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Canada Day celebrations attract thousands to Parliament Hill but War of 1812 focus gets muted response

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

By Stephanie Levitz, The Canadian Press


Photo by Julie Oliver, The Ottawa Citizen

Thousands of people covered Parliament Hill in red and white on Sunday for Canada’s 145th birthday.

But the passionate patriotism of Canada Days’ past was replaced by a smaller crowd seemingly subdued by the history lesson on the War of 1812, which formed the main theme of the celebrations.

Necks craned skyward for the traditional flypast of the Snowbirds and then all eyes turned to the performances of Roch Voisine, Feist and Simple Plan.

Their show drew the crowd out of its midday stupor, with teenage girls shrieking and singing as Montreal-based Simple Plan rocked on.

Read more: Canada Day celebrations attract thousands to Parliament Hill but War of 1812 focus gets muted response

Memo to Winterlude organizers: Next time, ‘no muskets!’ in displays marking wars

2:42 pm in Festival News, Festivals in the News

By Mark Brownlee, The Ottawa Citizen


Photograph by: Pat McGrath , Ottawa Citizen

Winterlude organizers are rethinking the role the military plays in the annual February festival after prominently displaying items such as muskets as part of a commemoration of the War of 1812 this year, newly released documents show.

Briefing notes prepared by the festival’s organizer, the National Capital Commission, said employees dealt with a number of “controversies” stemming from public concern about how the war was portrayed.

The NCC partnered with the federal government department responsible for remembering the war, Parks Canada, to commemorate the conflict by turning a part of Jacques Cartier Park in Gatineau into a barracks from the era.

Read more: Memo to Winterlude organizers: Next time, ‘no muskets!’ in displays marking wars

Feist, Simple Plan and many more rock Parliament Hill 2012 Canada Day Celebrations

4:08 pm in Festival News, News Release

Today, the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, and Marie Lemay, Chief Executive Officer of the National Capital Commission (NCC), invited all Canadians to participate in the 2012 Canada Day celebrations and announced the programming for the Noon and Evening shows.

\”This year, the Canada Day noon show will offer diverse performances that will capture the heart of all Canadians as we celebrate the heritage of the War of 1812 and our Canadian heroes. Their efforts tell part of the story of the Canada we know today – an independent and free country with a constitutional monarchy and its own parliamentary system,\” said Minister Moore. \”This is an opportunity to join with your family and friends and celebrate your pride in being Canadian.\” Read the rest of this entry →

Feist, Simple Plan to headline Canada Day concert

3:37 pm in Festival News, Festivals in the News

By Tony Lofaro, The Ottawa Citizen


Photograph by: Olivier Morin

This year’s Canada Day entertainment lineup includes some familiar faces performing on Parliament Hill as well as activities honouring the anniversaries of the Calgary Stampede, the Grey Cup game, Canadian Coast Guard and the War of 1812.

Headliners include Simple Plan, Jully Black, Feist and Roch Voisine, as well as teen pop group Neverest, pop rock singer Marie Mai, electronica performer Misstress Barbara and country singer Donny Parenteau from Saskatchewan.

Read more: Feist, Simple Plan to headline Canada Day concert

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

Winterlude 2012 will remember the War of 1812

10:50 am in Festival News, News Release

Alicja Siekierska, The Ottawa Citizen

OTTAWA — Feb. 3 will mark the start of Winterlude 2012, the 34th edition the city’s popular three-week long winter festival.

The National Capital Commission unveiled new details about the annual winter extravaganza Tuesday, which will commemorate the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 as well as the 50th anniversary of the Canadian Coast Guard. There will be various activities honouring the anniversaries throughout the festival.

The NCC will work with more than 50 programming partners — more than ever before — to bring a wide range of indoor and outdoor activities to the event.

NCC CEO Marie Lemay says the increase in partnerships will not only make for a “bigger and better” Winterlude, but it will also bring more community involvement.

“We want the community to take ownership so it’s not just the NCC’s Winterlude,” says Lemay. “Community groups have really taken part in it, building it and taking ownership of it. So it’s everybody’s Winterlude.”

One of the new partners is the Ottawa Jazz Festival, which will launch the first annual Winter Jazz Festival with a series of concerts Feb. 2 to 4, most at the NAC’s Fourth Stage.

Read more on the Ottawa Citizen website: Winterlude 2012 will remember the War of 1812

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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