy Foundation donated over $2-million, or more than 25 per cent of its budget, to American organizations defending women’s rights.


Up to six players will use trivia, charades (try acting out a placenta, blind date or Mother Earth?!), song, sketch pads and intuition to move along the board and collect letters to spell out five winning titles, including “Diva,” “Goddess,” “Mother,” “Sister” and “Woman.”

Two very cool young married moms living in Montreal, Joanna Broadhurst and Odette McCarthy, are behind the game. And is it any wonder this wicked idea came from Montrealers?

“Montreal, being the wonderfully diverse cosmopolitan city that it is, and all that it offers culturally, certainly nourished us,” McCarthy told Shotgun.

McCarthy and Broadhurst met all kinds of interesting people in Montreal who helped them create the game. Artist Gina Raposo helped come up with a concept, and graphic designers Angelica Hardy and Lydia Moscato designed the playful packaging.

“I didn’t want it to be too pink,” McCarthy says. Instead, you get a colourful board with hip graphics and funky fonts.

But added to that flash and glitz is a very serious side of the project. McCarthy’s work in international development and Broadhurst’s career as a social worker in Montreal provided the women with many examples, daily, of disadvantaged minority groups and women. That fuelled their desire to get more information and good news about women out to the world.

“The drive to do the game stems from the fact that a game of this nature doesn’t exist at all,” McCarthy explained.

“Why do I know so much more about men?” they kept wondering to themselves. Broadhurst is the one who first thought of it seven or eight years ago. Together, they did something about it and so named the game for “Eve’s quest for knowledge and empowerment.”

The game gave the ladies the opportunity to work out of their homes on something they were passionate about. And they’re “doing business with a social conscience” too, they say. For example, copies of Eve’s Quest have already been donated to the Elizabeth Fry Society, and $2 from every game sold goes to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

So fine, fine, you may not think it’ll change your life to learn what year Kotex first marketed sanitary napkins, what a Pap smear is for, or which much-imitated 1930’s actress (Mae West, Ava Gardner or Marlene Dietrich) said the famous line “It’s not the man in your life but the life in your man.”

But you’ll sure as hell remember the answers when you’re scrambling for a pad, green-lighting disease- and cancer-free sex with your honey, or explaining to everyone “So what if my date is as old as Rod Stewart?”

Eve’s Quest is super fun for both men and women, and for intergenerational groups on a Friday night. Pass the Cheetos, Gramps! Fetch me a pop, Mario! Let’s Quest!

Available at: Mother Tongue Books, Chapters (several locations), Strategy Games.


LeFEVER’S QUEST Lindy (www.lindymusic.com), Toronto’s Icelandic adoptee, is a tall son of a bitch and he knows how to make inspiring music. And for his sexy new psychedelic slick-rock mod outfit Major Maker (www.majormaker.com), lanky Lindy has plucked an old Ottawa legend to play guitar in his band. Do you know who that is?

Hint: After fleeing the coop, this Ottawa rock star led a nest full of other famous starlings that included John Reilly-Roe, national treasure, Danny Michel and Maury LeFoy.

AS SHOTGUN AFFIRMS… DO NOT MISS the killer lineup this Friday December 23 at 8:30 p.m. at Zaphod Beeblebrox for $6. As The Poets Affirm (www.asthepoetsaffirm.com), Sleeping Pilot (www.sleepingpilot.com) and Army Of St. Joan are going to rattle your chain wallets right out of your tight Levi’s. You’ll need earplugs. Bring a stapler, ’cause Sleeping Pilot will blow the cotton right out of your head, and I like that.

Happy Holidays from Shotgun. See you back here in the new year unless I see you in your bedroom first. Just joking. But keep that absinthe away from my ginger ale, please.

– Sylvie Hill