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Ottawa’s First BAWI Festival

20 Aug

Ottawa BAWI Festival August 2012

Every spring and summer along the Ottawa River by Remic Rapids people come to marvel at John Felice Ceprano’s stone balanced art. This past weekend, August 18-19 2012, the area was further transformed during the first ever Ottawa Balanced Art World International (BAWI) Festival. Visitors stood and pointed in awe at the creations by 10 artists from Canada, USA and Italy and were further entertained and inspired by performers in music, dance, theatre and poetry.

Visitors to the site can continue to enjoy these creations for the rest of the year; but once the ice and snow comes, these structures are destroyed! Next spring, Mr. Ceprano will be back, creating new works of art with the stones, as he has done since 1986.

Ottawa BAWI Festival Artist August 2012

Ottawa BAWI Festival Artist August 2012

Ottawa BAWI Festival August 2012

Ottawa BAWI Festival August 2012

WANTED: Artists on Canada Day in Ottawa!

7 May

Ottawa throws one heck of a party each July 1. That’s Canada Day and the entire region erupts into a wild celebration of all things Canada…. There truly is no better place to be in the country on Canada Day than in Canada’s Capital Region.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge — aka Will and Kate — were the guests of honour at Ottawa’s Canada Day celebrations in 2011. CREDIT: Central Image Agency

A big part of the celebration is organized by the National Capital Commission, including the noon and evening shows on Parliament Hill, the massive fireworks display and fun, interactive programming in Major’s Hill Park in Ottawa and Jacques-Cartier Park in nearby Gatineau, Québec.

The NCC (as it’s known) has issued a call to artists to create some unique artwork for Major’s Hill Park for this year’s celebration. Check out the details on their website.

They’re looking for something collaborative — meaning a temporary creation that would be built or made by the artist and members of the public as the day progressed; sounds like fun!

The details of Canada Day 2012 won’t be released for a few more weeks but stay tuned — it’ll be a 145th birthday party to remember!

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!

Ottawa Fashion Week Highlights

22 Feb

This weekend in Ottawa was full of beautiful dresses, high heels and high fashion. Ottawa Fashion Week took fashionistas by storm this weekend with three full nights of designers. See the highlights below for a recap on all the excitement.

Miss the show this weekend? Don’t worry models will hit the runways again in September for the Spring/Summer 2013 collections.

Ottawa Fashion Week struts its stuff!

15 Feb

Ottawa Fashion Week takes place this weekend (February 17-19, 2012) and it is going to be awesome! The show is being held at the Westin Ottawa hotel this season, and features 18 designers — most showing for the first time in Ottawa.

Tickets are $45 for Friday and Saturday night and $55 on Sunday night. The Sunday night show includes a charity show with $10 from each ticket going to UNICEF. For those who can’t get enough fashion, the best deal is to buy a weekend pass which is $95 for all three days.

The nights are packed with entertainment. There are two intermissions during which bands will be playing and there is a Marketplace with designers selling jewellery, among them Love Montreal, Sean Ward, and Nova Design. There will also be hair and make-up touchups, cocktails and photo booths!

Slip into your stilettos and come on out for a weekend of fashion and fun!

Check the schedule: http://www.ottawafashionweek.ca/schedule-feb-new.php

Buy tickets: http://ottawafashionweek.ca/consumer.php

Ottawa fun during the NHL All-Star Weekend!

24 Jan

Ottawa is buzzing with excitement waiting for the best hockey players in the National Hockey League to show off their skills during the 2012 NHL All-Star weekend!

Whether you are lucky enough to have tickets to the game itself – or the Skills Competition or the player draft – or if you’ll be watching on TV, you’ll feel the excitement in the air. Read on for a taste of local celebrations!

FAN FAIR AT THE CONVENTION CENTRE

You’ve probably heard of the Fan Fair to be held at the sexy new Ottawa Convention Centre, right downtown overlooking the Rideau Canal Skateway.

This family-friendly spot features interactive games and attractions, trophy and memorabilia displays, and special appearances. Ticketsare $10 before Jan. 25, $15 afterwards and at the door. Great food and drink includes a yummy chili bar, pulled pork nachos, designer sliders, as well as classics such as Montreal smoked meat, carved roast beef on a bun…plus it wouldn’t be a real Ottawa party without poutine!

Visit the historic skating rink at Rideau Hall

Also worth checking out is the “outdoor patio” on Colonel By Drive, with the Molson Bar and BeaverTails stand. You might even catch a glimpse of the Stanley Cup, or see some stars of the future at the NHL Junior Skills National Championships!

RIDEAU HALL FUN

Don’t miss the Winter Celebration at Rideau Hall, the home and workplace of the Governor General of Canada, the Right Honourable David Johnston. On Saturday, January 28 between 12:30 and 4:00pm, you can experience Nordic sports and tradition through a variety of free outdoor activities, including dog sledding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, skating on the historic outdoor rink, and more.

From 3:00 to 5:00pm, visitors can tour the historic residence and the temporary exhibit, 75 Years of ‘GGreat’ Books: the Governor General’s Literary Awards, showcasing more than 600 works that have won the award since 1936.

At 3:00pm on the outdoor skating rink, the Governor Genearl will launch the first-ever NHL Hockey is for Everyone Program Centre in Ottawa with CBC TV’s George Stroumboulopoulos and others.

ACTIVITIES

  • Ottawa Walking Tours is offering a 20% discount on their Historical Highlights 2-hour walking tour on Saturday, January 28 (10:15am) for participants who wear their favourite NHL team jersey during the tour. (Discount doesn’t apply to those without jerseys.) Instead of $15, it’s $12 per person wearing a jersey. Reservations at 613-799-1774 or online are required and the deal only applies to cash purchases, not pre-paid credit card transactions. Participants must wear their NHL jersey during the tour.
  • Rinaldo Hair Designers & Spa on George Street is offering a 15% discount off all spa services (excluding massage) between January 26 and 29,2012.

FOOD AND DRINK

  • Are you attending the game, the Skills Competition or the Fan Fair? During All-Star weekend, show your ticket stub at the Southern Cross Grill on Queen (adjacent to the Radisson Hotel Ottawa)  and everyone in your party receives appetizers for half-price or, if you’re there early, 20% off your breakfasts!
  • The Honest Lawyer in the ByWard Market neighbourhood will be giving away prizes and offering drink specials during Saturday’s Skills Competition (7-9pm) and trivia prizes after the game. On Sunday, they’ll open early (at 4pm) and give out prizes for trivia and prizes after every goal –two prizes for every goal scored by an Ottawa Senators player. 
  • At Midway Family Fun Park, any customer who wears a Senators jersey or t-shirt is entitled to 50% off a large pizza at Max’s Bistro (January 26-29, 2012).
  • Both Mambo Nuevo Latino and Kinki Asian Fusion are extending their special Winter Bites menus throughout the All-Star weekend.
  • Cornerstone Bar and Grill has a series of food specials, both à la carte and table d’hôte offerings. They’re also offering drink specials.
  • Buffalo wings and nachos are just some of the specials on offer at the Holiday Inn Plaza la Chaudière’s Bar des Chutes in Gatineau.
  • While dining at Santé Restaurant, overlooking the corner of Rideau Street and Sussex Drive, you may very well catch a glimpse of a player or other VIP

How do you plan to spend All-Star Weekend?

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!