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Ottawa

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.

6 Easy Weekend Getaways from Montreal

By LAUREN CRACOWER

Golf Le Diable (Photo: Tourisme Mont Tremblant)

Golf Le Diable (Photo: Tourisme Mont Tremblant)

With so many long weekends on the horizon this summer, now is the time to jump into the car and discover what local gems lie just beyond Montreal. Here are our top six picks for an impromptu last-minute getaway.

Go to the Montreal getaways »

Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for October 19 to 21

Friday, October 19

Bruce Springsteen brings his Wrecking Ball tour to town

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will rock the stage of Scotiabank Place this evening as part of their North American Wrecking Ball tour. The Boss, who made a name for himself in the mid-70s with hits such as “Born to Run,” is known for putting on electrifying live shows. Don’t miss your chance to experience one of America’s musical greats.

Consider yourself a wine connoisseur? Put your know-how to use this Friday at the city’s first ever taste-and-buy. Hosted by the sommeliers over at Savvy Company, the Outstanding in their Fields event will showcase wineries from Niagara’s renowned Twenty Valley region. Guests can sample (and ideally purchase!) goods from nearly 25 large and boutique wineries, including Peninsula Ridge Estates, The Good Earth Food and Wine Company and Flat Rock Cellars.

Houston Ballet captures the fascinating, albeit controversial, life of French Queen Marie Antoinette in the Canadian premiere of Marie at the National Arts Centre. Choreographed by Stanton Welch and set to the music of Dmitri Shostakovich, the performance boasts beautifully crafted period costumes, talented actors and a riveting storyline.

Saturday, October 20

Matthew Barber plays two nights at the National Arts Centre

Toronto-based singer/songwriter Matthew Barber concludes his Tour for the Haunted Hillbilly at the National Arts Centre this weekend. Featuring songs off his newly released self-titled album, the two-night engagement will highlight the young musician’s 60s- and 70s-inspired folk-rock sound.

If you’ve ever had an interest in dance – or you’re just looking for a more creative way to exercise — Saturday Salsa at the Ottawa Arts Court may be just the thing you’re looking for. Created by ComeSalsa.ca, this monthly event offers beginners the chance to sharpen their Salsa skills in a relaxed and welcoming environment. Though classes are typically $5, first-timers are invited to test the waters this evening with a free workshop.

The Ottawa Valley Crafts and Collectibles Show is perfect for those looking to get a head start on their holiday shopping. Located at Library and Archives Canada, the event will feature a wide selection of fine art, books, home décor, beauty products, culinary giftware, and antiques.

Sunday, October 21

Hog’s Back Park is one of the sites for this year’s Explore Geoheritage Day

In celebration of National Science and Technology Week, Carleton’s Earth Sciences department is teaming up with the Ottawa Gatineau Geoheritage Project for Explore Geoheritage Day 2012. Guests are invited to join the volunteer guides at Champlain Lookout, Brebeuf Park, Hog’s Back Park and Cardinal Creek Karst to discover how geological processes have shaped the region’s landscape.

Enriched Bread Artists’ Open Studio is celebrating its 20th anniversary – and you’re invited to join in on the fun. The cooperatively run studio space, which at any given time houses the work of roughly 20 contemporary artists, will be opening its doors to the public throughout the month of October. Stop in today for an artist talk with EBA member Sally Sheeks, or visit their website for a full list of events.

The biannual Antiquing in the Fieldhouse sale returns this weekend to Carleton University with 40,000 square feet of unique vintage finds. On offer will be retro handbags by Gucci, Prada and Fendi; vintage Tiffany’s, Cartier and David Yurman jewelry; and works of art by 20th century artists such as George Barbier and Georges Lepape. Tickets are $10 per person, and re-admission is free.

Google Chooses Three Canadian Sites as World Wonders

By SHANNON KELLY

Google counts Ottawa

As part of its new World Wonders Project, Google has chosen three Canadian heritage sites to share the spotlight with Versailles, the ancient temples of Kyoto in Japan and Yellowstone National Park in the U.S. as some of the top heritage sites around the globe worth seeing—virtually, at least. (more…)

Lightning Across a Purple Sky: Ottawa, Ontario

Every Friday we feature an inspirational travel photo of a Canadian destination taken by one of our readers.

Why we chose it: This stunning shot says two things: patience and timing. (Well, maybe three things: patience, timing and a tripod.) The purple sky is simply amazing, the treeline silhouette is a perfect frame and the clarity in the clouds at the centre of the image are fantastic. Bring on the rainstorm season! (more…)

Ottawa and Quebec City Airports Named Best in North America

Ottawa International Airport (Photo: morethanreal)

Ottawa International Airport was rated the top North American airport and the Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport was rated the best regional airport in North America in the Airports Council International’s annual Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Awards. (more…)

5 Ottawa Lunch Picks Perfect for Winter

Fraser Café (Photo by fieldtripp)

We’ve been following Ottawa Magazine’s online weekly lunch picks of the best places for a midday meal this winter. If you’re visiting our nation’s capital, try these restaurants that received glowing reviews: (more…)

Hot Date: Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour

A still from the film "Sfinga."

Jan. 23 and 24. The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour travels across the world, hitting 32 different countries and presenting audiences with films on exploration and adventure, culture and environment, and winter sports. Programming for each stop on the tour is tailored to suit each and every locale, meaning the experience is never the same. Besides the beautiful cinematography, the joy of this yearly film fest is that you get the experience of climbing a mountain without having to leave your seat!

Ottawa’s WinterBites Begins Today

Enjoy a sexy dinner at Kinki Asian-Fusion Restaurant during WinterBites.

Winter in Ottawa “bites” less this year, thanks to a new food event, WinterBites, launching today and running through January 28.

What better way to ward off the nip of a central Ontario winter than by tucking into a gourmet three-course meal—at appetizing prices, no less? (more…)

Hot Attraction: Exploring the Stately Parliament Hill

The Hall of Honour is just one of the historic sites you'll see in guided tours of Parliament Hill. Photo credit: Copyright Library of Parliament / Mone Cheng.

Still got visitors in town? Take them to Parliament Hill for an inside look at this Canadian landmark (and iconic Ottawa site). Enjoy free guided tours of Centre Block, which is home to the Hall of Honour (featured), the Senate, the House of Commons, and the Library of Parliament. Explore the role of the country’s national legislature, as well as its rich history and architecture, and be sure sure to check out “The Games: A Moment of Pride” in the Library of Parliament. This  Olympic display showcases a pair of torches and two sets of medals that were gifted to the Canadian people to commemorate the success of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. See website for holiday schedule.

To Eat Southern, Go North: Ottawa’s Newest BBQ Joint

Photo by Shawna Wagman

Ottawa’s brand-new Fatboys Southern Smokehouse, opened last week, serves up American-style slow-cooked Southern barbecue and all the fixin’s (fried green tomatoes included) in the Byward Market shopping and dining district.

These days, it seems the city has its choice of pulled pork, brisket and coleslaw, with the SmoQue Shack barbecue joint just a few doors down.

Who knew Canada’s capital city was so southern?

See the full story at OttawaMagazine.com.

Ottawa’s 5 Best Bets for Tourtière

Photo by Jack Letourneau

At this time of year, comfort food is on the menu across Canada: the season demands it. French-speaking Canada, in particular, has a knack for concocting the perfect heart-warming rustic fare, like poutine, cretons and—not least of all—tourtière, a savoury mince-meat pie with dashes of cinnamon and cloves.

With equal French and English influences, Ottawa understandably has plenty of worthy contenders for the best tourtière in town.

Hop over to OttawaMagazine.com for their five favourite places for tourtière in Canada’s capital city.