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Ontario

Explore Photography at the Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival


THE SCOTIABANK PHOTOGRAPHY FESTIVAL INCLUDES VENUES ALL OVER THE CITY, WITH PHOTOGRAPHS IN GALLERIES, MUSEUMS AND URBAN SPACES.

Chillin'attheVoidCprint28x42_2015

At the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Sarah Anne Johnson’s Chillin’ at the Void is part of a series depicting outdoor music festivals as metaphors for Dionysian counterculture and the communal rejection of modern-day social norms.

 

MAY 1 TO 31 Toronto’s Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival draws attention to the creation and consumption of photo-based images and the challenging questions they pose—about the nature of memory, the formation of identity and much more. This year’s 20th-anniversary event promises to be as diverse and provocative as ever, with hundreds of exhibitions that, among other things, depict the industrial-scale accumulation of a newspaper photo archive (at the Globe and Mail headquarters), explore the scientific applications of photography (Edgar Leciejewski’s “scanographs” of birds at the North York Civic Centre) and use the banal to underscore the absurdity of superstardom (prints from the UofTDrizzy Instagram account, which photoshops Drake into mundane collegiate scenarios, will be installed throughout the city).

In all, the festival is both a snapshot of the state of contemporary photographic practice and a large-scale mediation on the act of truly seeing the world around us—for what it is (and isn’t), what it was and what it could be.

Edgar_Leciejewski_gartenrotschwanz#23.2007

Edgar Leciejewski’s ornithological scanographs—on display at the North York Civic Centre (5100 Yonge St.)—upend our expectations of scientific objectivity, favouring aesthetic concerns over strict representation.

 

Diane Arbus_A Young Man and his Pregnant Wife in Washington Square Park

Diane Arbus’s A Young Man and His Pregnant Wife in Washington Square Park is one of 300-plus images in “Outsiders: American Photography and Film, 1950s–1980s,” a monumental Art Gallery of Ontario group show that captures the changing face of the U.S. during a period of social and political upheaval.

 

Mother’s Day Brunch: 6 Best Spots to Kick-Start Mother’s Day in Ottawa

Mothers Day Ottawa Brunch

Mother’s Day in Ottawa: how to spoil mom on May 8th (Photo: Stacy Spensley)

Time’s running out to book a great table for Mother’s Day brunch in Ottawa. Here, we’ve compiled some of our top picks for the best places to spoil mom this Mother’s Day in Ottawa (and beyond!).

See the list of top brunches on Mother’s Day in Ottawa »

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Exceptional Hospitality in the GTA Recognized with the 2016 Spirit Awards

On April 22, the Greater Toronto Hotel Association (GTHA) presented the fifth annual Spirit Awards, a ceremony that recognizes the tireless efforts of front line staff at hotels across Toronto and the GTA. Nominees in 18 different categories, including housekeeping room attendant, valet driver, laundry and steward of the year, are chosen by their peers. More than 500 attendees attended the luncheon celebrations, which were hosted by Kevin Frankish of City TV’s Breakfast Television. Here, GTHA president and CEO Terry Mundell shares more about the history of the Spirit Awards, its evolution and what it means to the organization’s 32,000-strong membership to be assisting visitors during their stay in Toronto.

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The 18 winners of the 2016 Spirit Awards.

Where: How did the Spirit Awards come about?

Terry Mundell: The Spirit Awards was developed from a discussion that originated with our association Board of Directors. The intent of the event was to recognize and show our appreciation to those front of the line ambassadors that provide an exceptional visitor experience, which leaves a lasting impression on the over 14 million overnight visitors to the Greater Toronto Area.

Where: How are the winners determined?

TM: The judging panel is made up of five individuals who include event sponsors, industry partners and representatives from the Spirit Awards committee. The judges review the nominations prior to the event and grade them based on a variety of criteria including, but not limited to, a can-do attitude, delivering that exceptional customer experience, and passion for their team and property that drives return visitors.

Where: What are the most common qualities of nominees?

TM: Passion. For these exceptional ambassadors in the hotel community, it’s all about the passion they have for the visitors they greet, their team members and their property.

Where: Why do you think the recognition means so much?

TM: These front of the line exceptional ambassadors are being recognized among hundreds of other nominees at the event to celebrate the best of the best our industry has to offer; just to be nominated gives them so much pride. 

Where: What is your favourite aspect of the Spirit Awards each year?

TM: After the winner is announced, they proceed to have their photo taken with myself and the award sponsor. Seeing this ambassador moments after they’ve accepted their award is incredible: the excitement, the pride and pure joy they express is an experience in itself.

Where: What do you look forward to the most at this event?

TM: Talking to the nominees, getting a chance to say hi and thanking them for everything they do for our industry.

Visit gtha.com for a complete list of winners and for more information about the GTHA.

Ottawa Children’s Festival: 3 Things You Need to Know

By Chris Lackner

While designed for little ones, this international, multidisciplinary lineup will also captivate adults. We can all use a little magic.

We got the insider’s scoop from Catherine O’Grady, Artistic Director of the Ottawa Children’s Festival (May 10 to 15):

dotMaze

dotMaze

Q: What makes the festival special?

A: It is the only professional performing arts festival in this region. In fact, it is the only one within hundreds of kilometres! at one time there were eight professional festivals for young people in Ontario, and now we are the only one operating annually! We’re also special because we are about helping children find and sustain their own creativity in a complicated world that wants to turn our children into consumers as soon as possible, and don’t want our children to linger in childhood. We want just the opposite, we want them to jump into these worlds of imagination and make believe — and stay there as long as they want to enjoy the beauty of the work they are seeing, and to appreciate the fact that it’s all being done for them! The stories we’re telling are stories for them, and about them. these are the kinds of stories that will sustain them all their lives!

Raw Metal

Raw Metal

Q: What will surprise visitors about the festival?

A: Visitors who don’t know us come and expect bouncy castles which we don’t have. what we do have is award-winning professional theatre, music, and dance from around the world. Visitors are always stunned by the quality of the work because a lot of adults we see at our event have never themselves been to live theatre, so they don’t know what to expect! we want every child and every adult to feel that the work is special that it’s accessible and that it’s intended just for them! As Dr. Seuss says: “today you are you, that’s truer than true, there’s no one alive who is youer than you!” We want every child to feel special about him/herself and know that we think they’re special, too.

Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer

Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer

Q: What are you looking forward to the most about this year’s edition?

A: I am looking forward to dot.maze, an installation from England that’s making its debut in English Canada. I saw it at the Montreal Just for Laughs Festival and it was just so much fun. Spectators walk through a “hedge maze,” which is inhabited by the strangest creatures you could ever want to meet — all of them family members, including crazy old aunties and the family dog. The actors are working mostly improv with the spectators as they walk through, so no two shows are the same and simply everyone — young, old, tall, small etc. — has just an amazing time! I’m sure it will be the hit of the festival along with the Box Brothers from the Netherlands. those guys are just purely genius at work.

Visitors enjoy getting lost in dotMaze

Visitors enjoy getting lost in dotMaze


Where’s Local Wisdom:

1. Two for One: Can’t miss entertainment like The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer, plus stunning views of the Ottawa River and Parliament from LeBreton Flats Park.

2. Divide and Conquer: For families with both young and older children, the Canadian War Museum is also onsite. 

Canadian Tulip Festival: 3 Things You Need to Know

By Chris Lackner

Flowers, art, food, live performances, wine, craft beer — and weekend floral fireworks? Talk about planting the seeds for a great party. The city is in full bloom during this celebration of the historic ties forged between Canada and the Netherlands during the Second World War. 

We got the insider’s scoop from Laura Brown Breetvelt, Executive and Artistic Director of the Canadian Tulip Festival (May 12-23):

Canadian-Tulip-Festival_036

Q: What makes the festival special?

A: The Canadian Tulip Festival is the longest running festival that provides one of the highest economic impacts in the National Capital Region, and continues to brand the City of Ottawa internationally with the celebration of the Tulip Legacy — a special legacy that inspires and celebrates international friendship and the history of the World War 2 liberation.

Q: What will surprise visitors about the festival? Canadian-Tulip-Festival_144

A: This year, we are launching our first ever whimsical Indoor Tulip and Sculpture Garden inside the iconic Aberdeen Pavilion located at Lansdowne Park, Ottawa’s newest hot spot. We are celebrating the Tulip Legacy with international art displays, artisan displays, family programs, and live entertainment in a themed garden space that will feast everyone’s eyes and provide a weatherproof solution in case of rainy weather in May.

Q: What are you looking forward to the most this year?

A: Along with our exciting events this year at the Aberdeen Pavilion, we are particularly excited for the festival’s launch the evening of May 12. The evening will feature our first Indoor Tulip & Sculpture Garden and Ottawa Festival’s 20th anniversary celebration — recognizing the success of their 100-member strong festival, special event and fair network. The evening of the launch will also feature live entertainment on our International Friendship Stage and a spectacular fireworks display at Lansdowne Park.


Where’s Local Wisdom: The National Capital Commission plants nearly one million tulips around the city; rent bikes, hit the trails, and play the tulip version of I Spy. Or take a stroll from Aberdeen to explore The Glebe, one of Ottawa’s trendiest neighbourhoods for shopping and dining.

Things to Do in Toronto: Shows & Events in May 2016

THERE ARE ALWAYS SO MANY THINGS TO DO IN TORONTO. GET OUT AND ENJOY SOME OF THE MANY GREAT PERFORMANCES AND EVENTS TAKING PLACE THROUGHOUT THE CITY IN MAY!

Leviathan at Canada’s Wonderland is Canada’s tallest and biggest roller coaster

MAY 1  The country’s largest theme park, Canada’s Wonderland kicks off opening day with even more excitement to its lineup of rides with two new soaring interactive experiences: Skyhawk and Flying Eagles. The former is the first of its kind in North America, letting thrill seekers control their own cockpit by navigating 360 degree turns and inversions from 135 feet in the air, while the latter lets pint-sized pilots—along with a co-pilot—steer their own plane. Of course, the park’s 16 roller coasters, water park, two kids play areas, and midway games are among the other draws that make it the most visited seasonal amusement park in North America.

MAY 1 TO 3  Esteemed paleontologist Nizar Ibrahim speaks about the discovery of fossils belonging to the largest predatory dinosaur ever discovered as part of the National Geographic Live series.

MAY 2 AND 3  Canadian musician Lights, known for such songs as “February Air” and “Drive My Soul,” performs an acoustic show at The Danforth Music Hall with special guests DCF.

MAY 4 AND 5  The Toronto Symphony Orchestra presents Brahms Symphony 4 alongside a new work by John Adams with a violin solo.

MAY 6  A roster of Canadian and world champion figure skaters take part in Stars on Ice, including Patrick Chan, Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford, Javier Fernández, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir and Joannie Rochette among others.

MAY 7  Catch Canadian singer and songwriter Royal Wood at The Danforth Music Hall.

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Ottawa Mother’s Day Gift Guide

By Chris Lackner

She brought you into this world, so the least you can do is thank her properly once a year. Our Ottawa Mother’s Day gift guide will please any mom type — from the sporto to the art collector, from your kitchen’s top chef to the fashionista. Whether you’re visiting Ottawa, or call it home, treat your ma to something unique:

FOR THE FASHIONISTA:

Red Velvet.

Red Velvet.

Red Velvet offers a refreshing take on women’s fashion in a comfortably-chic environment. The boutique’s carefully chosen collection of Canadian and international designers has something for everyone. Whether business or casual, designer jeans and dresses or fancy footwear, you’ll find unique, unforgettable pieces. Accessorize with jewelry, handbags, and scarves. 253 Elgin St, 613-230-0118 

Viens Avec Moi.

Viens Avec Moi.

Viens Avec Moi is a place for fashion-forward females. If you want to match styles with Malia and Sasha Obama, visit this delightful boutique. Their stylish collection of cutting-edge brands, and local designers, includes Krista Norris’ “Maverick” infinity scarves (made of cotton, bold print Jacquard fabric), which were recently gifted to the president’s daughters during Justin Trudeau’s Washington state visit. 1338 Wellington Street West, 613-769-2832

Flock Boutique.

Flock Boutique.

Flock to Flock Boutique, full of uncommon goods for birds of a different feather. Get in the season with colourful, original spring dresses for work and play – from florals and polka to nautical stripes and neutrals. The store proudly carries unique and handmade garments from over 150 Canadian designers. Check out the gift room in the back packed with intriguing accessories and housewares like Ottawa and Canada laser cut map coasters, tea towels, artistic building blocks, and affordable art prints. You can also visit their sister store, Workshop Boutique, in the Byward Market. 1275 Wellington Street West, 613-695-0834

Eclection.

Eclection.

EclectionThe shopkeepers can make or break your experience in a store. At Eclection, worry not, excellent hospitality is provided as the mother/daughter team will guide you through the whimsy, wonder, and style. Carrying accessories such as jewellery, hats, and scarves as well as clothing and other beautiful things, Eclection features designs from over 50 artisans in Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, and Quebec, as well as a few from far, far away. From funky to elegant, upcycled to upscale, the wares at Eclection change weekly and seasonally. 55 Byward Market Sq., 613-789-7288 

Conch Mondrian Fit one piece from Vincent.

Conch Mondrian Fit one piece from Vincent.

Vincent: Owners and sisters, Angie and Amanda Cambareri, share a unique bond that stems from their distinctive yet complementary personalities. This cutting-edge boutique store is found in the heart of Ottawa’s Little Italy, which is also a great spot for food and people watching (and away from the tourist hordes). Gift options include designer sweaters, skirts, tops, shows, swimwear to jewelry, bags and leather. On Mother’s Day itself, opt for brunch or lunch in one of the neighbourhood’s many great cafes restaurants. 444 Preston Street

FOR THE ART COLLECTOR:

Snow Goose.

Snow Goose.

Snow Goose: Your stop for genuine Aboriginal Canadian fine arts and crafts from the Arctic and Canada’s west coast. It has been a fixture on Sparks Street since 1963. You’ll find original works of art by indigenous artists, along with a large selection of dream catchers, original Inuit prints and soapstone carvings, Aboriginal jewellery designs, and leather goods. 83 Sparks St., 613-232-2213

FOR THE ECCENTRIC MOM (and for one-of-a-kind cards):

boogie + birdie

boogie + birdie

boogie + birdie and Mags + FagsIt’s a creative shopping two in one with these sister stores. Satisfy the needs of mothers, fathers or pending grads. The goods at boogie include everything from rare jewelry (including the Ottawa-made line Open Fire), bath and body products, fashion items, baby clothes and children’s toys, candles and Turkish towels. Mags products go well beyond glossy print, with a dynamic, eclectic collection of cards, novelty items, children’s toys and other small gifts. 254 Elgin St., 613-233-9651, ; 256 Elgin St., 613-232-2473, 

FOR THE SPORTO:
Ottawa-Fury_Mothers-Day

Make her Furious: The Ottawa Fury kick off their season at TD Place with their home opener on April 30. A seat at TD Place in the spring or summer sun will put a smile on any soccer mom’s face. Check here for schedule and ticket options.

HOME IS WHERE HER HEART IS:

MaCuisine-1CC

Ma CuisineDoes your mom look for challenging recipes requiring strange kitchen tools and lots of time and concentration? Or do they need something to help them throw dinner together in a pinch? Ma Cuisine is a kitchen supply store with more than the usual muffin tins and rolling pins. “Cook with it, serve with it, eat with it, Ma Cuisine has it,” their website claims. And with good reason – looking for a genuine Japanese vegetable turning slicer? They have that. A butter knife that absorbs the heat from your hand, making it easier to slice through? They have that. And good ol’ cookie sheets and roasting pans? They have that too. 269 Dalhousie St., 613-789-9225

ModernShop

The Modern Shop.

The Modern Shop: Wander through The Modern Shop, pulling your favourite items in your mind to create your dream room. The housewares store carries everyday items with a unique twist – whether it be a more space efficient laundry rack, a light fixture with flattering angles, or a blue chair that is just so darn cute. The Modern Shop takes time curating items from some of the best brands in the world, tea cups to bed sets and everything in between. 541 Sussex Dr., 1-877-748-0387

FOR THE JEWELRY LOVER:

Russe at Wunderkammer.

Russe at Wunderkammer.

Wunderkammer: You’ll find lovely trinkets — from faux dinosaur bones to apparel to home decor — but the true jewel is the necklaces. Case and point: Frug combines salvaged and upcycled materials with new stock, while Russe is a sleek matte line featuring druzy and stone. Both are from locally-based designer, Tamara Steinborn, who also sells nationally and moved here from Montreal. 234 Dalhousie St., 613-860-3510

Insider’s Scoop: Forged in Fire exhibit at Bytown Museum

By Chris Lackner

Parliament Hill was Forged in Fire.

Ottawa’s fiery past is explored in a new, historic exhibition at the Bytown Museum, located alongside the Rideau Canal’s arresting locks just below our political hub.

Reconstruction of Centre Block of Parliament showing surviving Parliamentary Library, 1916. Bytown Museum.

Reconstruction of Centre Block of Parliament showing surviving Parliamentary Library, 1916. Bytown Museum.

On the 100th anniversary of the 1916 burning of Canada’s Parliament, explore the mystery of its destruction – and the secrets of its resurrection. Forged in Fire: The Building and Burning of Parliament includes unique artifacts and images, including rare photos of Parliament’s construction. Who says politics is boring? Our capital was forged in drama and intrigue.

We spoke to Grant M. Vogl, Collections and Exhibitions Manager, for an insider’s scoop:

Q: What will surprise visitors about this exhibit?

A: I think people will be surprised to learn about the fire of West Block in 1897. Most Canadians would know the story of the fire of 1916. However, I’m certain that for many visitors, reading about and seeing original photos of the fire of 1897 will be something new. I’m also very excited that visitors will get to see some very rare photographs of the construction of the original Parliament Buildings from 1861.

Construction of Parliament Buildings, (south side of Centre Block), Ottawa, 1861. By Elihu Spencer, courtesy of Bytown Museum.

Construction of Parliament Buildings (south side of Centre Block), Ottawa, 1861. By Elihu Spencer, courtesy of Bytown Museum.

Q: Why is this exhibit important?  
A: As we reach the 100th anniversary of any occasion, such a key milestone, events such as the fire of 1916 start to move out of memory and into the realm of history. There are no more living witnesses to this event; much the same as with the First World War. Therefore, it is very important to continue to tell these stories, introduce the history to today’s generation and also to connect or re-connect with the descendants of those who witnessed the fire first hand who may remember stories surrounding it.

Fire of West Block of Parliament, 1897. Bytown Museum.

Fire of West Block of Parliament, 1897. Bytown Museum.

Q: What are your favourite artifacts from the exhibition?
A: My favourite artifact in the exhibition is also one of the smallest. It is a very rare, 3” x 3” albumen print depicting Parliament Hill, then known as Barrack Hill, taken from the Ottawa River in 1857. For most visitors, the Parliament Buildings are timeless, so to see a photograph of “the Hill” without those iconic buildings and instead Lt. Col. By’s military barracks, will seem strange. But it will also inform visitors about the history of the site before being chosen as the seat of government.

Parliament Building at Ottawa, 1862, newsprint, Bytown Museum.

Parliament Building at Ottawa, 1862, newsprint, Bytown Museum.

The exhibit continues to Oct. 31, 2016.

Ottawa’s Best Patios

By Chris Lackner

Find your place in the sun. Our guide to Ottawa’s best patios covers your best bets for sun, suds, sangria, vino and vitamin D.

The Social patio in the ByWard Market's Clarendon Court. Courtesy: Ottawa Tourism.

The Social patio in the ByWard Market’s Clarendon Court. Courtesy: Ottawa Tourism.

ByWard Market

Clarendon Court: Secluded and cobblestone, its four restaurant patios feel European; discover the magic behind the shops on Sussex Drive, between George and York Streets, including spots like The Social and Courtyard Restaurant.

The Social: 537 Sussex Dr.

Courtyard Restaurant: 21 George St.

Earl of Sussex Pub: The best sun and sud combo in the market.

431 Sussex Dr.

Earl of Sussex patio.

Earl of Sussex patio.

The Highlander Pub: A place to people watch with eyes on the market’s pedestrian traffic.

115 Rideau St.

Cornerstone Bar and Grill: This market hotspot is a place to be seen.

92 Clarence St.

Murray Street: This leafy patio screams romance. And the charcuterie, cheese boards and wine list will only help matters.

110 Murray St.

Métropolitain Brasserie: Steps away from the Chateau Laurier and Parliament. Grab a table or an outdoor sofa.

700 Sussex Dr.

La Terrasse: Even the sunbeams feel more elegant at this seasonal patio.

1 Rideau St.

La Terrasse patio at Chateau Laurier. Courtesy Ottawa Tourism.

La Terrasse patio at Chateau Laurier. Courtesy Ottawa Tourism.

Elgin and Sparks Streets

D’Arcy McGee’s: Spot Ottawa’s who’s who at this upscale watering hole named after a Father of Confederation.

44 Sparks St.

Fox and Feather: Terrific topside patio with a bird’s-eye view of the bustling Elgin strip.

283 Elgin St.

Pancho Villa: Pancho’s margaritas, daiquiris, sangrias and pina coladas are as big in size as they are in flavour. It might not be Cancún, but close your eyes on the sunny patio and it will feel mighty close.

361 Elgin St.

Pancho Villa's patio.

Pancho Villa’s patio.

The Glebe

Feleena’s Mexican Cantina: Sangria, anyone?

742 Bank St.

Irene’s Pub: Discover the hidden courtyard patio at this live music hotspot.

885 Bank St.

Little Italy

Pub Italia: Ireland enjoys a bit of Italy’s sun.

434 Preston St.

Pub Italia patio.

Pub Italia patio.

Westboro/Hintonburg

Tennessy Willems: Small but sublime. Come for the pizza, stay for the sunshine.

1082 Wellington St W.

Churchills: P is for patio… and Public House.

356 Richmond Rd.

Water View

Canal Ritz patio on the Rideau Canal.

Canal Ritz patio on the Rideau Canal.

Dow’s Lake: Three restaurant patios overlook the lake’s busy birds and boaters. Choose your own adventure between Malone’s Lakeside Grill, Baja Grill and Lago.

1001 Queen Elizabeth Dr.

Canal Ritz: This classy canal-side gem is boat traffic central.

375 Queen Elizabeth Dr.

Mill Street Brew Pub: Located near the Canadian War Museum on LeBreton Flats, this historic gristmill turned brewpub is also the perfect stop along the Ottawa River bike path.

555 Wellington St. 

Insider’s Scoop: Gold Rush! at Canadian Museum of History

By Chris Lackner

The Gold Rush! has come to Ottawa.

Haida box by Bill Reid, 1971. Courtesy Royal BC Museum and Archives.

Haida box by Bill Reid, 1971. Courtesy Royal BC Museum and Archives.

While you can’t get rich, you can check out the shiny new exhibit, Gold Rush! El Dorado in British Columbia, at the Canadian Museum of History, April 8 to January 2017.

For an Insider’s Scoop, we talked to John Willis, curator of economic history at the museum:

Q: What will surprise visitors about this exhibit?

A: The fact that such a gold rush, of massive proportions, occurred in Canada, on its West Coast, 50 years before the Klondike.

The fact that some were willing to travel so far in order to get the gold: some trekked overland the entire distance from (central) Canada; others came thousands of miles from Europe, China, and elsewhere in Eastern Canada (the Maritimes for example).

The distances that have to be travelled within B.C. on terrain that is both rugged and spectacular (this comes out in the videos) this will surprise and impress visitors.

The fact that one could make a living not by prospecting for gold but by selling to and living off those mining the gold.

town-web

This photo depicts the main street of Barkerville just before the 1868 fire that destroyed the town. Courtesy of the Royal BC Museum and Archives.

Q. Why is this exhibit important? 

A: First, it establishes the importance of the 1858 and 1862 gold rushes in the making of modern B.C. history. The era transformed indigenous societies and overturned the traditional fur economy of the Hudson Bay Company. In its wake came a new type of society devoted to exploiting land, natural resources, farmland; fostering trade and building cities. Through this exhibition the society of B.C. is trying to come to terms with its history. This includes the admission tragic errors made in the past vis-à-vis indigenous nations.

Second, the exhibit shows the importance of the larger Pacific sphere to the making of B.C. history especially in the gold rush era. What happened in California, Australia and Hong Kong had considerable bearing on how B.C. got roped into this gold rush economy.

Third, the exhibit touches on the quirks of human behaviour in a gold-rush setting. Men and women (but mainly men) travel by the tens of thousands to one destination or another intending to make it rich quick by mining the gold.  They are carried away by an enthusiasm for the riches promised by gold.  Men suffer from gold fever that sets them on a path to the gold fields, however distant. That path was referred in the newspaper of the day as a “highway to insanity.” As a collective mania, the psychology of gold fever does resemble the kind of up and down and sometimes foolish human behaviour associated with the stock market.

Wheel and flumes at the Davies claim on William’s Creek, 1867. Courtesy of the Royal BC Museum and Archives.

Wheel and flumes at the Davies claim on William’s Creek, 1867.
Courtesy of the Royal BC Museum and Archives.

Q: What are your favourite aspects of, or artifacts from, the exhibition?

A. I enjoy seeing the life size version of the B.C. Express company stagecoach that dates from the era and was used on the Cariboo Road. The vehicle is in excellent shape, it was lovingly restored in the late 1980s.  And it can’t help but conjure up images of the old west.  coachThe freight saddle or aparejo positioned in a display window opposite the stage coach belonged to a local hero, French-born Jean Caux, nicknamed Cataline.  It is interesting for it reminds us of the challenges of getting freight into and out of the rugged and mountainous B. C. interior.

There is an explicit recognition of things Chinese: a picture of Hong Kong harbour full of ships circa 1860, and later in the exhibition a display of exquisite Chinese artifacts (fan, game pieces, pipe, mud-treated silk garments, shoes etc.).

Turnagain Nugget is the largest existing gold nugget ever found in British Columbia: it weighs 1,642 grams (52 troy onces) and is approximately 4.2 cm high, 18.1 cm wide and 9.2 cm deep. Courtesy of the Royal BC Museum and Archive.

Turnagain Nugget is the largest existing gold nugget ever found in British Columbia: it weighs 1,642 grams (52 troy onces) and is approximately 4.2 cm high, 18.1 cm wide and 9.2 cm deep. Courtesy of the Royal BC Museum and Archive.

A huge and engaging painting,  Slim Jim or the Parson Takes the Pot,  shows a group of men playing a gambling game of cards. A probable con-man disguised as a priest has surprised his fellow players by winning the hand. The picture reminds us that all forms of gambling were popular in gold-rush communities, where there were men (only) and money a plenty.

The painting is so big that the box in which it came barely fits, height-wise, in the corridor of our museum

Finally the Pemberton dress, a beautiful silk-dress, with its budding hoop skirt and delicate engagements (frills that go up the sleeves), which dates from the B.C. gold-rush era, reminds us that women were present in this society — as entrepreneurs, supporters of culture, as instigators of all kinds of business and community activities. The theme is well carried in the book by New Perspectives on the Gold Rush; as well as in the exhibition catalogue: Gold Rush! El Dorado in British Columbia.

Where can you hear Ottawa’s JUNO Award nominees?

Ottawa’s 2016 JUNO Award nominees are as diverse as the National Capital Region, from a world-music sensation  to a classical pianist.

We shine a spotlight on our Top 3. While none of these homegrown artists reached the podium at JUNO Weekend in Calgary, they will all be reaching a stage in Ottawa, or a nearby city, this spring.

Case and point, The Souljazz Orchestra, nominated for top World Music Album, are headlining Westfest on Saturday, June 4. One of Ottawa’s major spring festivals, Westfest is free and moves to Laroche Park this year. For a preview of the band’s international rhythms:

Ottawa-born indie songwriter Kalle Matson contended for Video of the Year with his song “Avalanche.” While not scheduled to play the capital, his next nearby show will be in Kingston on May 11. Toronto cinematographer Philip Sportel helped Matson recreate 35 classic album covers for their heralded video, which lost to Adele’s “Hello,” directed by Canadian Xavier Dolan. Fall for “Avalanche” yourself:

Meanwhile, Classical Album of the Year nominee, pianist Angela Hewitt, recently played with her hometown NAC Orchestra on March 22, and will be touring North America and the world this summer. But those heading to Toronto on April 13-14 can see her perform one of two shows with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

Here Hewitt discusses her recording of Mozart with the NAC in 2003:

Things to Do in Toronto: Shows & Events in April 2016

THERE ARE ALWAYS SO MANY THINGS TO DO IN TORONTO. GET OUT AND ENJOY SOME OF THE MANY GREAT PERFORMANCES AND EVENTS TAKING PLACE THROUGHOUT THE CITY IN APRIL!

digiPlaySpace at the TIFF Bell Lightbox features 25 interactive installations for kids (photo: courtesy of TIFF)

APRIL 1  There’s no better way to celebrate April Fools’ Day then with the funny folks at Yuk Yuk’s, who are hosting An Evening of Comedy at Massey Hall hosted by Gilbert Gottfried. Nikki Payne headlines the evening, alongside other comics such as Zabrina Chevannes, Jeff Elliott, Darren Frost, Mayce Galoni, Matt O’Brien and Richard Ryder.

APRIL 2  Iranianborn singer Moein, best known for his love ballads, brings his unique voice to the Sony Centre stage.

APRIL 3  The world’s most famous basketball team, the Harlem Globetrotters, tips off its 90th anniversary with a world tour that includes a stop in Toronto. See the likes of Cheese Chisholm, Bull Bullard, Big Easy Lofton and Ant Atkinson display their dribbling showmanship in a family-friendly show.

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