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Hot Art: What Happens When Cassette Tapes Become Art?

Just one of the unique pieces in "Slow Dance." Photo credit: Karen Jordon, Acetate #1, 2009, cassette slip sheets, celluloid tape.

Ever felt nostalgia for the good old cassette tape? Karen Jord0n’s exhibit, “Slow Dance,” on at Karsh-Masson Gallery until April 8, draws attention to everything the cassette tape represented in the past — intimacy, music, personal touches — and what it represents today — outdated technology, plastic waste, and a symbol of how fast innovation moves. As you walk through this exhibit, you’ll see installations made of different pieces of discarded cassettes, and yet, eerily, you will hear nothing but silence.

Hot Attraction: Whales Take Over the Canadian Museum of Nature

These mounted sperm-whale skeletons are one of the breathtaking features of the new exhibit. Photo credit: © Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, 2008.

Dive into the ocean with “Whales Tohorā,” a blockbuster exhibit on view at the Canadian Museum of Nature starting March 2. The spotlight is on whales in the South Pacific — the diversity, biology, and adaptation of these mammals; the impact humans have on them; and the special relationship between whales and the Māori people of New Zealand, who view these creatures as both friends and food. Discover how science and culture overlap, and prepare to be wowed by the sheer size of two mounted sperm-whale skeletons that are a central to this fascinating exhibition.

Hot Dining: Cool and Cozy Dinner Spot

The popular $12 fries are served with a "side order" of steak.

If you love ending the day with a glass of wine and a good meal, look no further than Vineyards Wine Bar Bistro in the ByWard Market, which is known for its warm, relaxed atmosphere (as well as its $12 French fries served with a side order of steak). This restaurant carries 70 wines by the glass, 200 types of beer (including hard to find Belgian ones), and 20 wine flights, which come with a tasting sheet and three different wines. Live jazz Tuesday, Wednesday, and Sunday evenings and a complimentary cheese table Sunday to Thursday from 4pm to 6pm add to the experience. 54 York St. (in the cellar), 613-241-4270.

Hot Dining: Delicious (and Affordable!) Brown Bag Lunch

On the go? Try the "Brown Bag Lunch" from The Whalesbone.

Lunchtime got a whole lot more interesting when The Whalesbone Sustainable Oyster & Fish Supply started doing its take-away “Brown Bag Lunch.” As the retail shop to its fine dining sister restaurant, The Whalesbone Oyster House, this is the place to go for a hearty fish sandwich. There are three types on offer (selection changes by availability), but we love the smoked tuna with capers and tangy sauce. Hot tip: Tuesdays are “Chowdah Chewsdays,” so you can get a free cup of chowder when you buy a large sandwich. Sandwiches start at $8, lunch is offered Tuesday to Saturday, 11am to 2pm. 504-A Kent St., 613-231-3474.

Hot Shopping: Sweet Scarf from Roots

Roots Cable Lace Scarf, seen here in oatmeal, also available in light grey.

Bundle up against the cold with this Cable Lace Scarf from Roots. Made with acrylic, wool, and cotton blend, you’ll feel cozy, but still lady-like. Pair with a pea coat, dark jeans, and knee high boots to add a touch of whimsy to a streamlined look. Available in oatmeal and light grey. $48. Rideau Centre,
50 Rideau St., 613-236-7760, and four more stores in Ottawa.

Hot Dates: One Night of Tango Pasión

Dancers bring Buenos Aires to Ottawa with Tango Pasión. Photo credit: Jimv McCann.

Feb. 21. If you love powerful music, mesmerizing dances, and beautiful people, you’ll love a performance by the Argentine dance company Tango Pasión. For just one night, the music and dancing of Buenos Aires will take over Ottawa, so you can experience the fancy footwork and sexy beats for yourself in this sizzling spectacle. (Fun fact: 2o12 is the company’s 20th anniversary, and the show returns to Canada for a handful of performances in select cities.) The show weaves together multiple tango stories and features dancers who represent the full range of Argentine society. Don’t miss your chance to see the dance moves that everyone will be talking about when the performers heat up the stage at the National Arts Centre.

Hot Art: “Enfolded” at the Ottawa Art Gallery

Just one of the pieces by Ghitta Caiserman on view in "Enfolded." Photo credit: "Bedscape," (1976-79), Firestone Collection of Canadian Art.

For most people, clothing, towels, and linens just serve a basic purpose. For Ghitta Caiserman, they were forms of art. Caiserman, a modern artist from Montreal, passed away in 2005; since her death, many of her pieces have been acquired by the Ottawa Art Gallery. Take these last few days to check out the exhibit, which ends Feb. 12, to see these newly acquired works in the exhibition “Enfolded,” which shows just how prominent textiles were in the Canadian artist’s  drawings, paintings, and collages.

Where in Toronto: The PATH Now Taken

First Canadian Place offers a bevy of upscale stores in the PATH system

Each week, our intrepid interns reflect
on life and times in the big city.

I thought it was an urban legend, like a story that’s passed to you when you start working in Toronto. I mean, you never hear of special walkways snaking beneath the streets of Mississauga. I’d heard people talk about
the PATH, but I’d never actually walked it. Friends suggested that I use it to get to work, but I shrugged off the notion, thinking I’d rather not stride through an unfamiliar subterranean labyrinth. But on a January day when the windchill was well into the minus-20s, I pushed aside my worries and sought refuge underground. (more…)

Sweet Tweets: Who We Follow on Twitter and Why We Love Them


These days, it seems like everyone is on Twitter. And why not? In 140 characters or less, you can connect with people and businesses that offer insider tips, tell you what’s happening in real time, and sometimes serve up great deals. That’s why we’re sharing who we at @whereottawa follow — and why we love them. By Misa Kobayashi.

For entertainment, the folks at the National Arts Centre are tops. Their Twitter profile is alight with interaction between the NAC and arts and entertainment lovers, which shows the centre’s passion for connecting with its audience. Here you’ll find the latest news, plus neat features from the NAC’s blog, such as profiles and posts on what’s happening behind the scenes. They also do periodic Twitter ticket giveaways, so keep an eye out.
Heard on Twitter: @CanadasNAC What goes on in the mind of a composer? Watch this video to find out bit.ly/tyFjn1 #nacotour /JC

This is the place to go for hockey fans. Tickets are a steal ($12-$21.50), and Ottawa’s junior hockey team uses the account as a place to centralize the buzz surrounding the team. Here you’ll find tweets from players, fan comments, game news, recaps, and more. A very interactive space when you want to communicate with other sports fans.
Heard on Twitter: @Ottawa67sHockey Dalton Smith (@dsmitty33) scores the winner in the 6th round of the shootout and leads the 67’s over the Spirit 6-5!! #OHL #Go67sGo

Play Food & Wine

Play Food & Wine is a fine dining restaurant known for its evolving selection of small plates, as well as its large selection of wines by the glass. It’s also a favourite among local foodies for the attentive service. The same attention is paid to the restaurant’s Twitter account, which is manned by the Wine Director and Senior Service Manager, Grayson McDiarmid. Drop him a line before your visit and he just might stop by your table to say hello, or let him know what you thought of the experience (he loves hearing from customers). McDiarmid’s other tweets include musings on the local food and wine scene, plus great new menu items or wines they’re trying out.
Heard on Twitter: @playfoodandwine: @laurendorphin @nanceTO We are always happy to have vegans. Our chefs get creative with what we call “vegan surprise” with local produce (more…)

Hot Shopping: Look Fit and Fine in lululemon

The newly renovated lululemon store in Westboro.

Yoga lovers, runners, and anyone who is looking to stick to their New Year’s resolutions should make a beeline for lululemon. This Canadian store made a name for itself with athletic apparel for men and women that is both fashionable and functional. Head over to the newly renovated Westboro location to stock up on hot products like the “Destined for Greatness Duffel,” the breezy “No Limits” tank, and other great gear for your sweaty pursuits. Two locations, 340 Richmond Rd., 613-761-1839, and Rideau Centre, 50 Rideau St., 613-230-6633.

Hot Dining: Best New Restaurants 2011: Elements

At Elements, food is smart, well executed and environmentally conscious just like its home, the new Richardson College for the Environment and Science complex. (more…)

Hot Dining: Not Your Average Grill

Located in the Lord Elgin Hotel, Grill 41 is open daily.

Located in the stately Lord Elgin Hotel, Grill 41’s name pays homage to the year the hotel was built (1941). The vibe inside is warm yet refined (but not too refined, the lounge offers flat screen TVs and there’s some interesting people watching to be had on Elgin Street). Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the menus offer traditional choices as well as unique items, such as crispy duck with savoury crepes, Canadian cheddar mac and cheese, and a to-die-for banana bread pudding. 100 Elgin St., 613-569-2126.