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A whale of a time at the Canadian Museum of Nature!

16 Mar

Yes, that's the size of a blue whale's heart! Unbelievable! credit-Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, 2008

March Break visitors to the Canadian Museum of Nature this week got a first look at the new exhibit, Whales Tohorā, which runs from March 2 to September 3, 2012. This exhibit is on loan from the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Tohorā, means “whale” in Māori, and the Māori are the indigenous people of New Zealand. Whale-bone treasures, such as weapons and adornments, that the Māori produced reveal the significance of whales to them and reflect the exhibition’s cultural expression of the relationship between the two groups.

Whales Tohorā explores the diversity, biology and adaptation of whales to life in the oceans and also on the human impacts on whales such as the threats of fishing nets, foreign debris, predators and boats. A stunning component of this exhibition is the massive 17.8-metre, fully articulated sperm-whale skeleton that gives a real sense of the sperm whale’s size as the largest toothed predator on the planet!

The exhibition’s Whale Lab is full of interactive science:

  • Children can crawl through a life-sized replica of the heart of the largest living creature—the blue whale.
  • The extraordinary evolutionary journey of whales from land to the sea is shown by casts of fossil whale ancestors.
  • Visitors can tune in to a range of whale sounds and discover how scientists and amateur trackers identify individual whales on their migration through the Pacific Ocean.
  • The Whale Lab also features Search and Destroy, an experience that takes visitors to the ocean depths on a hunt for a giant squid, re-created from authentic data and sounds collected from a real sperm whale.

Visitors of any age will find something of interest in this awe inspiring exhibit that explores the undersea world of whales and brings them to life with cultural storytelling, intriguing objects and interactive science.  For more information on the exhibit visit the Canadian Museum of Nature website or, to book your getaway package that includes a visit to the Whales Tohorā exhibit, visit www.ottawatourism.ca.

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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.

Ottawa Tourism and Roots Canada – a great partnership and a great contest!

16 Jan

Put on your Roots gear and head to the Rideau Canal Skateway in Ottawa!

Ottawa Tourism and Roots Canada have paired up to encourage Canadians to explore the joys of winter. Visitors to Roots outlets across Canada can enter the Let’s Go Outside! contest until February 14, 2012 and have a chance to win a 4-night trip to Ottawa! You can also enter the contest online.

The prize package includes:

The partnership was launched at a media event in early January 2012 at the Roots flagship store at 100 Bloor Street West in Toronto, with assistance from Savvy Company (who sourced Savour Ottawa cheeses and Ontario wines), Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa (who provided delicious macarons for dessert and some door prizes) and Ontario Tourism. Thanks to all who attended!

Chris Robinson Travel Show features Ottawa Dec. 24

21 Dec

If you’re in the Toronto area, tune in to NewsTalk 1010 from 10:00 to 11:00am on Saturday, December 24 for the Chris Robinson Travel Show‘s feature on Ottawa.

You’ll learn more about the plans for Winterlude and other winter celebrations, post-Christmas shopping options, relaxing at Holtz Spa, staying at the Fairmont Château Laurier, dining at Le Cordon Bleu Bistro @ Signatures, visiting the National Gallery of Canada and the Canada Aviation & Space Museum and more!

To whet your appetite, check out the video at the bottom of Chris Robinson’s homepage: http://www.chrisrobinsontravelshow.ca/

 

Ottawa on video

3 Nov

We’ve come across a couple great Ottawa-themed videos in the past few days that we wanted to share. The first is an ode to Ottawa by local rapper The Joynt called Capcity:

 

And this one is great, too — featuring a couple of young Ottawa soccer players showing off their impressive skills in front of some of the region’s most popular attractions.

 

Any favourite parts? Please share below!

Early July in Ottawa

4 Jul

Well, the euphoria of the Royal Visit  to Ottawa of Prince William and Kate Middleton (the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge, that is) on Canada Day is finally starting to fade a wee bit. But don’t despair! There are still lots of great activities to fill your days in Ottawa during this early part of July. For example:

The fabulous Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest— a musical party spanning six stages and 12 days just outside the Canadian War Museum — runs July 5-17. Whatever your musical tastes, you should find something that satisfies, from Buddy Guy to Huey Lewis & the News, from Peter Frampton to Death Cab for Cutie, from Jane’s Addiction to Blue Rodeo, plus comedy acts and more!

The Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest attracts a huge crowd each year -- but there are six stages, ensuring you'll find something you like!

If you’d prefer the strains of classical music, don’t miss Music and Beyond, which runs July 7-17. The opening night event has a Shakespearean theme and features great Canadian actor Christopher Plummer!

If you want to be active (or watch those who are), you can’t miss the HOPE Volleyball Summerfest on July 9 — the world’s largest one-day beach volleyball tournament! The action’s at Mooney’s Bay Beach and features performances by Big Sugar and Tokyo Police Club. Awesome!

If you’re more a laboratory bum than a beach bum, you’ll love the Canada Science and Technology Museum‘s Chemistry Uncovered event, July 7-10. Besides taking part in exciting hands-on experiments, you can see an amazing magic show, taste some delicious liquid nitrogen ice cream, or, on July 9, catch David Cronenberg’s critically acclaimed movie The Fly (PG-13, with French subtitles), at the Museum’s outdoor after-dark screening (bring blankets or folding chairs and a donation to the Ottawa Food Bank).

If theatre’s more your thing, take a drive to the picturesque town of Perth to catch the Classic Theatre Festival‘s performance of Bell, Book and Candle July 8-31 (or  catch The Fourposter August 5-28). Or enjoy the intrigues of a fast-paced version of Shakespeare’s Antony & Cleopatra performed in local parks by the frenetic Company of Fools (until August 20).

The Changing the Guard Ceremony is a longstanding summertime tradition in Ottawa.

Finally, check out some fun FREE activities on Parliament Hill  (beyond the tours) like the daily Changing the Guard ceremony at 10am on the front lawn (until August 26) or the spectacular Sound and Light Show — called Mosaika — that uses the Parliament Buildings as a gigantic screen, projecting images and special effects while telling the story of Canada through its people. It’s a winner, running July 6-September 5). Both events are weather permitting.

Get out there and enjoy!

Royal Visit mania strikes Ottawa!

24 Jun

The TD Ottawa Jazz Festival offers free progamming in Confederation Park on Canada Day.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are coming to Ottawa for Canada Day and the residents of Canada’s Capital Region couldn’t be happier!

The official itinerary has been released, showing visits at the National War Memorial, Rideau Hall, Canadian Museum of Civilization, Parliament Hill during the Canada Day Noon Show and the Canadian War Museum. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to come out and say hello to the newlyweds!

But what else is going on in town with a royal theme?

The National War Memorial is a stunning monument in downtown Ottawa.

On Canada Day, the Lord Elgin Hotel  on Elgin Street downtown is creating a huge wedding cake in the couple’s honour that members of the public can sample. Right across the street, the TD Ottawa Jazz Festival offers free programming on Canada Day and great shows from June 23 to July 3, 2011.

Meanwhile, at the castle-like Fairmont Château Laurier, you can take it up a notch by indulging in their very popular afternoon tea service. For a limited time, they’re offering “Royal Tea” which includes a glass of Moet et Chandon champagne!

The whole family will enjoy a visit to the Currency Museum of the Bank of Canada on July 1 for their Canada Day Garden Party!  Held on the Museum’s outdoor plaza at the corner of Bank and Sparks Streets downtown, they will celebrate the Royal Visit and Canada’s 144th birthday with a British-themed garden party featuring games, music, refreshments and crafts for everyone.

And if that works up a thirst, Mom & Dad can quench it at ZenKitchen on Somerset Street West with a refreshing take on the classic Cranberry Kir Royale with a pomegranate cranberry drink dubbed the Cranberry Kir “Royal Visit!”

For a more active option, head to MKC in the City which is planning a very cool tribute to the Royal Couple. On Thursday, June 30, between 1 and 4pm, you can try your hand at whitewater kayaking. For $30, you can paddle three times through the course at the Pumphouse, which is located at the western edge of downtown Ottawa, not farm from the Canadian War Museum. (Directions: Take Bronson Avenue northbound, turn left (west) on Albert Street, then an immediate right on Rue Commissioner.)

Welcome to Ottawa, Your Royal Highnesses!