Taking a closer look at local artists in the Capital Region
Sarah Brown, The Canadian Geographic
Tour the world’s great capitals, and it becomes apparent that they share two key traits. First, their residents are unselfconsciously proud of their culture. Second, these capitals are bold in showcasing art and ideas, in supporting artists who celebrate their nation and in allowing them the stage when they wish to question the “sacred tenets” of what that nationhood means. Great capitals engage their artists and citizens, celebrating the diversity of their creations.
In the past 20 years, the population of Canada’s capital has reached a critical mass that makes it possible for cultural entrepreneurs to develop world-class blues, jazz and chamber music festivals; the National Gallery of Canada and the Canadian Museum of Civilization can count on crowd support for blockbuster international exhibitions; the National Arts Centre has outdone itself with its ongoing “Scene” series of regional artistic exhibitions; and our key cultural buildings are architectural showpieces. Yet, in 2011, our capital city still lacks a certain zing.
Since its creation in 1959, the National Capital Commission (NCC) has worked with other federal agencies as well as municipal, provincial and other counterparts to handle signature events in a solidly proficient way. I think of this as the “macro” level of our capital’s culture. Remembrance Day is sombre and moving; February’s winter festival Winterlude is a blast of fun in an otherwise miserable month; and Canada Day gathers everyone on Parliament Hill to celebrate together. “Christmas Lights Across Canada” showcases the city’s beauty, and the “Mosaika” sound and light show on the Hill provides visitors with a visually stunning Coles Notes version of our history.
Read more on the Canadian Geographic website: Capital culture