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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
 

Let’s Go Ottawa

Jane’s Walk: intimate portraits of Ottawa

 

ottawas-little-italy-street-sign-credit-akira-kamioPreston Street (Ottawa's Little Italy) is just one of the neighbourhoods taking part in Jane's Walk Ottawa May 5-6.This weekend — May 5 and 6 — brings an opportunity for Ottawa residents and visitors alike to discover unique, intimate looks at the Ottawa region. Jane’s Walks are named after Jane Jacobs, a noted urbanist, and this year marks the 5th anniversary of these free strolls in Ottawa.

Start times run from roughly 9:00am to 3:00pm on both Saturday and Sunday and there are walks for every taste. Discover neighbourhoods like Little Italy, New Edinburgh, Vanier, Barrhaven and Manotick, among others. Stroll through Notre Dame Cemetery, the trees of the Arboretum, or you can even learn about edible weeds!

Most walks are presented in English but some are in French — and there’s even a bike tour (new this year).

Best of all — it’s free! See the full schedule here and get walking this weekend!

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Warm Breezes and Cool Jazz

 

td-ottawa-jazz-festival2Summer nights in the capital are full of warm breezes and cool Jazz from June 21 to July 1. The TD Ottawa Jazz Festival brings more than 900 artists to Confederation Park in the heart of downtown and other satellite stages around town.

Acts on the main stage include 2011 Grammy Award Winner for Best New Artist, Esperanza Spalding, who proves that jazz continues to reinvent itself with timeless popularity. Another high energy new young act is American R&B artist Janelle Monáe. Her stunning vocal prowess and smooth dance moves are sure to delight the audience. With catchy songs like “Tightrope” you’re sure to be grooving along with her.

June 25 is a night is dedicated to New Orleans jazz starring Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue. The Grammy-nominated group is sure to get the crowd going with their music fusion of superfunk, jazz, and rock. If you haven’t heard them before, this is one to check out! Shorty is followed by New Orleans living jazz and blues legend Allen Toussaint.

Jazz and blues is stunning music that can pull you into melodic soul of the artist. But maybe you are looking for something more light hearted, if so, June 26 is the night for you! Comedian Steve Martin will take to the stage with the Steep Canyon Rangers for a night of bluegrass and comedy.

When it is time to take a break from the sunshine the Studio and Improv Series right across the street at the National Arts Centre showcases an exceptional line up in intimate venues. The schedule caters to the true jazz connoisseur featuring critically acclaimed performers like The Jack DeJohnette Group and up-and-coming talents like the jazzy improv sounds of IPA.

After the shows at Confederation Park wrap up for the night, the TD Ottawa Jazz Festival keeps your toes tapping with the OLG Late Night Series. Dance the night away with Snarky Puppy and Los Amigos Invisibles plus a host of other hot party bands.

Visit the TD Ottawa Jazz Festival site for the full lineup. Full festival and day passes are available. Book Ottawa Tourism’s Celebration Vacation, Taste of Canada or Rendez-vous for Two package to purchase an exclusive two-day festival pass plus accommodations.

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King Lear set in 1608 Canada!

 

lear final smaller jpgAugust SchellenbergComing to Ottawa this May? Check out this performance of Shakespeare’s King Lear at Canada’s National Arts Centre.

King Lear is perhaps the greatest of all Shakespeare’s dramas.”
The Telegraph

From May 8-26, 2012, the National Arts Centre English Theatre presents King Lear, set in the Canada of 1608 (the year the play was written) during the Iroquois/Huronia Wars. This version of Shakespeare’s tragedy, directed by Peter Hinton, includes a cast of Aboriginal actors from across Canada and features the renowned Quebec actor August Schellenberg as Lear.

Tickets are available at the NAC box office and online. Or, plan your Ottawa vacation and include this production as part of an Ottawa Tourism getaway package.

Other 2012 productions from the NAC English Theatre include Communion (April 10-21), Sandra Shamas’ WIT’S END III: LOVE LIFE (April 10-14), The Glace Bay Miners’ Museum (Oct 16 – Nov3), thirsty (Nov 5-17), and Pride and Prejudice (Nov 21 – Dec 8).

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JUNO fever hits town

 

night-club-on-bank-sreet-credit-ottawa-tourismGet 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.
  • 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!

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

 

life-size-model-of-blue-whale-heart-credit-museum-of-new-zealand-te-papa-tongarewa-2008Yes, that's the size of a blue whale's heart! Unbelievable! credit-Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, 2008March 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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