• eat
  • shop
  • see
  • go
  • stay
  • daytrip
  • map
  • calendar
  • transport
  • weather
  • currency
  • tofrom

Canadian War Museum

Hot Attraction: Historic Flag Unveiled at War Museum

The Regimental Colour of the 104th Regiment of Foot being unveiled at the Canadian War Museum.
© Canadian War Museum, Corporate Photo Collection, photo M. Holleron

The 104th Regiment of Foot marched up the St. John River Valley to Kingston, battling extreme weather and enemy forces along the way.

Throughout the New Brunswick regiment’s epic journey during the War of 1812 they carried a silk flag, which displayed a Union Jack in the top left corner and “104” surrounded by a laurel wreath in the middle.

This incredible piece of Canadian history is now on display at the Canadian War Museum.

“The flag connects us to a key chapter in our military history and to those who rallied to Canada’s defence in the War of 1812,” says James Whitham, Director General of the Canadian War Museum, in a statement.

The 52-day trek is considered one of the greatest marches in Canadian military history. The flag flew during many key battles, including engagements at Beaver Dams, Fort Erie and Lundy’s Lane.

When the war ended, the flag was sent to Scotland, home of the British officer who originally raised the regiment. His granddaughter eventually donated the flag to the New Brunswick Museum in 1939, on the eve of the Second World War.

You can see the flag on display at the War Museum until January 6, 2013, as the Museum marks the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812.

Hot Attraction: 1812 at the Canadian War Museum

A coat belonging to Major General Sir Isaac Brock. The hole left by the American musket ball that killed Isaac Brock is clearly visible on the chest of his coat.

The War of 1812 was one of the most significant events in Canadian history, its outcome instrumental in creating the Canada we know today. The Canadian War Museum commemorates the 200th anniversary of the conflict with an appropriately substantial exhibition, simply titled “1812.” Visitors can learn the history behind the war through the perspectives of its four central participants: Canada, the United States, Great Britain and Native Americans.

Canadian War Museum, 1 Vimy Place, 819-776-7000, www.warmuseum.ca

Summertime Blues

Picture: Ottawa Tourism

RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest is back for another year of rockin’ tunes and good times. To help you navigate the 12 days, five outdoor stages and 2500+ performers in the lineup, we’ve compiled a day-by-day guide.


July 4
The theme of this year’s festival is Bluesfest – Electro-fied, and who better to kick off the festivities than Tiësto? The Dutch DJ has been voted the greatest DJ of all time, and has worked with the likes of Katy Perry, Coldplay, and Kanye West. For those looking for something a little more down to earth, folk punk hero Billy Bragg will bring his socially charged lyrics to a passionate performance.
PLUS: Alan Doyle of Great Big Sea fame; the electro-rock stylings of AWOLNATION; post-punk legends The Melvins


July 5
Ever since their highly danceable smash hit “Party Rock Anthem” topped the charts in more than ten countries, electro-pop duo LMFAO has been seemingly ubiquitous. Get ready to get down when DJs Redfoo and SkyBlu (the son and grandson of Motown legend Berry Gordy) hit the stage. Continuing the electric theme is DJ Paul Oakenfold, who has been credited with breaking house music in Britain in the late ’80s.
PLUS: Highly danceable electro-pop group Dragonette; indie rock trio Plants and Animals; Canadian Idol alum Carly Rae Jepsen


Hot Attractions: Tales from the East Coast at the Canadian War Museum

Just one of the archival photos from "New Brunswickers in Wartime." Photo credit: Chorus girls, Fundy Follies, around 1944. NBM, Murdoch Family fonds, F6.

New Brunswick may be hundreds of kilometres from Ottawa, but its war history is relevant to all Canadians. Until April 9, the Canadian War Museum is hosting an exhibit entitled “New Brunswickers in Wartime, 1914-1946.” Here you will find a wide selection of artwork, artifacts, and images that illustrate the stories of the people from this province during the First and Second World Wars — at sea, on land, in the air, and at home. Whether you’re from the east coast, have family there, or just take an interest in this country’s history, this exhibit will shed light on one province’s people and how they dealt with adversity during trying times.

Exhibition Roundup: What’s On at the Museums

Still got out-of-towners visiting? Check out our rundown on some of the coolest and most fascinating temporary and long-term exhibits in Ottawa.

"Awesome Arctic" is now on view at the Canadian Museum of Nature. Photo credit: © Doug Barber (Yorkton, SK).

The Canadian Museum of Nature has recently unveiled a new exhibit, Awesome Arctic, which features a collection of more than 50 photographs taken over several decades during the museum’s Arctic research adventures. The exhibit, which runs until next fall, displays fascinating visuals of Canada’s North, as well as researchers documenting marine life, plants, fossils, and minerals.

The Canada Aviation and Space Museum brings you its most recent permanent exhibition Living in Space, which is all about adapting to daily life in zero gravity. Learn about what astronauts do in space, whether it’s work or play, eating or sleeping, or keeping up their personal hygiene. This highly interactive exhibit presents the technical, psychological, and physical challenges of living in space. You can also check out Green Skies Ahead, on view until June 2017. This exhibit takes you on a tour to discover the carbon-friendly technology of tomorrow. With so much focus on the environment, this is your chance to learn about energy production and consumption in today’s world, as well as get a taste of what the future holds through displays of energy-efficient aircraft designs.

The Canada Science and Technology Museum presents Energy: Power to Choose, an interactive display all about energy production and consumption, running until June 2017. Learn all about the social, economic, and environmental consequences of exploiting resources and get inspired to make a change. This exhibit even lets you produce your own electricity with a human hamster wheel. While you’re there, don’t forget to check out SiO2: The Science of Glass, on view until April 9, where you can see the true and brute strength of glass. Find out all about the chemical properties of glass and the role of glass in the history of civilization. Last but certainly not least, until January 20, you can snag your last chance to check out Braille: Knowledge at your Fingertips, which explores the language of touch for those who have lost their sight. (more…)

Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for October 21 to 23

Enriched Bread Artists Open Studio. Photo credit: Danny Hussey, "When Worlds Collide (1951)."

Friday, Oct. 21
Enriched Bread Artists throws open the doors of its bread-factory-turned-artists-space for the 19th edition of its annual Open Studio. Eighteen contemporary artists exhibit their work over two weekends and a variety of media is represented: sculpture, drawing, painting, multimedia. There’s no one theme, but this year recycling is a major element, with artists incorporating found and used objects (mourning lace, vintage library cards, audio cassettes).

Some of the painters also address environmental issues, meaning and history, and colour and beauty, while other artists work in printmaking, knitting, and sculpture to explore personal or political narratives. It’s a mixed bag event that shows off the diversity of the local talent. The exhibition opens Thursday night at 6pm, where DJ Michael Caffrey will be spinning tunes as you get your art on. (more…)

Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for Aug. 12 to 14

Campfire & Storytelling takes place Friday nights through August.

Friday, Aug. 12
Snuggle up ‘round the fire and let your imagination run wild at the weekly Campfire & Storytelling event. The Ottawa Storytellers host an evening of oratory for both young and old at Billings Estate National Historic Site. These artists continue the age-old old tradition of storytelling, no book or paper in sight. Enjoy tales for adults and separate stories and songs for children, as well as plenty of marshmallows to roast.

Give date night a lift by grabbing snacks and laying out a blanket on the grass of Dundonald Park for the Centretown Movies Outdoor Film Festival. On Friday night, follow Harry and the gang in the second last installment of the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1. On Saturday night the magic continues with awkward goofball Michael Cera in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, about a teenager who must win the heart of a girl by defeating her seven evil exes. This is the final scheduled two-night showing of the festival, with Aug. 19 as a make-up date for any rained out films and Aug. 20 either a make-up date or a surprise film.

Blues fans and rib lovers come together for the aptly titled Calabogie Blues & Ribfest. This brand new event boasts talent such as Kelly Prescott, Anders Drerup, and MonkeyJunk. There’s also a beer garden, a vendor’s area, a kids’ zone with face painting and rides, Canadian and American “ribbers” who are vying for the honour of best ribs in town, and fireworks. There are even spots for camping so you can make a weekend of it.

Saturday, Aug. 13
Remember the board game Clue? Well Miss Scarlett, Colonel Mustard, Mr. Green and the rest of the motley crew are getting together again for a dinner party, only this time you’re invited! Suzart Productions presents Clue: The Musical, a hilarious dinner theatre show based on the popular game, in which audiences receive clues to help them figure out the mystery of who killed Mr. Boddy, in what room, and with what weapon. Show runs Thursday, Aug. 11, until tonight. (more…)

10 Things to Do for $10 or Less

Who says you have to break the bank to have fun? Not us, that’s for sure! Here are just a few activities you can do in Ottawa on the cheap.
By Misa Kobayashi

The ByWard Market. Photo credit: OTCA.

1) Outdoor markets: $0-$10
This city has an awesome selection of farmers’ markets from which to score baked goods, fresh produce, flowers, jewellery — you name it. Located in the heart of downtown, the historic ByWard Market is a must for its bustling shops and vendors. Another top pick is the Ottawa Farmers’ Market on Sundays in the Glebe neighbourhood. We love the many restaurants that set up shop in the outdoor food court. See www.byward-market.com or www.ottawafarmersmarket.ca.

2) Downtown art galleries: Free
Check out a contemporary art exhibit at the City Hall Gallery, Karsh-Masson Gallery, or Ottawa Art Gallery, all of which are located within walking distance of each other in the downtown core. Even better? All offer either free admission or pay-what-you-can. See the gallery listings for more info.

3) Splash pads: Free
Beat the heat on a hot day with your kiddies at one of the city’s splash pads. Our favourite is Brewer Park (100 Brewer Way), for its excellent picnic spots, sprinklers, mini water slide, and three different play structures. A list of splash pads can be found at www.ottawa.ca.

Buskerfest on Sparks Street.

4) International Busker Festival: Pay-what-you-can
This annual fest lights up Sparks Street Mall from July 28 to Aug. 1, when performers from around the world strut their stuff. Enjoy daily shows that captivate and delight with performances that are all about unusual — and often daring — talents. See www.sparksstreetmall.com.

5) Lunch at Di Rienzo: $5-$10
This authentic grocery and deli, located in Little Italy, is part corner store, part sandwich shop. Locals arrive in droves at lunchtime, so there’s often a line-up out the door. Choose your bread, your toppings, and your meat, and grab a seat at the park across the street, or take a stroll through the charming neighbourhood. 111 Beech St., 613-729-4037. (more…)

Weekend Roundup: Special Canada Day Edition

In honour of Canada’s 144th birthday, we’ve rounded up an assortment of activities that get you in on the action, whether you’re looking for one day, or a whole weekend, of fun. Happy Canada Day!

Parliament Hill is just one place to celebrate Canada Day this weekend. Photo credit: NCC/CCN.

Friday, July 1
Everyone knows downtown is the place to be if you want to be in the thick of things, and everyone should experience Canada Day on the Hill at least once. Today, some of the highlights include the pageantry of the Changing of the Guard, the noon show, featuring the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, plus musical acts from across the country, and an evening show with plenty of live entertainment. Major’s Hill Park and Jacques-Cartier Park are good places to take the family, with activities that include a VIA miniature train, kite flying, an outdoor sculpture gallery, an international village, a Great Canadian Chicken BBQ, dance classes, fireworks, and — we can’t even believe we’re saying this — so much more!

Located right downtown, the National Arts Centre will be hosting an array of activities that are fun for the whole fam. If you need a breather from carousing on Parliament Hill, head here for some free fun that includes storytelling, breakdance performances by Culture Shock, music by the NAC Orchestra and 250 choiristers, plus entertainment by the Ottawa Stilt Union.

Earning a visit on the Royal Tour, you know the Canadian War Museum has serious cred. While Wills and Kate will stop by here on July 2 for a private function for veterans, there’s plenty of fun programming to be had on Canada Day for the country’s grand fete. Activities include military marches and highland tunes with the museum’s “wandering piper,” temporary tank tattoos for the kids, lectures about battlefield medicine, and more. Even better? For today only admission is free.

The National Gallery of Canada sure knows how to throw a party: Local ogranization Fresh Beat will be pumping up the jams on the plaza with techno and house music in the outdoor amphitheatre. This day of electronic music will feature well-known DJs from the region, such as Akash, Yan Larouche, Dr. Phil, Martin Diotte, Chris Falardeau, Jason Jesse, and Steve Martin. Also on site will be a barbecue and gelato, plus it’s the perfect place to grab a prime seat for the fireworks show at 10pm. (more…)

Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for May 27 to 29

"Carmen," a story of love, jealousy, and murder.

Friday, May 27
Enjoy a night at the opera with this presentation of Carmen by Pellegrini Opera. A staged and costumed production sung in French, the famed story by Georges Bizet follows the seductive gypsy Carmen and soldier Don José, blending romance, intrigue, jealousy, and murder. Also playing Saturday night.

Be transported back in time with the “Chautauqua” at Billings Estate, put on by the Ottawa Storytellers. These types of events were popular from the 1880s to the 1930s and combined education and entertainment with oratory, drama, and music. A travelling troupe even visited this historic site in 1902 and set up its tent on the grounds. Now you can experience this modern-day Chautauqua, which offers up world-renowned speakers such as the African explorer Nehemiah “Crikey” Persimmon, the famous games mistress Eliza Ross, and the British musical hall sensation Rodney Ramsbottom, all accompanied by a brass band.

Saturday, May 28
Don’t let the construction deter you from the Great Glebe Garage Sale this is still a fun street party and a great place to score some sweet swag. Thousands of people fill the streets while neighbours and businesses set up tables filled with electronics, clothing, food, jewellery, artwork, furniture, sports equipment, and every other knick knack you can imagine.

The season of pretty summer dresses is at hand, so why not try yours at dress making? Flock Boutique is offering a day-long Beginner Dress Making Class today. For $100, you will learn how to create your own easy-breezy summer frock that works as a cover-up at the beach or for strutting your stuff around town. (Some experience with a sewing machine recommended). (more…)

Hot Attractions: War Art

Photo credit: "The Centurion Tank" by Claude Dumont, 1972, care of the Canadian War Museum.

For powerful art off the beaten track, check out the Canadian War Museum for the extraordinary exhibit, “A Brush with War: Military Art from Korea to Afghanistan.” With a collection of 64 paintings by both civilians and artists in the Canadian Forces, this exhibition showcases Canada’s military experience over the last sixty years. The display acts as a stunning new way to view the country’s past, and the museum has plenty of other attractions for the history buffs in all of us. Go soon though: the exhibit ends its three-month run on March 20.

The Roundup: What’s on at the museums (but not for long)

"Frogs: A Chorus of Colours" is on until Jan. 9. Photo credit: Museum of Nature, created by Peeling Productions at Clyde Peeling's Reptiland.

The Museum of Nature wraps up some of its special exhibits on Jan. 9. Head over to the museum for a last look at live (and sometimes creepy) species in “Frogs: A Chorus of Colours.” While you’re there, take part in holiday programming that teaches kids about the importance of winter in nature.

The Bytown Museum offers a look at the history of Ottawa. Check out two neat exhibitions that make the past come alive. “Many Guises: Contemporary Self-Portraits” pairs Victorian-era photographs from the museum with self-portraits by six Ottawa artists (until Dec. 31), while “Preserving Our Past: A Conservation Project,” gives visitors a behind-the-scenes look at the hard work that goes into conserving treasures from days gone by (until Jan. 9).

What came before the celebrity mug shot? “Arresting Images: Mug Shots from the OPP Museum” explores 100 reproductions of criminal photo cards, dating from 1886 to 1908, and tells the stories of the people in the pictures. On view at the Canada Science and Technology Museum until Jan. 2.

Those who love all things equine will be sad to see the end of “The Horse” on Jan. 2. This exhibition at the Canadian Museum of Civilization looks at the profound relationship between horses and humans through artifacts, models, dioramas, art, interactive stations, and high-def videos.

The Canadian War Museum closes its long-running exhibit “1759–2009: The Battle of the Plains of Abraham” on Jan. 9. In honour of the 250th anniversary of this epic showdown, the museum offers a new perspective with 18th and 19th century images that portray the battlefield as it was seen by the soldiers of Montcalm and Wolfe.