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Nuit Blanche, Animation fest partner up for a hot September night

1:42 pm in Festival News, Festivals in the News

[{Courtesy of the Big Beat, Ottawa Citizen]

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Nuit Blanche Ottawa has signed another partnership with a pre-existing, and overlapping, festival.

Nuit Blanche, to hold its inaugural event in Ottawa on Sept. 22, will partner with the Ottawa International Animation Festival, which will be held Sept. 19 to 23.

Nuit Blanche is a one-night festival of contemporary art installations and exhibitions, spread throughout numerous permanent and temporary venues in the city core.

When Nuit Blanche Ottawa 2012 was announced last October, there were concerns in the arts community about scheduling conflicts. NB organizers are turning the conflicts to their advantage with the partnerships, first with the X Photography Festival, and now with the OIAF. People attending OIAF screenings on Sept. 22 — scheduled for the ByTowne Cinema, Arts Court, Empire theatres, the Rideau Centre, the National Gallery and the Museum of Civilization. All theatres will display invitations to visit the Nuit Blanche events being held that same night around the city core.

Read more: Nuit Blanche, Animation fest partner up for a hot September night

Ottawa welcomes the Junos with art exhibits and a celebrity basketball game

9:55 am in Festival News, News Release

Tony Lofaro, The Ottawa Citizen

Ottawa will host several arts and cultural events related to the Juno Awards as the city gears up to welcome the best of Canada’s musical performers. The events include an exhibit of album cover art and a celebrity basketball game.

At a press conference Tuesday to announce the Juno nominees, some details emerged about four Ottawa events that will be held as part of the Juno festivities. They include the Juno Tour of Canadian Art at the National Gallery of Canada; an exhibition of original pastel drawings in celebration of Gordon Lightfoot’s Canadian Railroad Trilogy to be held at the Canada Science and Technology Museum; and an exhibit of album cover art from 1975 to the present, to be held at the Canadian Museum of Civilization.

And a celebrity basketball game called Juno Hoops will be held March 29 at the The University of Ottawa’s Montpetit Hall in support of MusicCounts, Canada’s national music education charity.

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Ottawa welcomes the Junos with art exhibits and a celebrity basketball game

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Photo Courtesy of,  Tony Lofaro, The Ottawa Citizen

from the National Gallery of Canada\’s Canadian collection

Winterlude Weekend 1 Highlights: Capital Region’s winter celebration set to kick off with skating, sliding, ice carvings and the American Express® Winterlude Opening

10:03 am in Festival News, News Release

The National Capital Commission (NCC) is ready to welcome residents and visitors for the 34th edition of Winterlude, which starts Friday, February 3, 2012. Over three weeks, until February 20, Canada’s Capital Region will be the ideal destination to discover Canadian winter traditions through a wide variety of cultural, sport, culinary and family activities.

Here is a snapshot of the activities taking place during the first weekend of Winterlude.

American Express® Winterlude Opening
Friday, February 3, Canadian Museum of Civilization

The celebration officially kicks off with the American Express® Winterlude Opening at 8:30 pm at the Canadian Museum of Civilization on February 3rd. The program will feature special lighting effects, historical characters and drummers, storytelling around cozy fire pits, an outdoor DJ dance party, and, at 9 pm, a fireworks extravaganza.

Visitors can take advantage of free admission on February 3, from 5 pm to 11 pm, to explore the museum’s many exhibits and enjoy special programming.

The event will also be celebrated at Snowflake Kingdom in Jacques-Cartier Park, which will remain open until 9:30 pm, offering another perfect vantage point to enjoy the evening’s fireworks.

Rogers Crystal Garden in Confederation Park
“Northern Passion” carved in ice

This weekend, there are plenty of chances to watch ice carvers from around the world create their crystalline masterpieces at Confederation Park. These include the Rogers One-Block Challenge on Friday, February 3 from 8 am to 10 am (Awards Ceremony: 5 pm), and the 25th Rogers International Ice-Carving Competition, where professional carvers from around the world put their talent to the test throughout the weekend (People’s Choice Online Voting Contest starts Sunday, February 5 at 6 pm).

On opening weekend, visitors to Rogers Crystal Garden will also have the opportunity to:

The public can start off their first Winterlude weekend with a delicious (and free!) pancake and hot chocolate breakfast at 10 am on Saturday, February 4, during the Eighth Annual Enbridge Pancake Breakfast (Festival Plaza at Ottawa City Hall, across from Confederation Park). While supplies last.

Snowflake Kingdom in Jacques-Cartier Park, Gatineau
Let the adventure begin — with the Ice Hog Family!

Presented by the Ville de Gatineau and the NCC, young and the young at heart alike will enjoy playing in this frosty paradise of giant snow slides. The fun begins on Friday, February 3, at 10:30 am, when Mama and Papa Ice Hog, and twins Noumi and Nouma, join the crowd for the official launch of Snowflake Kingdom – North America’s biggest snow playground.

On Winterlude’s first weekend, visitors will have the chance to:

The Rideau Canal Skateway
Celebrating 42 seasons of skating

Each winter, the NCC transforms the Rideau Canal into the world’s largest skating rink, which was officially recognized as such in 2005 by Guinness World Records™. The Rideau Canal Skateway is centre stage for many activities during Winterlude. For the celebration’s opening weekend, the world-famous ice surface will host the 29th Annual Winterlude Triathlon and the 32nd Annual Accora Village Bed Race which take place at Dows Lake this Saturday. In addition to pioneer activities and crafts that take place this weekend at Bronson Avenue with the Canada Agriculture Museum, throughout Winterlude visitors to the Skateway will have the opportunity to:

Programming Partners
Truly making Winterlude the Capital Region’s winter celebration

For the 34th edition of Winterlude, more than 50 programming partners, from Ottawa and Gatineau’s private and public sectors, have come together to offer visitors a wide-range of indoor and outdoor activities aimed at animating the Capital like never before. Here is just a sampling of what takes place on the first weekend of Winterlude:

For more information about Winterlude, please contact the NCC at 613-239-5000, 613-239-5090 (TTY), 1-800-465-1867 (toll-free) or 1-866-661-3530 (toll-free TTY), or visit the NCC’s website at Winterlude.gc.ca.

Winterlude 2012: More partners, more to discover

2:19 pm in Festival News, News Release

Skating, sliding, musical fireworks, culinary experiences and much more

[Source: NCC press release]

Canada’s Capital Region — The National Capital Commission (NCC) today unveiled the line-up of events for the 34th edition of Winterlude and the 42nd season of the Rideau Canal Skateway, the world’s largest skating rink.

The Capital’s winter celebration, will be held from February 3 to 20, 2012, and feature an array of memorable activities where the outdoors, winter sports, Canada’s diverse cultures, winter traditions and culinary arts will be at the forefront.

“For the 34th edition of Winterlude, more partners than ever have come together to offer residents and visitors the opportunity to rekindle their appreciation of Canadian winter traditions, our diversity and our artistic and scientific achievements,” explains Marie Lemay, NCC Chief Executive Officer. “The iconic Rideau Canal Skateway, the world’s largest skating rink, will be at the heart of the Capital Region’s winter celebration”.

Ms. Lemay was accompanied by Jim Watson, Mayor of the City of Ottawa; Marc Bureau, Mayor of Ville de Gatineau; and Wendy Hall, Vice-President of Account Development, Global Corporate Payments with American Express, at a news conference held today at the Fairmont Château Laurier in Ottawa.

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Dining from Noir to Blanc

2:06 pm in Community News, Industry News, Ottawa News

After huge success of Harvest Noir, Diner en Blanc organizers announce they\’re bringing phenomenon here

Ron Eade, The Ottawa Citizen
The Montreal organizers behind some of the largest flash pop-up picnics across North America say they\’re planning to bring the global Diner en Blanc phenomenon to Ottawa next summer.

The announcement from Diner en Blanc came close on the heels of a similar successful Harvest Noir Oct. 15 where 750 participants converged with only four hours\’ notice outside the Canadian Museum of Civilization for an elegant picnic and dance that continued well into the evening. The turnout and the enthusiasm of participants far exceeded expectations, and the event is likely to reverberate through staid Ottawa\’s social scene.

Diner en Blanc publicist Geneviève Blouin said there is no intention by the Quebec based group to undermine the locally organized Harvest Noir.

\”The official Diner en Blanc is going to be announced in the new year,\” Blouin said in a telephone interview from Montreal.

\”Harvest Noir is sort of a counter-event. There\’s no harm in them doing it. There\’s no issue and it\’s not like rivalry or anything like that. Diner en Blanc is Diner en Blanc.\”

Read more on the Ottawa Citizen website:  Dining from Noir to Blanc

Five Ottawa-area activities added to Signature Experiences Collection

11:47 am in Community News, Festival and Event Industry, Industry News, Ottawa News

OttawaStart

The Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) has named five Ottawa Tourism member organizations to the prestigious Signature Experiences Collection:

The Signature Experiences Collection currently lists 115 activities that are authentic, that represent Canada’s nature, people and/or culture and that are immersive and engage a variety of senses. The Collection is used by the CTC to promote travel to Canada from its key foreign markets, including the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Australia, Japan, South Korea, China, the United States, Mexico, Brazil and India. The next round of applications will begin November 15 and end December 15, 2011.

Read more on the OttawaStart website: Five Ottawa-area activities added to Signature Experience Collection

Harvest Noir brings out \’700 daring people in Ottawa\’

2:57 pm in Community News, Industry News, Ottawa News

Ron Eade, The Ottawa Citizen

Buoyed by their success Saturday, organizers of the capital region\’s first Harvest Noir flash picnic say they\’ll be back again next year with a bigger and more ambitious bash than ever – and a little earlier in the season, when the weather will likely be more hospitable.

\”We actually planned this in only two months, so the turnout is pretty amazing,\” said Samantha Biron, who organized the event at the Canadian Museum of Civilization with her partner, Greg Searle, after they stumbled across a similar Dîner en Blanc popup picnic at Place du Canada in Montreal in August, which attracted 3,200 revellers.

\”We\’re definitely pleasant-ly surprised,\” she said, noting they originally hoped for 400 eager participants when, in fact, more than 700 turned out despite weather forecasts threatening cold, wind and rain.

Mercifully, all but a few occasional rain spits and gusts of wind held off for the twohour picnic.

\”It\’s really magic,\” Searle said.

\”I didn\’t know there were 700 daring people in Ottawa. Hopefully we\’ll have double that number next year, but we\’ll do it a bit earlier. Next year I\’d push it to maybe Sept. 30 when it\’s a little warmer, yet still harvest season. But it\’s amazing to see in five weeks how much of this came together.\”

Read more on the Ottawa Citizen website: Harvest Noir brings out \’700 daring people in Ottawa\’

Capital culture

2:39 pm in Festival News

Taking a closer look at local artists in the Capital Region

Sarah Brown

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.

Read more on the Canadian Geographic website: Capital culture

Capital culture

1:46 pm in Festival News

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



British Animators win big at festival

4:08 pm in Festival News, News Release

Steven Mazey, The Ottawa Citizen

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OTTAWA — British animators Phil Mulloy and Stephen Irwin took home two of the top jury prizes as the Ottawa International Animation Festival that ended Sept. 25.

The annual festival, the largest of its kind in North America, ran Sept. 21 to 25, presenting short and feature films on screens around town, as well as workshops and special screenings outside of the competition. In a closing ceremony at the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the festival presented more than a dozen awards.

Phil Mulloy, a two-time previous winner at the festival for best feature film, won the prize again for Dead but Not Buried, a dark comedy bout a dead body that goes missing. The jury praised Mulloy’s “innovative way of filmmaking, bold use of minimalistic graphics, original use of sound and subversive humour.”

Stephen Irwin won the $3,000 Nelvana Grand Prize for best independent short animation, for his film Moxie, “for its powerful combination of style and narrative, leaving a memorable impression.”

Read more on the Ottawa Citizen website: British Animators win big at festival