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Where to Watch Outdoor Movies in Calgary Summer 2016

We all love spending an evening watching a good movie, but on a beautiful, warm summer day it can seem wasteful to spend time indoors on the couch watching Netflix. Luckily there are a few outdoor movie screenings happening in Calgary this summer that combine the best of both worlds.

Illustration by Greg Doble, Courtesy CSIF

Illustration by Greg Doble, Courtesy CSIF

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A Taste of the Tropics: Tropical Cocktails in Calgary

From tiki to tropical we’ve rounded up some fun tropical cocktails that will transform any day into a beach day. Whether you grab a coveted patio spot or not, you’ll be saying “aloha” to paradise.

Lava Bowl at Proof Read more…

Magical Harry Potter Events in Calgary

Potted Potter. Photo by Brian Friedman

Potted Potter. Photo by Brian Friedman

Harry Potter Magical Midnight
Sunday, July 31 at 12:01 am
Re-live the rush of lining up to buy the latest Harry Potter book right at midnight with the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the eighth book in the series. Most Chapters and Indigo locations in Calgary will be open late so you can be the first to buy the book, or pick up your pre-ordered copy and a free tote. Chapters Chinook is kicking things off at 10 pm with Butterbeer lattes from Starbucks and activities (including house sorting). Chapters Shawnessy is hosting a costume contest (so dress up like your favourite wizard, witch, elf, or giant) and playing Harry Potter trivia. If your little ones can’t stay up until midnight, visit Chapters or Indigo during the day on July 31 for fun Harry Potter activities and stories.
Tickets: Attending the event is free, but the cost per book is $23.99.

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PokéStops at Calgary Attractions in Pokémon Go

Pokemon Go

Trainers playing Pokemon Go at the entrance to Prince’s Island Park in Calgary. Photo by Dale Calkins.

If you haven’t heard by now, Pokémon GO is the augmented reality app game that’s extremely popular all around the world — including here in Calgary. Going on a quest to catch Pokémon has become a great way to explore the city and see some of its top neighbourhoods and attractions. Here are some places in Calgary that are popular for locals and Pokémon alike:

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Must-See Music Festivals in Calgary

Summer and music festival season are heating up, and you don’t have to go far to experience some great music! No matter what vibe you’re looking for, any of these large-scale local music fests will have you dancing and singing all day long.

Chasing Summer Festival in Calgary. Photo by Mike Hopkins, courtesy LiveNation

Chasing Summer Festival in Calgary. Photo by Mike Hopkins, courtesy LiveNation

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Studio Bell, Home of the National Music Centre, Opens in Calgary


It’s time to play the music at Studio Bell and, believe us, it’ll be music to your ears.
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100+ Things to Do in Calgary This Summer

You won’t be bored for a second this summer with all the events and activities happening in Calgary in July and August — there’s practically something to fill your calendar with every day. The best part is that many events are free or affordable. Cheers to a fun summer!

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Ottawa gets set to blow your mind with its subterranean side


In a city known for its rich cultural history, the mind-blowing underground multimedia experience to be unveiled in Ottawa for 2017 will definitely be about the future.

Running from late-June to mid-September next year, the extravaganza by Montreal’s Moment Factory celebrates Canada’s 150th anniversary with serious emotional power—and it’s just one of the ways Ottawa is showcasing its capacity for innovation.

“The goal is celebrating Canadian achievements in terms of technology, and stimulating people’s neurons to open up new horizons,” says Guy Laflamme, executive director of Ottawa 2017 Bureau, which is hosting the capital’s anniversary celebrations. Laflamme previously worked with Moment Factory on the award-winning Mosaika show, which wowed spectators on Parliament Hill a few years ago.

Moment Factory has produced breathtaking audiovisual experiences using screens, lights, sound, music and architectural elements for live concerts by artists like Madonna and Jay Z, as well as interactive shows for the likes of Holt Renfrew, Los Angeles International Airport and Royal Caribbean cruises.

Related stories:Listen to Ottawa: That’s the sound of music
Canada Day 2017: The biggest bash in the country
Why adrenalin junkies will be hitting Ottawa in 2017

For Ottawa 2017, the company is taking its cues from the unique venue: the as-yet-unfinished Lyon Station of the capital’s new Light Rail Transit (LRT) line. Though the LRT won’t open until 2018, Laflamme and his team were able to convince transit authorities to grant unprecedented access to the subterranean space for an unrepeatable event that people will be talking about decades from now.

“We’ve never worked in a construction site before and we’ll be using the challenges it brings to augment the experience for the audience,” says Sakchin Bessette, Moment Factory’s executive creative director. “When you look at what’s happening with technology, there are many great things happening on personal devices. But what we want to do is gather people physically together, and this is a great project for doing that in a truly unique way. Starting with the location, we research and find certain storylines and things that guide us in creating the experience.”

The storytelling method is definitely not conventional. Born in Ottawa, Bessette knows the capital well and has watched it blossom into a high-tech hub over the last couple of decades. The city’s openness has made it a magnet for interesting collaborations and experimentation with partners both local and global.

As well as Moment Factory, Ottawa 2017 has teamed up with La Machine from Nantes, France. To describe La Machine as a street theatre company is a serious understatement. Their gigantic creatures dwarf not only human beings, but their surrounding environment. For several days next summer, they’ll play out their oversized drama in Ottawa’s downtown core, made all the more awe-inspiring by the use of fire, water and live orchestral music. “It’s not only a Canadian first, but a North American first,” says Laflamme. “Everywhere they go they attract hundreds of thousands of people.”

Visitors to Ottawa next year will also get their screen time—though not exactly where they would expect it. For the Canadian Videogame Awards in November, game designers and fans will flood the city in a celebration of the gamer culture that’s become such an integral part of Ottawa—and Canada’s—economy.

The Canada Aviation and Space Museum will host the gala presentation, but gaming will spill out onto the streets for a full week. During the semi-finals and finals for the national gamer championships, games will be projected onto the side of buildings across the city. And once again, Ottawa will be turned into a stage for the best of the human imagination.


logo-ottawa-2017This is sponsored content. For more details on Ottawa’s 150th birthday celebrations, please go to Ottawa 2017.



Why adrenalin junkies will be hitting Ottawa in 2017

When you’re watching skaters flying through the air as they speed down an ice track through the heart of downtown Ottawa, don’t worry if your heart skips a beat. It’ll be happening to everyone around you, too.

Ice cross downhill, one of the most extreme winter sports, features four racers tearing down an ice track of moguls, hills, hairpin turns and straightaways at incredible speeds. When Red Bull Crashed Ice hosts the Ice Cross Downhill World Championships finals in Ottawa next March, adrenalin junkies who haven’t yet discovered the sport will see just what they’ve been missing. Red Bull Crashed Ice’s Ottawa debut will be the most unmissable in a series of major sporting events the capital is hosting in 2017 in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary.

For the finals, Red Bull Crashed Ice will make full use of the city’s landmarks and landscape, running hundreds of metres of track along the locks of the Rideau Canal, with full views of Parliament Hill and the historic Fairmont Château Laurier.

“This is a one-of-kind sport and a one-of-a-kind event united together,” says Christian Papillon, sport director of Ice Cross Downhill World Championship for Red Bull Crashed Ice, and perhaps Canada’s ultimate adrenalin junkie. He came to ice cross downhill after trying out hockey, motocross and snowboarding. “You have world-class athletes going at crazy speeds, which is the main attraction. But there’s also massive, crazy events with interaction and entertainment happening all around you—always something creating excitement.”

Related stories:

Listen to Ottawa: That’s the sound of music
Canada Day 2017: The biggest bash in the country
Ottawa gets set to blow your mind with its subterranean side

The canal provides the ideal environment for a thrilling ice course, which each racer will speed down as many as 25 times during the championships. Real estate on the track is limited, so racers must adapt their style to whoever they’re up against. “Crashes are part of our sport, but those men and women are warriors. They love it like that,” says Papillon.

Newbies to ice cross downhill should have no problem catching on—even as they’re catching their breath. Powerhouses like Kyle and Scott Croxall, brothers from Toronto, and Dean and Dylan Moriarity, brothers from Montreal, have solid fan bases and are likely to make it to the 2017 finals. The long ice track and the screens around the course provide many excellent spots to catch the action, though Papillon likes to watch from the finish line, where spectators can see the emotions of the riders.

For those who crave action year-round, the Ice Cross Downhill World Championship is just the fastest of Ottawa’s 2017 sports extravaganzas. Check out:

  • The Canadian Tire National Skating Championships, at TD Place Arena from Jan. 16 to 22, kick off a year of sports in Ottawa.
  • The Canadian Track and Field Championships, which serve as selection trials for national teams such as the World Championships, World Junior Championships, Olympic Games, Paralympic Games and Pan/Parapan American Games, take place July 6 to 9.
  • The White Water Canoe Kayak National Championships will take place August 5 to 6.
  • The stars of the Ladies Professional Golf Association will return to Ottawa for the fourth Canadian Pacific Women’s Open, at Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club, from August 21 to 27.
  • The Can-Am League and American Association of Professional Baseball will showcase their talents at Ottawa Champions All Star Baseball during the summer of 2017.
  • The Ottawa Senators and Ottawa 2017 are teaming up to present a four-day celebration for the 125th anniversary of the Stanley Cup.
  • Tim Hortons Roar of Rings will take place at Canadian Tire Centre, Dec. 2 to 10. It’s the final qualifying tournament for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeonchang, South Korea.


logo-ottawa-2017This is sponsored content. For more details on Ottawa’s 150th birthday celebrations, please go to Ottawa 2017.

Canada Day 2017: The biggest bash in the country


With pageantry and flare, Ottawa has always been the perfect place to celebrate Canada Day. But visitors during the country’s 150th anniversary celebrations in 2017 will experience a capital bursting with unexpected things to do.

The traditional July 1 party on Parliament Hill will be bigger than ever in honour of the sesquicentennial, with performances by an array of top Canadian talent. But the party will be rolling all week long across the city, with some of the capital’s most iconic sites presenting brand new looks to the country and the world.

“It’s a way to celebrate our nation, celebrate our past, but also to experience the best of what Canada has to offer,” says Guy Laflamme, executive director of the Ottawa 2017 Bureau, which is hosting a wide range of events to compliment the city’s traditional festivities.

On July 2, the Interprovincial Picnic on the Bridge will be a Canadian first. The Alexander Bridge, bookended by the National Gallery of Canada and the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, will be car-free and covered with grass to create a pedestrian zone with a magnificent view of Parliament Hill and the Ottawa River. Picnickers will be able to reserve a spots for a rare outdoor dining experience.

Several Ottawa 2017 events taking place throughout the year will add excitement during the week of Canada Day:

A futuristic underground multimedia experience, created by Montreal’s Moment Factory, runs from late-June to mid-September. Located in the future Lyon Station of Ottawa’s new Light Rail Transit service, the show will take visitors on a remarkable emotional journey—and give them a sneak peek at a space that won’t be officially unveiled until trains start running in 2018.

Inspiration Village, which will celebrate food and culture from all of Canada’s provinces and territories, will also be open for Canada Day, at a location to be announced soon.

Related stories:Q&A: Guy LaFlamme, Ottawa’s master party planner
Ottawa gets set to blow your mind with its subterranean side
Why adrenalin junkies will be hitting Ottawa in 2017

During Canada Day week 2017, some of the city’s top attractions are getting a reboot—and throwing parties to show off their new digs. The Canadian Museum of History will open its new Canadian History Hall on July 1, unveiling the largest and most comprehensive exhibition ever developed on the history of Canada. Douglas Cardinal, the architect who designed the original museum back in the 1980s, returned to create a vast, inspiring space that Canadians are going to want to experience first-hand.

Architecture aficionados will also get a chance to step inside the reimagined Bank of Canada Museum in the heart of downtown, with an intriguing glass pyramid entrance designed by Perkins+Will Canada and a public plaza designed by Toronto’s dtah.

Not far away, the National Arts Centre will officially open its new Elgin Street entrance Canada Day week next year. Designed by Toronto’s Diamond Schmitt Architects, with an atrium of soaring glass walls, it will provide some of the most spectacular views of national landmarks.

For those who crave a more exclusive experience, Ottawa 2017 and CIBC are hosting a special gala dinner at the Shaw Centre on July 1, with some of Canada’s top chefs serving up their best dishes. An indoor-outdoor performance, to be announced later this year, will take advantage of the Shaw Centre’s distinct design. Tickets will be sold in advance.

With 150th anniversary events happening all over the city, visitors may have a tough time taking it all in during one weekend alone. “I’d recommend people not to book just a two- or three-day stay, but at least a week to take advantage of all the activities,” says Laflamme.

On top of all the festivities, talks are in the works to bring one or more members of the Royal Family to Ottawa for Canada’s 150th celebrations. That will take Canada Day pageantry to the next level.


logo-ottawa-2017This is sponsored content. You can win a VIP getaway to Ottawa for Canada Day 2017. The package includes transportation to and around the capital, three nights’ hotel stay and VIP access to Ottawa 2017 events. Enter here to win.

Listen to Ottawa: That’s the sound of music

ottawa music

Nothing brings Canadians together like music. And during 2017, Ottawa is lighting the biggest musical bonfire in the country.

For starters Ottawa will play host next year to the Juno Awards, the nation’s loudest celebration of musical talent. Not just a celebration for our own musicians, singers, songwriters and serious music fans, some of the biggest stars in the music world will appear at the Canada 150 edition of the Junos taking place on April 2.

Those who think the Junos are simply a star-studded TV show are in for a serious surprise. Starting on March 27, Juno Week will see Ottawa venues ranging from the Canadian Tire Centre to offbeat clubs and bars filled with legendary artists, emerging artists and assorted superstars—and fans who like to keep their ears to the ground.

Related stories:

Ottawa gets set to blow your mind with its subterranean side
Canada Day 2017: The biggest bash in the country
Why adrenalin junkies will be hitting Ottawa in 2017

“One of the great things about the Junos is that it’s one of the few times in our industry that artists all get a chance to be together,” says Allan Reid, president and CEO of CARAS, which produces the Junos. “Often artists are on the road touring, so it’s fantastic when you can bring everybody together under one roof to celebrate. New friendships form. Really neat things happen.” At the Junos after-party in Calgary this year, for example, Broken Social Scene’s Kevin Drew joined Tom Cochrane on stage for a rousing rendition of Boy Inside the Man. Reid predicts the Ottawa Junos will provide even more star power, with intriguing collaborations among musicians at formal events like the Songwriters’ Circle, and informally at bars, clubs and parties. The Juno Cup, a celebrity fundraising hockey game in support of the music education charity MusiCounts, welcomes NHL greats to the spotlight.

Juno Week in Ottawa fits perfectly with a celebration of Canada’s 150-year history. From Paul Anka, a legendary crooner who was born in Ottawa, to red-hot contemporary acts like The Weeknd and Justin Bieber, musicians have played an integral role in Canada’s cultural story. “Our music industry has always punched well above its weight,” says Reid. “Now is probably the most exciting time in Canadian music that I’ve witnessed being in this business for close to 30 years. Back in the 1990s, when you had Alanis, Shania, Celine and Sarah McLachlan, that was an incredible time. But when you see the global success of The Weeknd, Drake and Beiber, and see artists like Alessia Cara and Shawn Mendes breaking out, it’s pretty amazing.”

Though the Junos get the party started, music will echo through the capital all year long for Canada’s anniversary celebration.

In the summer, a new two-day festival, called YOWttawa, will showcase music in a variety of genres, including some of the world’s top contemporary music acts. Taking place in an as-yet-undisclosed venue, YOWttawa stages will feature Aboriginal and Canadian acts, as well as international talent from the four nations who were among Europe’s first arrivals here: France, England, Scotland and Ireland.

Also for music fans during Ottawa 2017:

logo-ottawa-2017This is sponsored content. For more details on Ottawa’s 150th birthday celebrations, please go to Ottawa 2017.

Q&A: Guy LaFlamme, Ottawa’s master party planner


Planning a full year of celebrations is like composing a fantastic piece of music—moments of earth-shaking sound provide contrast with interludes of quieter magic. When Guy Laflamme left his post at Canadian Heritage and took the reins of the Ottawa 2017 Bureau—which is throwing Canada’s biggest 150th anniversary party—he knew he needed to compliment Ottawa’s traditional offerings with programming that stirs the soul and kicks some butt.

What attracted you to this job?
I took it on the basis of the challenge it represented, and having the opportunity to leave a legacy and do all the stuff I’ve been dreaming of doing over the years.

What do you want visitors to feel when they visit Ottawa next year?
We want Ottawa 2017 to be the hub of national celebrations for Canada’s 150th, and we want people to leave with a ‘wow,’ realizing how exciting and beautiful Ottawa is. Over the last few decades Ottawa has really increased in vibrancy in terms of all the cultural offerings, the quality of restaurants, spectacular new architecture, the beauty of natural parks and the proximity of rural areas to an urban environment. We’re showcasing Ottawa as a very modern, techy and vibrant city.

Related stories:

Ottawa gets set to blow your mind with its subterranean side
Why adrenalin junkies will be hitting Ottawa in 2017
Canada Day 2017: The biggest bash in the country

What lessons did you learn from Canada’s 100th anniversary celebrations in 1967?
I had the honour of spending time with Peter Aykroyd (father of actor Dan Aykroyd), who was one of the key decision makers on the Centennial Commission. What stood out was this: Don’t just celebrate our past. Though commemorative anniversaries are important to educate people about our history, we should really focus on using those anniversaries as a springboard to inspire younger generations about our future. Based on that, we decided to really focus our program on stimulating people’s imaginations, igniting our future and opening new horizons. Just like 1967 was an eye-opener and a huge opportunity for Baby Boomers, 2017 should be the same for younger generations and new Canadians.

Some of Ottawa 2017, like the Red Bull Crashed Ice championships or the La Machine creatures you’re bringing in from France, will be massive in scale. But your Ignite 150 program is more about magic springing up in surprising places throughout the year. Where did the idea come from?
It’s a way of creating a matrix between the big blockbuster events we’re hosting by having some special activities to fill the full 12 months of celebration. This was a program element that would really allow us to go wild, to provide activations that allow people to discover unknown jewels in the city. One illustration is the yoga session on a barge floating down the Ottawa Canal with a live performance from musicians. Also, there’s our enlightenment kit: hundreds of lighting devices will be deployed in a park in the afternoon, then in the evening, people can walk in the park to discover this magical canopy of light and lighting effects.

Were you surprised by the response you got from your public call for Ignite 150 proposals?
People came up with some pretty cool out-of-the box concepts, so people understood what we were looking for.

How will visitors discover Ignite 150 events?
They will be promoted on our website, but we’ll also encourage visitors to use our app and register for our social media platforms because, in some cases, we want to create surprise and delight by only announcing those experiences at the very last minute.

And you actually start the year with a more literal ignition?
To set the tone right from the beginning of the year, we’ll be launching the celebrations at Ottawa City Hall on Dec. 31. We want to create a human chain between City Hall and Parliament Hill, where people will not just pass on a torch, but light the torch from one person to another. Having this 800-metre stretch of fire is going to create a powerful symbol and a spectacular visual.


logo-ottawa-2017This is sponsored content. For more details on Ottawa’s 150th birthday celebrations, please go to Ottawa 2017.