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Valentine’s Day in Ottawa

By Arielle Follett on February 10, 2015


Booze will be flowing, burlesque will be performed and of course – love will be in the air this Valentine’s Day in Ottawa. Young or old, newcomer or life-long Ottawan, even if you’re single there’s an event in the city right for you on the most romantic day of the year. Let’s break it down!

Sweetheart Cocktail for Arts

The Sweetheart Cocktail for the Arts event actually takes place on the 12th, but it is a perfect warm-up for the weekend ahead. The Ottawa Arts Council has been throwing a Sweetheart event for nearly 30 years, finding its latest form as a cocktail event just five years ago.

The event, a fundraiser for the Council, is full of live music, great people and delicious food and drinks. A live silent auction will be held to raise money for the local arts community.

This year’s event will be held at the beautiful Bridgehead Roastery in Little Italy, which will be offering much of the food as well as offering a specialty cocktail of cold brew coffee and bourbon.

“(The venue) will bring a different feel to the cocktail,” says Sharon Diamond, development and special events officer at the Ottawa Arts Council. “And of course we have a range of unique and interesting items up for grabs through the auctions.”

The Sweetheart Cocktail for the Arts event will be held on Thursday, February 12 at 6:30 p.m. at the Bridgehead Roastery in Little Italy, located at 130 Anderson Street. Tickets are available now for $75.

Anti-Valentine’s Day Party

For Ottawa’s single and ready to mingle, is throwing the Ant-Valentine’s Day Party at 21+ club, the Whiskey Bar.

With purchase of your ticket comes a complimentary drink and the chance to bag a few phone numbers. The organizers will even help you with the hard part, initiating some fun icebreaker games to get people chatting and music to get you on the dance floor.

The Anti-Valentine’s Day Party will be held on Valentine’s Day at 7 p.m. at the Whiskey Bar, located at 112 York Street. Tickets are available now for $20.

SingleSkate 2015

Skating on the canal is a classic wintertime date activity, why not turn it into a singles event?

“Valentine’s Day is a time for love and appreciation to your significant other,” says organizer Mehdi Chaouni. “Sadly, not everyone is with that special someone on that day, so this event was held in place just for that. It’s not a speed-dating event. It’s not an online dating website. It’s a face-to-face opportunity to interact with the opposite gender.”

Everyone will meet at Ottawa City Hall and then walk to the canal together to skate or munch on some Beavertails. A classic Canadian Valentine’s Day.

Ottawa’s first annual SingleSkate will be held on Valentine’s Day at 2 p.m. The group will meet at Ottawa City Hall, but feel free to arrive late at the canal. This event is free but make sure to dress warm!

Snowflake Ball

For those looking for a more glamourous way to spend their Valentine’s Day, head out to the Snowflake Ball at the Hilton Lac-Leamy. This year’s theme is “Springtime in Paris.”

The event is a charity ball, raising funds for pediatric IBD “and helps to save lives by promoting early screening for colon cancer. Proceeds benefit the world-class Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) Inflammatory Bowel Disease Centre and Screen Colons Canada.”

The night will feature a four-course reception with Valentine’s Day-inspired cocktails, fine wine and canapés, models, music, a photo booth, a late night dessert party, Purdy’s sponsored chocolate tasting and candy buffet as well as a live and silent auction.

The Snowflake Ball will be held on Valentine’s Day at 5:30 pm. at the beautiful Hilton Lac-Leamy in Gatineau. Individual tickets are $315 while a table for 10 will cost upwards of $3000. Tickets are almost gone, so buy yours now before they sell out!

Chelsea Erotica VIII’s “In Flagrante”

This weekend long event is a way to get your libido up this Valentine’s. Featuring dirty ditties, erotic poetry, dancing contortionists, burlesque and “the full naked monty,” the event is a group erotic art exhibition and fundraiser.

“It is almost the most fun you can have in a vertical position,” says Pam Connolly, one of the event’s organizers. “The artists who participate have been asked to stretch their usual oeuvre, flex their creative drive, and create hot, sell-able work.”

Sixty per cent of sales go towards the artists and 40 per cent to the event’s charitable partners including La Fab Centre for the Arts, the Mill Road Community Space and women’s shelter Maison LibreElle.

“By far the best part is the amount of raunchy, raucous fun we have at the vernissage,” says Connolly. “The wine flows, the double entendres triple and the art is drooled over.”

The event has been hosted at the historic former Dunn Hotel in Chelsea every year since its inception. The building dates back to the mid-nineteenth century.

“Myself and Kathy Sandford (the owner) envisioned days gone by when lumberjacks stayed over after long, womanless weeks in the bush,” says Connolly. “We thought the hotel might have hosted certain ‘entertainment’ or perhaps even been a bit of a brothel. The idea for the party, recreating this vision came first and the art came second. You can come third.”

The eighth Chelsea Erotica will be held February 13th through 15th at the former Dunn Hotel at 253 Old Chelsea Road in Chelsea, Quebec. The event is free but art will be available at a variety of price points.