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Finish summer on a high note with Labour Day weekend activities at the Mackenzie King Estate

9:31 am in Festival News, News Release

(NCC) Join in the Labour Day weekend celebrations at the Mackenzie King Estate in Gatineau Park from September 1 to 3, 2012, 1 pm to 4:30 pm.  It’s a perfect occasion to discover some of the activities that historically took place at the Estate, including beekeeping, sheep farming and blacksmithing. Read the rest of this entry →

Across the ocean, the shamrock meets the maple leaf

1:13 pm in Festival News, Festivals in the News

By Chloé Fedio, The Ottawa Citizen

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Photograph by: Mike Carroccetto

With tall straw hats pulled all the way down to their necks, nothing but a nose poking through a small gap in the front, the men danced with their partners on a stage at the Navan Fair in honour of the “straw boys,” an old Irish custom in which a group of jovial young men crash a wedding in disguise.

Read more: Across the ocean, the shamrock meets the maple leaf

Related story: Drought casts cloud over community fair

Colonel By Day celebrations offer trip back in time (with video)

9:19 am in Festival News, Festivals in the News

By Alicja Siekierska, The Ottawa Citizen

For the thousands of people who ventured onto the grounds of the Bytown Museum and the Ottawa Locks on Monday, it felt as if they had taken a step back in time.

Everywhere visitors turned was a scene from the 1800s.

Dozens of men and women were dressed in traditional 19th century clothing, participating in an old-fashioned English country dance.

Read more: Colonel By Day celebrations offer trip back in time (with video)

Related story: Festival commemorates Rideau Canal’s 180th birthday, Ottawa Citizen, Aug. 2, 2012

Video: Making lanterns for the Lumière Festival

1:12 pm in Festival News, Festivals in the News

Volunteers gather at New Edinburgh House on Saturday, August 4, 2012 to help construct lanterns for the Lumière Festival to be held in Stanley Park on August 18.

See the video: Making lanterns for the Lumière Festival

Enter the Aboriginal summer solstice

12:09 pm in Festival News, Festivals in the News

By Jen Traplin, Metro Canada

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Photo courtesy of Metro Canada

The Summer Solstice Aboriginal Arts Festival aims to share Aboriginal culture with all people in the Ottawa area, but the festival’s executive director says she thinks some non-aboriginal people are under the mistaken impression they can’t go.

“I think people hear Pow Wow and Aboriginal Arts Festival and they feel it’s just for our community,” says Trina Mather-Simard, executive director of the Summer Solstice Aboriginal Arts Festival. “But, it’s really an opportunity for our community to welcome in and share more with our neighbours here in Ottawa. Absolutely everyone is welcome.\”

This free, four-day festival includes an Aboriginal artisan village, interactive exhibits and tons of family-friendly activities.

One of the highlights of the festival is the 2nd Annual Competition Pow Wow, an international drum and dance contest, featuring Grammy-nominated Ojibwe drum group Bear Creek. With over $65,000 in prize money up for grabs, organizers expect, much like last year, the Competition Pow Wow will draw high-calibre talent from all over.

Read more: Enter the Aboriginal summer solstice

Family Day a welcome break from the winter blahs

9:56 am in Festival News, Festivals in the News

ctvottawa.ca

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Photo by Fred Chartrand, The Canadian Press

As recent as six years ago, the third Monday in February would be just another day of work and school as the slog towards spring dragged on.

Move ahead to the present and Family Day gave people across Ottawa the chance to take in a vast array of activities, including the last day of Winterlude.

\”I feel sad because I love all the slides, the rides, the mazes,\” said one festivalgoer. \”Now that it\’s closed, it\’s kind of a bummer,\” said another.

Winterlude may have come and gone, but 600,000 visitors strolled through its various site and brought over $74 million to the capital.

Full story from CTV Ottawa: Family Day a welcome break from the winter blahs

Get your body movin’ at Winterlude: events include Winterlude Triathlon, annual Bed Race, skating demonstrations and Pond Hockey Classic

10:37 am in Festival News, Festivals in the News

PAULINE ANDERSON / METRO OTTAWA

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The Ottawa area is synonymous with winter sports and Winterlude certainly lives up to that reputation.

The three weeks of festivities are replete with events that range from deadly serious to the downright goofy.

This year’s highlight is Hockey Day in Canada, Feb 11 at 7 a.m. It features the Guinness World Record attempt for the longest hockey breakaway on the Rideau Canal at the Chateau Laurier.

Full story: Get your body movin’ at Winterlude

NCC diversifies Winterlude, making it less dependent on cold weather

11:01 am in Festival News, Festivals in the News

Mark Brownlee, The Ottawa Citizen

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Photo courtesy Ottawa Citizen, by Pat McGrath

Unpredictable February weather will force Winterlude to focus less on its winter theme in the years to come, organizers say of the festival that has traditionally drawn tourists by celebrating Canada’s cold climate.

Fluctuating temperatures have wreaked havoc on the event in the past few years. Temperatures went as high as 10 C on the Friday before the last weekend of the 2011 edition, forcing organizers to change some marquee events such as the ice sculpture competition and to temporarily close the Rideau Canal to skating.

The event’s organizer, the federally-funded National Capital Commission, has already moved to diversify its lineup from such traditional winter-themed activities to those not dependent on weather. This year’s events include a jazz festival in Confederation Park and a beer and ice wine festival in Gatineau.

Full story on the Ottawa Citizen Website: NCC diversifies Winterlude, making it less dependent on cold weather

Top 10 Family Activities in Ontario: Rideau Canal Amongst the Top

1:30 pm in Festival News, News Release

National Geographic

  1. A Trip to the Cottage

    Ontario is a big, diverse place and its residents, spread across more than a million square kilometers, don’t lay claim to all that many shared experiences. But if there’s one Ontario tradition that’s nearly universal, it’s the family trip to the cottage.

    Cottage time is all about campfires, canoe rides, and rainy-day board games. Visitors can get in on the action too; rental cottages are widely available. Popular “cottage country” areas include the Kawarthas and Muskoka, both within a couple hours’ drive of Toronto, and the Rideau Lakes, near Ottawa.

  2. Toronto Zoo

    The Toronto Zoo is the largest in Canada, and one of the largest in the world. Its 460-plus animal species are organized by their region of origin. In addition to the main exhibits, the zoo also offers a special children’s zone with demonstrations, a splash park, and interactive activities for kids.

    In recent years the Toronto Zoo has substantially expanded its conservation and education efforts, upgrading animal habitats and funding research projects worldwide. Ask about the zoo’s family-focused educational programs.

  3. Rideau Canal (Ottawa)

    Ottawa’s Rideau Canal is a national historic site and a UNESCO World Heritage site. It was built after the War of 1812 as the key link in a chain of locks, rivers, and lakes that provided an alternate route between Montreal and Kingston, in case of an American invasion of the St. Lawrence River. Today it’s an urban waterway lined with trees and bike paths—perfect for renting a canoe, pedal boat, or bicycle and cruising through downtown. In winter, it’s transformed into the world’s longest skating rink.

Read more on the National Geographic website: Top 10 Family Activities in Ontario

Marriage, jousts and royal drama in Osgoode this weekend

9:11 am in Industry News

Emma Jackson, YourOttawaRegion

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Lords and ladies, maidens and princes, knights and even commoners are invited to the fourth annual medieval festival in Osgoode this July – complete with a real wedding, an enormous feast and the chance of a royal assassination.

Beginning Friday, July 8 with an education day for kids and families, the festival runs the gamut of medieval activities from sword fighting, dancing and jousting to eating an entire feast with a single utensil.

Full Story: Marriage, jousts and royal drama in Osgoode this weekend