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2014-2015Ottawa Visitor Guide

View our Ottawa Visitor Guide online to plan your stay in Canada’s Capital region.

2014-2015 Ottawa Visitor Guide

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What’s on in Ottawa beyond Winterlude?


So, what else is happening in Canada’s Capital Region beyond the huge celebration that is Winterlude?

The National Arts Centre is presenting what should be a show-stopping performance of Guys & Dolls this weekend (Feb. 5-7) while the Third Wall Theatre Company is presenting Shakespeare’s As You Like It from February 4 to 14. On Saturday, February 6, between the matinee and evening performances, you can attend Tickled Pink, where you can sip wine while shopping and sampling some neat finds from local retailers and women-centric businesses. The shopping is open to everyone, not just ticket holders (though wouldn’t you want to catch the show?).

For sports fans, check out the Sens Skills Competition on Sunday, February 7 where your favourite Ottawa Senators compete to see who has the hardest shot, who’s the fastest skater, etc. It’s fun and inexpensive (tickets start at $8).

Get all dolled up and enjoy the Snowflake Ball at the Hilton Lac-Leamy on Saturday, February 13. Beyond having a great time, you’ll be helping to raise money to fight Crohn’s disease, colitis and colorectal cancer.

Keep the good feelings going because February 12-19 is Kindness Week in Ottawa. Created by Rabbi Reuven Bulka in 2008, this initiative encourages everyone to Choose to be Kind.

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Have you booked your Winterlude getaway?


Despite unseasonably warm temperatures yesterday that have temporarily closed the Rideau Canal Skateway, it’s full steam ahead for Winterlude 2010, to be held on weekends from February 5-21.

Have you booked your Winterlude getaway yet? Ottawa Tourism offers a romantic Winterlude Rendezvous for Two package as well as a family-friendly Winterlude Family Getaway package. Both offer accommodation at a range of hotels and the ability to add admission to a variety of cultural attractions, such as the National Gallery of Canada, Canadian Museum of Civilization, Canadian War Museum and more!

As most Winterlude activities are free, that makes for an amazing weekend away! And when you think that many hotels offer a Third Night Half Price option, your weekend getaway just got even better!

See you on the ice!

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Winterlude activities announced!


The National Capital Commission hosted a media conference yesterday to announce some of the neat activities planned for this year’s 32nd edition of Winterlude.

Winterlude is a great winter festival, taking place over the first three weekends of February each year (Feb. 5-21, 2010). The centrepiece activity is skating on the world’s largest naturally frozen skating rink — the Rideau Canal Skateway — but there are many other (mostly free!) ways to enjoy the celebrations.

The opening ceremonies, on Friday, Feb. 5, will be centred at the Canadian Museum of Civilization, with a variety of indoor and outdoor activities planned, starting at 7pm. Around 9pm, you can enjoy an impressive musical fireworks display. The fireworks will also be visible from Jacques-Cartier Park (also known as Snowflake Kingdom) with its snow and ice slides as well as Major’s Hill Park in Ottawa, which will host aerial acrobatic demonstrations.

Snowflake Kingdom will host the annual snow sculpture competition, pitting teams from each province and territory against each other, starting on the second weekend of Winterlude. Make sure you wear ski pants to swoosh down the snow and ice slides — jeans tend to stick! You can also try your hand at ice fishing, learn more about the Canadian Forces, go for a dogsled ride or watch kids’ movies projected on a snow screen!

The Crystal Garden (also known as Confederation Park in downtown Ottawa) will feature ice sculptures from professionals and amateurs. They’re especially impressive when lit up at night. 

Meanwhile, the Rideau Canal Skateway will offer its usual thrills and chills — BeaverTails, hot chocolate, bed races, traditional Aboriginal singing and dancing, Portraits on the Ice, Beaver Cup Pond Hockey Championships — plus new “Learn to Skate” clinics for those who have yet to take up the sport!

Happy Winterlude, everyone! Get out there and enjoy it Feb. 5-21.

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Rideau Canal Skateway kicks off 40th season!


dscn15931Skating on Ottawa's Rideau Canal SkatewayThe National Capital Commission opened a 4.3 km section of the Rideau Canal Skateway this morning, marking the 40th season of skating on this UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can skate from the National Arts Centre downtown to the Bank Street Bridge in the Glebe neighbourhood. Check conditions on their website.

Ottawans breathed a sigh of relief and are anxious to get out on the ice: people skate to work, kids skate to school — it’s an integral part of winter life in our city.

The city is also gearing up for Winterlude, our big winter festival, which takes place from February 5 through 21. (Taste of Winterlude, a culinary event with special menus in dozens of restaurants and fabulous food and wine events throughout town, starts even earlier — it runs from January 28 through February 21.)

Get out there and celebrate winter!

winterlude-ice-sculptures-credit-ottawa-tourismIce sculpture at Winterlude festival in Ottawa

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ZenKitchen owners premiere their TV show


Ottawa restaurateurs Chef Caroline Ishii and sommelier Dave Loan hosted a gathering for friends, customers and supporters last night to herald the premiere of their new television show, The Restaurant Adventures of Caroline and Dave.

This 13-part series, produced by local company Mountain Road Productions, shows the enthusiastic, yet slightly naive, couple embark on their plans to open Ottawa’s first and only gourmet vegan restaurant.

ZenKitchen, which opened in late June 2009, has certainly made a name for itself but the road to opening was not smooth, as viewers will discover. Tune in on Wednesdays at 9pm EST on the W Network to learn more…

Here’s a short video made at the premiere last night.

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