Archive | Meetings and Conventions RSS feed for this section

JUNO fever hits town

30 Mar

Get out and party whenever you visit Ottawa!

Ottawa is hopping as the crème-de-la-crème of the Canadian music industry descends on Canada’s capital to celebrate! The JUNO Awards were last hosted in Ottawa in 2003 but the party is bigger and better this time around.

Canadian icon William Shatner will be the host of the awards themselves on Sunday, April 1 but there are plenty of other activities — from a hockey game with musicians and former National Hockey League players to a huge autograph session to a series of concerts in great local clubs — to keep you busy. Or sit down at one of the JUNO pianos located in public places around town and regale passers-by with your talents!

No matter when you visit Ottawa, though, you should explore Ottawa’s thriving live music scene. Here are just a few venues to check out:

  • Zaphod Beeblebrox (named after a character in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series) just celebrated its 20th anniversary in March 2012 and shows no signs of stopping! Owner Eugene Haslam consistently books acts before they become famous, including Ben Harper, Alanis Morissette, Ani DiFranco, Our Lady Peace, Jewel, the Dandy Warhols and more! The Rolling Stones filmed their Streets of Love video at the club in 2005.
  • Pubs: Ottawa loves its pubs and most of them provide live music, often with no cover charge. The Heart & Crown in the ByWard Market neighbourhood has 7 nights a week of music while Irene’s Pub in the Glebe neighbourhood has a great Thursday night blues jam and Saturday afternoon open stage along with regular weekend shows. D’Arcy McGee’s on Sparks Street has a regular Wednesday Night Kitchen Party.
  • The Elmdale Tavern in trendyWellington West neighbourhood takes its live music—and its beer—seriously. There’s something happening almost every night: from rock to folk to alternative to poetry readings to you name it!
  • If you’re into blues, it’s worth the walk up the stairs to the Rainbow Bistroin the ByWard Market district. It’s a strange layout (think rustic ski chalet) for a live music club but it somehow works. All the greats have performed here and they continue to program a solid set.

    Get your toes tappin' at these great live music venues!

  • If DJs are more your thing, head down to Babylon Nightclub on Bank Street for their Friday night and Saturday night Dance Parties. Or nearby Barrymore’s Sunday night Retro 80s parties. In the ByWard Market, try the 21st century soul club that is Mercury Lounge.
  • For some live jazz, head to Bank Street’s Café Paradiso or downstairs at Vineyards Wine Bar Bistro in the ByWard Market.
  • For something a little edgier, you’re best at Mavericks or Café Dekcuf, both on Rideau Street. Bring your earplugs!

What are YOUR favourite places to hear music in Ottawa? Let us know in the comments below!

Beautiful Winterlude fireworks!

6 Feb

Check out the brilliant display of fireworks at the opening ceremonies for the annual Winterlude festival in Ottawa and Canada’s capital region! The video was shot on Friday, February 3, 2012, from just outside the Canadian Museum of Civilization, looking at the Alexandra Bridge, the glass towers of the National Gallery of Canada, the castle-like Fairmont Château Laurier, and the Gothic spires of the Canadian Parliament Buildings.

Enjoy! Winterlude continues until February 20, 2012.

Ice skating at Rideau Hall

10 Jan

When y0u think of ice skating in Ottawa, you probably think of the famous Rideau Canal Skateway, snaking 7.8 km (4.8 miles) through downtown, or maybe you’re already dreaming of skating on the Rink of Dreams, that will open later this month in front of City Hall. Or maybe you learned to skate or play shinny (hockey) on one of the 247 (yes, 247!) outdoor rinks in City of Ottawa parks.

But were you aware of the historic outdoor rink at Rideau Hall, the home and workplace of every one of Canada’s Governors General since Confederation? (The Governor General is Queen Elizabeth II’s representative in Canada.)

Built in 1872 by Lord Dufferin (Governor General at the time), the rink offers free public skating on Saturdays and Sundays from January 6 to March 11, 2012 as long as the weather cooperates! Groups of 20 people or more can also reserve certain times throughout the week and that’s just what a group of Ottawa Tourism staff and friends did recently. See the video below!

Last chance to vote for your NHL All-Stars to come to Ottawa!

3 Jan

Hurry – today is the last day to cast your ballot for your favourite players to join the National Hockey League 2012 All-Star Game, to be held in Ottawa on Sunday, January 29, 2012!

The 2012 NHL All-Star game will be played at Scotiabank Place, home of the Ottawa Senators, but the Fan Fair interactive fun will be at the Ottawa Convention Centre downtown. PHOTO CREDIT: Ottawa Senators Hockey Club

In fact, there are a whole series of fun hockey activities in Ottawa, stretching between January 26 and 29, including the popular NHL All-Star Fan Fair, to be held at the beautiful Ottawa Convention Centre, overlooking the Rideau Canal Skateway!

Fans can go online to vote for up to 3 forwards, 2 defensemen and one goalie — before 11:59pm on Wednesday, January 4. As a bonus, you might win a trip to the game itself!

If that doesn’t work out, consider booking a trip through Ottawa Tourism! Our NHL Scotiabank Fan Fair Weekend Getaway offers accommodation, tickets to the Fan Fair, promotional credits at the Casino du Lac-Leamy and a certificate for a Rideau Centre savings directory!

Fans of the Ottawa Senators have been voting early and often for hometown faves Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza, Milan Michalek, Erik Karlsson and Sergei Gonchar to join the all-star squad! Why not join them?

New water taxi service links Ottawa – Gatineau – Casino

16 Sep

The Gatineau dock (with beautiful view of Parliament Hill) for Au feel de l'eau's new environmentally friendly electric aquabus.

A new water taxi service is linking sites along the Ottawa and Gatineau Rivers. Au feel de l’eau operates a pollution-free electric boat that can hold up to 12 passengers, 2 wheelchairs and 4 bicycles.

Until October 9, it departs each morning at 9am from the Casino du Lac-Leamy, and arrives at the Ottawa wharf (located where the Rideau Canal empties into the Ottawa River, near the Bytown Museum) around 10:00am. At 10:15am, it begins to shuttle back and forth between Ottawa and a site on the Gatineau side of the Ottawa River near the Canadian Museum of Civilization until 12:20 when it departs Ottawa for the Casino again.

At 1:30pm, it leaves the Casino and between 2:35 and 6:15pm, it shuttles back-and-forth between Ottawa and Gatineau. The final run from Ottawa to the Casino departs at 6:15pm, arriving at 7:15pm.

If weather conditions permit, the company will continue the Ottawa-Gatineau shuttles for an additional week, until October 16. In 2012, the service will run between May and October.

The cost is $5 per person (tax included) for the Ottawa-Gatineau shuttles and $15 per person for the Ottawa-Casino shuttles.

The company also offers private group bookings.

UPDATE (September 18): Until further notice, the water taxi will operate in the afternoon only!

New video: First-class bhangra!

28 Jul

Internet sensation Wilbur Sargunaraj is at it again! He had so much fun in Ottawa back in February filming the video for the popular The Canada Song, he just had to return in the summer. The result? First-class Bhangra — a catchy tune with an all-Ottawa video featuring Parliament Hill, a Royal Canadian Mounted Police horse, Sparks Street Mall, Aboriginal Experiences, the ByWard Market neighbourhood, Rideau Canal and more!

Check it out (I dare you not to sing along):

 

Free wi-fi near the National War Memorial

14 Jul

Enjoying free wi-fi within view of Parliament Hill.

Visitors to Canada’s capital who still have a bit of work to catch up on — or who want to share their photos right away, or blog — now have a beautiful new setting to get it done!

The National Capital Commission has installed 20 bright red Muskoka chairs on a plaza just off the east side of Elgin Street where it meets Rideau Street. They’ve stretched some shade sails (from a local company called House of Canvas) across the top to provide a bit of shade. All in all, a beautiful spot — and the best part is, it offers free wi-fi!

So within view of the Fairmont Château Laurier, Rideau Canal, National Arts Centre, National War Memorial, Parliament Hill and steps from a Capital Bixi bike station, you can get caught up on your online life — for free!

The pilot project, based on an employee’s suggestion, runs till October 11, 2011. Check it out!

Not everybody using the chairs is surfing the web. Some are just having fun, enjoying the day, like these children!