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National Capital Commission

Hot Attraction: Decoding Art

The Terry Fox Statue, which stands on Wellington St. across from Parliament Hill.

Have you ever wondered what gave Terry Fox the idea to run across Canada? Or why Peacekeepers wear blue helmets and berets? If you have a smart phone, the answers are right at your fingertips. The National Capital Commission’s award-winning Decoding Art program gives a new dimension to national monuments and public art in Ottawa. Multimedia clips explain the history and significance behind some of the city’s most visited memorials. To access the clips, just download a QR code reader (offered free by many providers) and scan the QR codes from the Decoding Art signage near the monuments.

Things We Love About Ottawa: Banners on Confederation Boulevard

The Ontario banner by Alex Cameron. Photo credit: NCC.

When walking or driving along Confederation Boulevard, look skyward to see some stunning art. Every summer, the National Capital Commission installs banners along this ceremonial route to pay tribute to the Canadian experience. This year’s banners feature the works of 13 Canadian artists who have captured the personality and beauty of this country’s landscapes, with each banner commemorating a province or territory. Images range from people on the beach in New Brunswick to the mountainous terrain of British Columbia and everything in between. Past banners along this stretch of road have showcased flowers, flags, symbolic landmarks, and architecture unique to each province or territory, while commemorative banners have recognized important anniversaries and milestones in Canada’s history. Most recently, the banners honoured the 400th anniversary of Québec City (2008), as well as the 2010 Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (2009), and the Canadian Navy Centennial (2010). The current banner series will be on view until mid-October, so make sure to keep an eye out for these colourful works of art that tap into what it means to be a Canuck.