Articles Tagged ‘museums’

WEEKENDER: A Great Lakes photo exhibit, the first-ever Nature Nocturne, and six more events to beat the winter blues

A photo of Owen Sound, Georgian Bay, Lake Huron, by photographer Stephan Gaydos.

What happens when something as wild and natural as a lake becomes central to industry? The School of the Photographic Arts: Ottawa (SPAO) Artist-in-Residence Stephan Gaydos spent seven long months patiently observing four of the Great Lakes (Huron, Superior, Erie, and Ontario), paying special attention to their industrial ports. From those captured images, he’s put together Great Lakes Project: Observations and Appropriations, a study of industrial landscapes. On until Monday, December 30. Red Wall Gallery, 168 Dalhousie St.,

If you’ve ever thought, “Gee, I wish museums would stay open after hours for some grown-up fun,” good news! In addition to the Museum of Nature’s amazing exhibits, there will also be interactive art installations by the Luminartists, heARTbeatgal, and Greta Grip to stimulate your mind while you groove to the music of DJ TDot, the Ottawa New Music Creators, and classical guitarist Chris Milne. No need to worry about going hungry, either: food and drink will be available for purchase. Friday, January 25, 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. $20. The Canadian Museum of Nature, 240 McLeod St.,

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WEEKENDER: Pumpkins and road trips, plus 6 more events to get you out of the kitchen this Thanksgiving weekend

Planning an autumn road trip? Head down to Kingston for The Library Chronicles, an innovative production featuring four new Canadian scripts devised to interact with one another. Performed by five theatre companies, audiences will follow elaborately crafted storylines that move throughout the library. Featuring work by playwrights Ned Dickens, Jill Connell, Michael Payne, Alex Dault, and Governor General Award recipient Judith Thompson, each writer has a unique connection to the city of Kingston. Wednesday, October 3, to Saturday, October 6. $23.73, tickets include two shows per evening. Central Branch of the Kingston Frontenac Public Library, 130 Johnson Street,

This evolution scene, handcrafted from pumpkins, is just one of the displays on view at Pumpkinferno.

Halloween is just around the corner, so get inspired with this magical outdoor exhibit of thousands of hand-carved pumpkins, all set against the nighttime backdrop of Upper Canada Village. Kicking off this weekend, the all-ages event will feature an assortment of scenes that range from exotic places to historic ages. You’ll encounter forest animals, sea creatures, storybook heroes, mythical characters, cultural icons, and more, all carved from pumpkins! Friday, October 5, to Monday, October 8, 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., plus other dates throughout October. $10, seniors and youth $7, five and under free. Upper Canada Village, Country Road 2 (Off Highway 31),

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WEEKENDER: The Harlem Gospel Choir comes to Ottawa, farmers get some support, and Holly McNarland plays Mavericks

ARS Nova is kicking off its fall season with a rousing performance by the Harlem Gospel Choir. The choir, which has been touring the world for 26 years, features top singers and musicians from the churches of Harlem in New York City. Incorporating their motto “Bringing people and nations together and giving something back” into each performance, the group serenades audiences with songs of love and hope while also raising money for various children’s charities. Friday, September 14, 7:30 p.m. Reserved seating $45, general seating $35, senior $30, students $20. Dominion Chalmers United Church, 355 Cooper St., Ottawa,

Holly McNarland takes the stage at Mavericks' this weekend. Photo by Vanessa Heins.

Back in May, Manitoban singer-songwriter Holly McNarland released her first album since parting ways with her old record label. Run Body Run, which blends McNarland’s country roots with modern rock influences, was the result of five years spent writing, re-working, and recording. You can catch the Juno Award-winner this Saturday when she brings her Run Body Run tour to Mavericks. Saturday, September 15. $17, Mavericks, 221 Rideau St.,

Capital Vélo Fest will be launching the Capital Vélo Rally this Saturday! Working in partnership with 8 Locks’ Flat Restaurant, the event offers participants the opportunity to explore the city by bike. Focusing on low-traffic streets and bike paths, riders will travel 20km in total, collecting clues and competing in cycling competitions along the way. Register your team of 3-6 people online – or sign up as a solo rider and be added to an existing team. Saturday, September 15. $20/person, 8 Locks’ Flat Restaurant, 191 Colonel By,

Taste of Wellington West returns this Saturday with a jam-packed day of music, shopping, and food! Check out what’s cooking in the ‘hood (literally) with this fun street fest that sees people from around town head west. Performing this year are Reverb Syndicate, Crown Vic, Still Dangerous, and Tall Trees, as well as children’s performers, Hey Buster!. You can also treat your taste buds to a plethora of free food samples, with Hintonburger, Bridgehead, and SuzyQ Doughnuts offering up some goodies. Saturday, September 15. Wellington Street, from Somerset Bridge to Island Park, Ottawa,

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WEEKENDER: Roadtrippin’ to Perth, getting hot at HOPE, fishing with the fam, and more ways to heat up your weekend

If your kids loved Night at the Museum, then the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum and Vintage Stock Theatre have just the event for them. Twice a month in July and August, visitors will be able to wander through the museum’s buildings and listen to stories of adventure told by the theatre’s interpreters. Unfortunately, Ben Stiller will not be in attendance. Every other Thursday at 6 p.m., beginning Thursday, July 12. $7, seniors and students $5, families $18. Cumberland Heritage Village Museum, 2940 Old Montreal Rd., Cumberland,

The latest at SAW Video: a six-part American film showcase that includes screenings, artist talks, and a masterclass, all free of charge. The films are diverse (drama, animation, documentary, experimental) but all speak from the margins of society and promote independence. Keep an eye out for the names of the young artists showcased — they’re bound to become innovators in American cinema. Friday, July 13, to Saturday, July 21. SAW Courtyard, 67 Nicholas St.,

The Classic Theatre Festival kicks off this weekened just an hour away in Perth. Photo by T.H. Wall.

The Perth Classic Theatre Festival is back for another season, opening with a quirky romantic comedy. Two for the Seesaw is a Tony award-winning play that hilariously tells a love story set in 1950s New York City. Fun fact: Henry Fonda and Anne Bancroft starred in the original version. Previews on Friday, July 13 at 8 p.m., and Saturday, July 14 at 2 p.m. Opening Saturday, July 14 at 8 p.m. $24 previews, $30 regular season, $21 youth. Mason Theatre, 13 Victoria St., Perth,

For 30 years now, H.O.P.E. has been bringing local volleyball players, Canadian musicians, and philanthropists of all stripes together for one huge event every summer. This year’s tournament will see thousands of players compete on 80 courts to raise money for seven local charities. If live entertainment by Mother Mother, illScarlett, and Treble Charger is just a bonus, it’s a pretty exciting one. Saturday, July 14. Registration for teams is closed, but get in on the fun by watching teams duke it out and rocking out in your down time. $20 advance ticket or $25 at the door. Mooney’s Bay Beach, Riverside Dr. and Hog’s Back Rd.,

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THE ARTFUL BLOGGER: Mess with us and we’ll burn the White House — a look at the War Museum’s 1812 exhibit

By Paul Gessell

The Officer's Coatee of Major General Sir Isaac Brock. On the chest of the coat you can see the hole left by the American musket ball that killed him.

If you want to get a taste of the future, visit the War of 1812 exhibition at the Canadian War Museum.

There you will discover how Canadians of English, French, and Aboriginal ancestry united to repel American invasions. And just to rub salt into American wounds, there is even a piece of charred timber, small enough to rest in the palm of your hand, that came from the White House in Washington that “we” burned to the ground in 1814.

Well, actually, it was the British who torched the presidential home. But the divisions between British and Canadian were kind of fuzzy back then. So, when it is convenient, we claim “Canadians” did the deed. If memory serves me, I recall Brian Mulroney, during a prime ministerial visit to Washington in 1988, joked to an American audience about Canadians sacking the White House.

So, what’s this all got to do with the future?

Well, Stephen Harper’s Conservative government has made a concerted effort to mark the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 and turn it into an anniversary of the day Canadians saved themselves from becoming American.

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PROFILE: Talking plans with Canadian Museum of Civilization CEO Mark O’Neill

Mark O’Neill steps out from the shadow of Victor Rabinovitch, taking over from his more theatrical predecessor as CEO of the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation
by Paul Gessell

Photography by Luther Caverly

Mark O’Neill sounds like the kind of man every father wishes his daughter would marry. He is a hard-working, family-oriented, church-going Kiwanis Club member who, when asked to name his local heroes, cites broadcaster Max Keeping, businessman Dave Smith, and his father, William O’Neill — men about town who have managed to combine successful careers with high-profile philanthropy. For O’Neill, wild and crazy means a well-timed joke, a slight spikiness to the hair, dancing up a storm at office parties, and spending evenings at home glued to television’s Turner Classic Movies, hoping an Alfred Hitchcock thriller will appear.

This past summer Stephen Harper’s cabinet appointed O’Neill president and CEO of the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation, the Crown agency that runs the Museum of Civilization and its affiliate, the Canadian War Museum. And though his Irish-Catholic family-values background likely appealed to the current cabinet, O’Neill boasts many other attributes that made him a front-runner when former CEO Victor Rabinovitch announced his retirement.

Indeed, the father of two teenagers has spent his entire working life in Ottawa, in the federal public service, since studying political science at Carleton University. For most of his career, he toiled in such programs as multiculturalism, book publishing, and the protection of cultural property. In hindsight, one could say O’Neill was being groomed for his current job, one of the country’s top cultural posts.

It was in 1996 that O’Neill’s career took a sudden turn. That year he became executive assistant to Victor Rabinovitch, then an assistant deputy minister at Heritage. The low-key, nose-to-the-grindstone O’Neill has been living in the shadow of the far more garrulous and theatrical Rabinovitch off and on since. Rabinovitch became CEO of Civilization Corp. in 2000. A year later he hired his former executive assistant to be Civilization’s corporate secretary. From there, O’Neill steadily worked his way up the executive ladder, becoming director of the War Museum and then succeeding the retiring Rabinovitch as corporate CEO. At 48, O’Neill becomes the chief guardian of such national treasures as Rocket Richard’s No. 9 Canadiens hockey sweater and an impressive collection of Victoria Crosses. He also stickhandles a $70-million budget for the two museums and their 350 full-time employees. Attendance last year was 1.2 million at Civilization and 470,000 at the War Museum.

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THE WEEKENDER: Tree-trimming, Christmas lights, and three other ways to brighten up your Christmas

The Museum of Civilization presents its first-ever Festive Trees Decorating Challenge! The holiday attraction features a stunning display of 20 lavishly decorated trees created by local community organizations.  The themes of the trees range from sports to arts and beyond, and visitors are invited to vote for their favourite. Thursday, Dec. 23 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday, Dec. 24 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 26 from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Canadian Museum of Civilization, 100 Laurier St., Gatineau, QC,

Christmas Lights Across Canada. Photo credit: NCC/CCN.

This weekend is the perfect time to pack the family into the car and take a drive around the capital to see the stunning displays of Christmas lights.  Every year, the NCC sponsors an annual celebration called “Christmas Lights Across Canada,” where viewers can see the winter landscape lit up by the glow of more than 300,000 multicoloured lights at over 60 sites along Confederation Boulevard.  Also, don’t miss out on seeing the snowflake projections on the Parliament Buildings at night.

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The Weekender: drum heads, Hammerheads, and four other ways to enjoy Thanksgiving weekend

Walk off that turkey dinner with a weekend hike in Gatineau Park during this celebration of all things autumnal. Explore more than 90 kilometres of trails that host cute critters and pretty fall leaves. Plus, the kids will enjoy activities at the Visitor Centre where they can learn about all the hidden treasures the park has to offer. They’ll be having so much fun they won’t even realize they’re taking part in “Quality Family Time.” Until Oct. 17. Gatineau Park Visitor Centre (33 Scott Rd., Chelsea, Quebec), 819-827-2020.

Dave Norris by A. James Brummel

It’s being dubbed as a 20-piece band performance and a portrait exhibit, and it’s definitely a creative way to give used drumheads a second life. Head to Head brings musical and visual art talent from across the city to Shanghai Restaurant, which means there will also be plenty of good food, drink, and drag between sets. The event is the brainchild of local portrait artist A. James Brummel, and it goes a little something like this: Brummel presents a series of portraits of local professional musicians (done on drum skins); some of these musicians will attend the Head to Head vernissage and treat all to a taste of their musical skills. Confused? Trying to picture a 20-piece band, some used drumheads, and an audience of Ottawa art fans squished into the Shanghai? So are we, but there’s only one way to find out. Oct. 7. Shanghai Restaurant, 657 Somerset St. W., 613233-4001.

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The Weekender: Butterflies, birds, ballots, and four other things to do this weekend

Hey, if it’s still raining (and there seems to be a never-ending supply of the wet stuff on weekends) this is a great option for frazzled parents. Carleton University’s two display greenhouses are filled with exotic tropical butterflies during its annual butterfly show. Great way to combine fun and education! Get there early — it gets very busy. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Sat., Oct. 2 to Oct. 11. Nesbitt Biology Building, corner of University Drive and Raven Road, 613-520-3513.


Autumn Montage by Robert Moeller

Spread over two weekends, this studio tour lets you interact with artists and craftspeople in their creative environments. More than 22 artists display paintings, pottery, sculptures, jewellery, photography, furniture, and more. Check out Louis Rompré’s vibrant hand-dipped candle demonstrations, John Barkley’s stunning abstract oil paintings, and Robert Moeller’s nature-inspired creations (left). Oct. 2 and 3 and 9 to 11. A printable version of the route map is available on the website and copies of the brochures are available en route. Chelsea and Wakefield, 819-459-3233.

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The Weekender: Insects, ice cream, and four more summertime staples

Are you a country mouse or a city mouse? This weekend, you don’t have to choose between a country excursion and an exciting cultural experience. Pack a lunch and head to the Pontiac barn-turned-studio of choreographer Tedd Robinson, who presents “Dichterliebe — a poet’s love.” The new work is performed by five contemporary dancers, and is accompanied by live music. The setting is surreal, the moves impassioned, and you won’t be met by the club crowd after exiting the theatre. Aug. 6, 7 p.m., 7-8, 4 p.m. $15. La BARN, 69 chem. du Lac Leslie,


Dwight Yoakum is a star attraction at Capital Hoedown

Dig the cowboy boots out of the back of the cupboard and get down and dirty with the likes of Dwight Yoakam and Alan Jackson. Check out Vince Gill, a 19-time Grammy Award-winner, and get down with Australian country music sensation Jetty Road. Twelve performers descend on the city for this hootenanny — which is shaping up to be another big hit on the local festival scene. Aug. 5 to 7, 6 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. $65-$225. Rideau Carleton Entertainment Centre, 4837 Albion Rd.,

International puppet troupes descend on Almonte for this festival that offers 54 different shows. Catch free entertainment on Mill Street with clowns, musicians, face painters, and entertainers, and each day at 1:45 p.m. everyone gathers for a parade. When the lights go down on Saturday night, leave the kids at home and head out to the adults-only cabaret performance called “Puppets… Unstrung!” Remember, what happens at the puppet show, stays at the puppet show… Aug. 7 and 8, from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Day Pass: $15, children (three to 12) $10, children under three free. Weekend pass: $25, children (three to 12) $15. Various venues in Almonte, 613-256-3881.

Hey, they’re everywhere right now so why not celebrate them? At the Billings Estate, the theme is butterflies and moths. Sure, there will be crafts and games, but the big draw for kids will undoubtedly be big bug hunt. Preregistration required. Aug. 8, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. $6 per child, ages 6+. 2100 Cabot St., 613-247-4830,

It doesn’t get any better than this on a hot day. Take the kids out to the Canada Agriculture Museum for a celebration of summer’s best dessert. Learn about the journey ice cream takes from cow to cone and, while you’re chowing down on your frozen treat, watch The Cowguys perform a zany mix of circus, western, and magic tricks. Aug. 7, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. $7, children (three to 14) $4, students and seniors $6, families $16. Canada Agriculture Museum, Prince of Wales Dr., 613-991-3044.

Why, you ask? Three reasons. First, it’s a great remake. Second, it’s something both parents and kids can enjoy. Third, Hollywood insiders say tween actor Jaden Smith has that illusive thing they call “true star quality.” A decade from now, you can say you knew he was going places from the moment you saw his performance in, yes, The Karate Kid. Aug.7 (6:45 p.m.) and Aug. 8 (6:30 p.m.). $5 (kids), $7 (seniors), $10 (adults). 1074 Bank St., 613-730-3403.