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Big crowds flood canal festival

12:26 pm in Festival News, Festivals in the News

By Chris Hofley , Capital City News


(Capital City News file photo)

Despite some uncooperative weather, the fifth annual Rideau Canal Festival was a huge success, according to the festival\’s executive director.

While a fireworks show had to be cancelled because of the hot, dry weather and a flotilla along the canal had to be scrapped when that dry weather turned to heavy rain, Nhanci Wright said huge crowds descended on festival locations for some unique and engaging programming.

\”We had a very good weekend,\” she said

Read more: Big crowds flood canal festival

Drought scrubs weekend fireworks show at Rideau Canal Festival

3:20 pm in Festival News, Festivals in the News

Courtesy of The Ottawa Citizen

The fireworks show at the Rideau Canal Festival on Saturday night has been cancelled due to drought conditions in the region, say organizers. The fireworks will be replaced by alternate, less flammable programming.

Festival organizers have been working with Ottawa Fire Services who were concerned about the tinder-dry conditions in the city in the last month.

Read more:  Drought scrubs weekend fireworks show at Rideau Canal Festival

Related story: Rideau Canal Festival fireworks display cancelled due to drought, Joe Lofaro, Metro News Ottawa,

Handel’s Water Music live, on a pirate boat, on the canal, with video

11:56 am in Festival News, Festivals in the News

By Peter Simpson, The Big Beat, The Ottawa Citizen

On July 17, 1717, King George I sat on a barge on the Thames and listened to the new entertainment he’d ordered up for the occasion – Handel’s Water Music, which musicians performed on an adjacent barge. The king liked his royal-command treat so much, he ordered it to be played three times. The musicians who performed Water Music while floating down the Rideau Canal on Sunday morning likely know the feeling.

Read more: Handel’s Water Music live, on a pirate boat, on the canal, with video

Related stories:
– The Royal Ottawa audience graced by performance of Handel’s Water Music, Ottawa Citizen, July 8, 2012
– Music and Beyond: Warm welcome for Bach’s glorious Six Motets, Ottawa Citizen, July 9, 2012
Music and Beyond: Concert an awe-inspiring treat, Ottawa Citizen, July 9, 2012
Underground music, A Cold War evening at the Diefenbunker, Ottawa Citizen, July 9, 2012

Brahms, Handel and Heavy Metal

1:33 pm in Festival News, Festivals in the News

What’s new and notable at Music and Beyond

By Steven Mazey, The Ottawa Citizen


Photo courtesy of The Ottawa Citizen

A chance to hear Handel’s Water Music actually performed on water does not come along every day, so if you’re near the Rideau Canal July 8, keep your ears tuned and watch for the floating musicians.

As part of this year’s Music and Beyond festival, running Wednesday to July 15, musicians will perform the piece as Handel meant it to be heard — on a boat, starting at 9:30 a.m. and travelling from Dow’s Lake to the National Arts Centre and back over two hours.

A journey of a different kind happens at Saint Brigid’s Centre July 13, when music lovers can hear all four Brahms symphonies in one night.

Read more: Brahms, Handel and Heavy Metal

World record breakaway, Ottawa group takes shot at Guiness World Record for longest breakaway

11:26 am in Festival News, Festivals in the News

EMC News

To Canadians, Hockey Day in Canada is like a national holiday.

It\’s become a coast to coast celebration of the sport we love.

This year, Hockey Day falls on Feb. 11, 2012 during the Beaver Cup \”4 on 4\” Pond Hockey Festival at Winterlude in Ottawa.

To celebrate our game, a Guinness World Record attempt at the longest hockey breakaway, in partnership with Winterlude, will be made on the world famous (and world\’s largest skate way) Rideau Canal at 7 a.m. near the Chateau Laurier.

\”When we found out the Beaver Cup was going to be on Hockey Day in Canada weekend and takes place on the world\’s largest skate way, we thought (Guinness attempt) would make sense,\” said organizer Les Gagne.

In November, he set the wheels in motion contacting the Guinness World Book of Records in the U.K. and submitting a proposal.

Soon after receiving the go-ahead, he moved on to the National Capital Commission. In addition to gaining permission to go ahead with the attempt, they also needed to set a start time.

\”We were being a little naive…we wanted to do it at 12 o\’clock,\” he said with a chuckle, noting the NCC explained there would be thousands of people in their way at that time.

They settled on 7 a.m. to take advantage of the overnight flooding as well as the clearer path.

The \’goal\’, he says, is to have each of six participating skaters skate in a relay format with a puck and stick seven kilometres from one end of the Rideau Canal to the other as fast as possible. The final skater will then shoot on what Gagne says will be a \”patiently waiting\” goalie with the hopes of scoring the big goal.

\”It\’s going to be an awesome experience to attempt the world record for the longest hockey breakaway while skating the entire length of the world famous Rideau Canal on Hockey Day in Canada. Canadians and hockey fans are invited to be part of this historic and exciting moment in our nation\’s hockey history.\”

Mayor Jim Watson will be on hand to cut the ribbon to start the breakaway. It\’s also hoped a couple of NHL alumni will be involved.

\”We\’re pretty jacked,\” he said.

As a bonus, Hockey Night In Canada will film the start, then track its progress aboard a security ATV \”the way it\’s done with the Tour de France.\” Footage will then be shown later during the Ottawa Senators-Edmonton Oilers broadcast.

\”It should be a lot of fun,\” Gagne said.


As Hockey Day in Canada is celebrated across the country, male and female hockey players and fans in Ottawa will be competing for the 2012 Beaver Cup \”4 on 4\” Pond Hockey Festival championship on the Rideau Canal at Dow\’s Lake.

\”This is the only opportunity to play hockey on the Rideau Canal,\” said Gagne, who also serves as executive director of the Beaver Cup.

Although this year\’s tournament is sold out, one can get their team on the VIP List at

And, if registered before Feb. 11, they could win a free team registration valued at over $500.

Back by popular demand for a second year as part of the Beaver Cup Pond Hockey Festival is the popular media and celebrity Hockey Pondarama. This year\’s event will include Senator alumnus, Shaun Van Allen, CTV Ottawa Morning\’s Kurt Stoodley, Majic 100 and Ottawa Senators game announcer Stuntman Stu, TSN\’s Brent Wallace and James Cybulski, SirrusXM\’s NHL Home Ice co-host, Mike Ross and many

Winterlude Weekend 2 Highlights

3:44 pm in Festival News, News Release

Second weekend of exciting activities includes:

an interactive hockey zone, ice carving challenges,

the Great Canadian Beaver Cup Pond Hockey Championship,

cool science, electrojazz and 24 hour screenings of The Clock

Canada’s Capital Region – The National Capital Commission (NCC) wishes to remind residents and visitors that the second weekend of the 34th edition of Winterlude, the Capital’s winter celebration, promises to be an exciting one. Winterlude continues in the Capital Region until February 20, 2012.

Here is a sampling of some of the activities taking place during the second weekend of Winterlude.

Rogers Crystal Garden in Confederation Park

This Saturday, visitors will learn the secrets of ice carving techniques and how the carvers use their tools to create a work of art from a block of ice. On Sunday, professional ice carvers face off in an ice-carving championship. Kids and adults are invited to make their mark on an ice graffiti wall, using ice-carving tools.

Visitors to the Rogers Crystal Garden can take in a majestic ice sculpture to mark the 20th anniversary of Canadian military service in the Balkans. Also new this weekend, a unique ice sculpture specially made to celebrate the upcoming 41st Annual JUNO Awards to be held in Canada’s Capital, March 26 – April 1.

Ice sculpture enthusiasts will also want to take in the crystalline masterpieces created at the 25th Rogers International Ice-Carving Competition during the first weekend of Winterlude and vote for their favourite sculpture for a chance to win a round trip for two people to any scheduled WestJet destination in Canada.

Confederation Park will also be a popular evening destination this weekend, thanks to the

Sub-Zero Music Series which will get the audience dancing and moving.

Snowflake Kingdom in Jacques-Cartier Park, Gatineau

Presented by the Ville de Gatineau and the NCC, Snowflake Kingdom is North America’s biggest snow playground. It is the ideal destination for the young and the young at heart. This family friendly paradise features giant snow slides and an outdoor amphitheatre.

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

•find their way through the A-maze-ing Fort Wellington;

•learn about the life of the people who lived in 1812 through interpretation, demonstrations and games;

•take part in a day in the life of a Coast Guard employee;

•test their physical fitness in the Canadian Forces Winter Obstacle Course;

•experience downhill skiing with qualified instructors;

•feel the rhythm at the Snowflake Stage featuring talented performers and acrobatic stunts;

•visit the Adventure Zone, where they can try Jumpaï trampolines and rock climbing;

The Rideau Canal Skateway

Open for its 42nd season on January 15, this fantastic 7.8-kilometre ice surface offers families and fun-seekers alike a wide variety of services including rest areas, food concessions, skate and sleigh rentals, skate sharpening, and boot check services this weekend.

Skaters at Dows Lake are invited to visit Eco Art at Dows Gallery, an outdoor space in Canada’s Capital where youth express themselves through art. The exhibit features photographic artwork with an environmental theme. These works of art will be exhibited for the duration of the skating season.

While at Dows Lake, visitors can test their skills at the hardest shot, most accurate shot, obstacle course — and much more at the Giant Tiger Interactive Hockey Zone.

This Saturday, the Canadian Paralympic Committee presents a Winter Parasport Festival. Visitors can try sledge hockey and wheelchair curling, and meet members of the National Sledge Hockey Team.

Also this weekend, teams from across Canada will compete in the 4th Annual Great Canadian Beaver Cup Pond Hockey Championship at Dows Lake.

Programming Partners

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 second weekend of Winterlude:

•Cool Science Saturday at the Canadian Museum of Nature;

•free, all-night screenings at the National Gallery of Canada of Christian Marclay’s most ambitious video installation to date: The Clock;

•Electrojazz Evening with Misteur Valaire presented by the Ville de Gatineau;

•Shenkman Arts Centre Presents “New” Orleans Dinner and Show With Zydeco Loco;

•Fête Frissons, a celebration of winter that includes an outdoor skating rink, crazy toque fashions, entertainment and ice/snow sculpting;

•an afternoon of classical music with the award-winning Ottawa Junior Youth Orchestra;

•winter-themed activities, secret snow codes, and winter scavenger hunt at the Diefenbunker Museum;

•Downtown Rideau CHILL FACTOR.

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

Media Information:

Denise LeBlanc

NCC Media Relations

613-239-5750 (office)

613-851-9465 (cellular)

[email protected]

Charles Cardinal

NCC Media Relations

613-239-5227 (office)

613-851-6924 (cellular)

[email protected]

Cue the gondolas for summer fun next year

10:29 am in Industry News, Ottawa News

NCC puts out calls for ideas to \’animate\’ Rideau Canal

Chloé Fedio, Ottawa Citizen

Imagine gondola rides on the Rideau Canal and fire-juggling acrobats in the surrounding green space.

These ideas could become a reality, after the National Capital Commission put out an open call for pilot projects to \”animate\” the canal as early as June 2012.

The request for submissions is intentionally vague, said Marie Lemay, chief executive officer of the NCC.

\”We thought it would be interesting to let the creative minds in the capital region really tell us what type of project would be great to animate,\” Lemay said. \”We\’re testing a different approach on this. Why don\’t we let the market tell us where the activities should take place and what kind of activities should take place.\”

Proposals must include details on the concept, a financial model and can have a timeline of up to three years. The NCC will not fund projects but will offer use of the canal and its shoreline, from Rideau Street all the way to, but not including, Dow\’s Lake.


3:58 pm in Festival News, News Release

Line-up includes: Yukon Celebrations, Giant Human Foosball, Great Canadian Beaver Cup Pond Hockey Championship a Sub-Zero DJ Series, and Roxy Paine at the National Gallery of Canada

The National Capital Commission (NCC) wishes to remind residents and visitors that the second weekend of the 33rd edition of Winterlude, Canada’s winter celebration, promises to be an exciting one. Winterlude continues in the Capital Region until February 21, 2011.

Here is a sampling of some of the activities taking place during the second weekend of Winterlude:

Read the rest of this entry →


8:59 am in Festival News, News Release

The National Capital Commission (NCC) announces that as of tomorrow, January 13 at 8 am, 5.8 kilometres of the Rideau Canal Skateway, between the Pretoria Bridge and Dows Lake, will be open. Skaters will be able to access the Skateway by using all the entrances along the opened section.

On January 8, 2011, the NCC opened 2.4 kilometres of ice between Pretoria Bridge and Bank Street Bridge.

The NCC is working to open the remaining sections of the world’s largest skating rink as soon as ice conditions are safe and weather permits. Pedestrians and skaters are asked not to venture onto the closed section of the Skateway where ice is considered unsafe.

Managed by the NCC, the 7.8-kilometre Rideau Canal Skateway receives, on average, one million visits each year. The world-famous ice surface becomes one of the official sites for Canada’s winter celebration, Winterlude, which will take place from February 4th to 21st, 2011.

For more information about the Rideau Canal Skateway, 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 Throughout the season, recorded information about skating conditions can be obtained by calling 613-239-5234.