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Radical Orations for Nuit Blanche Ottawa+Gatineau

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Image from the Radical Orations project by the Think Tank that has yet to be named.Image from the Radical Orations project by the Think Tank that has yet to be named.

With only one day left until the National Capital’s biggest night-long art party, now would be a good time to get familiar with some of the artistic projects that are going to be happening on Saturday night (if you haven’t done so already). The Nova Express Kiosk (Byward Market Zone, at George & William) will have a series of projects curated by Michael Davidge. Presented by the City of Ottawa’s Art Centres, the artists included are Guillermo Trejo (Ottawa), Dominique Sirois (Montreal), Allison Rowe (Toronto), Gerald and Maas (Ottawa), and the Think... | Continue reading article

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Weekend roundup: What to do in Ottawa

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There are a lot of reasons to get out and about this weekend, Ottawa – picnics and hairy pits are just two of them. The Folk Fest continues, with Vampire Weekend, Shad, City and Colour and more heading to the party at Hog’s Back. Le Festival de l’Outaouais Émergent is also back, with music, art and comedy. GigSpace will see six great musicians come together in a show Thursday evening, and Eamon McGrath and Saint Clare will stop by Raw Sugar Cafe that same night. On Friday you can find... | Continue reading article

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Filed in: Cinema, Dance, Learning, Music

Streetscape Memory Bank: The demolition of the British Bank of North America and the re-shaping of Wellington Street, 1935 – 1939

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The British Bank of North America Building. All photos, unless otherwise noted, are from Library and Archives, Canada.The British Bank of North America Building. All photos, unless otherwise noted, are from Library and Archives, Canada.

At Kingsmere, Mackenzie King’s former estate in the Gatineau Hills, stand some picturesque “ruins”.  One set is called the L’arc de Triomphe, and we are told that this is all that is left of the Ottawa headquarters of the British Bank of North America. Most of King’s ideas about capital beautification came from his time spent here; led, he thought, by some higher power. He notes in his diary upon his decision to retrieve portions of the old Bank of North America building: “I am now experiencing…a marvelous evidence of... | Continue reading article

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Foodie Friday: Going undercover with the Veggie Underground

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Photo courtesy of Francois Levesque.Photo courtesy of Francois Levesque.

Over the past two years, my partner and I have been members of the Veggie Underground Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). There were many reasons to sign up: we wanted to diversify our veggie intake, the price was affordable and it was an opportunity to get to know the folks who feed us. In the middle of the July heat wave, I decided to see where my veggie basket actually came from and learn about the Veggie Underground’s history. The farm is located in Vars Ontario, a tiny place about 30 minutes south-east... | Continue reading article

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Filed in: Food & Drink, Learning

Apt613 Talks presents Sports in the City: Building Local Culture through Play

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Photo courtesy of Lazy_Artist from the Apt613 flickr groupPhoto courtesy of Lazy_Artist from the Apt613 flickr group

Ever since the days when the citizens of Sparta would gather round to watch their man humiliate Athens at the chariot races, sports has been a keystone of local culture. Is there a modern city state that doesn’t make rooting for the home team somewhat mandatory? But the role of sports in forming local culture goes beyond professional or even semi-professional sports. Soccer fields, hockey arenas and baseball diamond are places where friendships (or rivalries) are formed that play out in other spheres of our communal life. Newer sports like... | Continue reading article

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Filed in: Interviews, Learning, Sports

It’s Arboretum this weekend! We’ve been thinking a lot about this festival

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Fellow editor Francois Levesque and I sat down with Rolf Klausener and Stefanie Power for a meandering chat about Arboretum Arts Festival, the values that are embedded in it and how things are going this year. It was great to catch up with them about their project and we recorded the conversation for our weekly podcast Apartment613 Live. You can find the full thing (slightly edited) in our podcast this week. A few things came out of this conversation that I think are important for us to think more about.... | Continue reading article

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Filed in: Interviews, Learning, Music

Latin vibes and sunsets at the Bytown Museum

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Market Scene Figurines by Dona Josefina Aguilar, San Antonio Ocotlan, Oaxana. 1980s. Photo by Sanita FejzicMarket Scene Figurines by Dona Josefina Aguilar, San Antonio Ocotlan, Oaxana. 1980s. Photo by Sanita Fejzic

If the heat makes you wish you were sipping lemonade with your feet gently resting on the warm sand, the ocean waves marking the melody of summer and the wind carrying its salty waters all the way to your nostrils—then you may be daydreaming about Mexico. If you can’t make it down south, perhaps you’d enjoy the Bytown Museum’s latest exhibition, México Fantasico! Culture, Diplomacy and Community. A splendid array of colourful artifacts are presented, including vibrant textiles, clothing, masks and ceramics; all the typical handcrafts and folk art you... | Continue reading article

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Tall Tales at the Billings Estate: Storytelling and marshmallows by the fire

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Phil Nagy gives his take on the life of Thomas MacKay, head stone mason of what was the rough, rowdy town of Bytown. Photo by Jason Yung.Phil Nagy gives his take on the life of Thomas MacKay, head stone mason of what was the rough, rowdy town of Bytown. Photo by Jason Yung.

Do you like stories? Do you like campfires? Do you like marshmallows? Do you like stories based on local Ottawa historical figures? I said yes to the first three, and begrudgingly said OK to the fourth one. Tall Tales is a series of Friday evening campfire storytelling events put on by the Ottawa Storytellers that happens every Friday of August on the front lawn of the Billings Estate National Historic Site, the colonial-style mansion (turned museum) that was the home of the guy whom that Bridge along Bank St. is... | Continue reading article

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Launch Some Good: An opportunity to take your idea to the next level

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#SocEntWeekend at HUB Seattle. Photo courtesy of Karen Ducey.#SocEntWeekend at HUB Seattle. Photo courtesy of Karen Ducey.

Have you ever had an idea to better the city or the community, but you didn’t know how to make it happen? Launch Some Good is your chance to take that idea off the back burner and make it tangible. Launch Some Good is a bit of a riff off events that have been taking place around the world. The inspiration came to organizer David Rust-Smith while in Melbourne. There, he participated in Hub Melbourne’s Freshly Hacked event, which seeks to create a social impact startup within a weekend. “It... | Continue reading article

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Filed in: Learning

Streetscape Memory Bank: Downtown bird’s eye view, 1938

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All photos courtesy of Library and Archives, Canada.All photos courtesy of Library and Archives, Canada.

Andrew Elliott is an archivist who by day works with the federal government and by night is a freelance historian who is interested in architectural heritage issues. Elliott has written for Blacklocks Reporter, the Glebe Report, and the Peterborough Examiner. He can be reached at ajg.elliott@utoronto.ca. This occasional column will take a look at Ottawa’s streetscapes, ca. 1938, and take note of a city at the crossroads of change. His motto was: “It can be done”. And invariably, when James B. Hunter said this, things were done. Hunter was one... | Continue reading article

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