Monday, July 31, 2017

Aerial Antics At A Street Fair In The Evening

As I'm busy here, have a look at my photoblog today, as I have a post from the Ottawa Welcomes The World ongoing embassy series, this one focusing on Egypt.

In June, we had the Glowfair festival here; I covered the event in detail over at my writer's blog, here and here. Among the artists, music, and other entertainment for the street event was a troupe of aerialists called Aerial Antics. I thought it to be fitting subject matter to leave until now, since the Busker Festival will be taking over Sparks Street starting on Thursday. It's also a good lead-in for tomorrow's theme day.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Snowbirds Over The National Capital

A reminder to those readers in the Ottawa area- today is the final day of the event La Machine, with the two big machines around the Supreme Court and War Museum. I've already got pictures.... which I'll be posting sometime in September at this rate.

On the second day of the Canada Day weekend, I was on my way back to Gatineau to take in the new permanent galleries at the Museum of History, which I'll be showing after the theme day. As I was heading through downtown Ottawa that Sunday morning, numerous military aircraft were doing flyovers of Parliament Hill, from east to west. Among them was a formation of planes familiar to many Canadians- the Snowbirds. This is a unit of the military who, when they're not flying as part of their duties, are in air shows around the country and beyond. The formation kept returning to the skies over Ottawa and Gatineau, so as I was crossing the Alexandra Bridge, I kept photographing them as I went. 

There was a peculiar event happening on what's usually the pedestrian side of the bridge, and it was for Canada 150. Artificial grass was laid out over a good part of that area, and people came to picnic on the bridge. 

I kept walking, and kept photographing the Snowbirds, until at last they broke formation and scattered to where ever it was they'd started from.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

The Boat, Critters, And Buskers

Outside the Museum, a boat can be found, permanently dry docked. The Missinaibi is a boat Canadians have all seen at one point or another. The Canadian one dollar bill that was replaced by the dollar coin featured a view from this shoreline out onto the Ottawa River below Parliament Hill, where the Missinaibi was among the logs of a spring log drive. That image was taken from a landscape photograph taken by Malak Karsh. His brother Yousuf Karsh, the portrait photographer, took a photograph of Queen Elizabeth that formed the basis of the other side of the bill. Today the boat can be explored by children, as was happening when I was here on Canada Day.

In one of the shelters on the grounds, there was a wildlife expert with two animals. One was down having a nap in an enclosure- a groundhog. After a few moments, he or she stirred. I'm used to groundhogs that look more tan than dark.

The other was in his hands- a garter snake. I can affirm that a snake is quite dry to the touch.

Heading off to go back across the river, I paused to photograph these two women, step dancing to fiddle music. The shirts and sashes are something that wouldn't be out of place on the voyageurs of a century or two ago. The yoga pants, on the other hand, would be rather odd among historic voyageurs, but they really danced well.

Friday, July 28, 2017

The Grand Hall And The River

The Grand Hall is a wonderful space in the Museum of History. The coastal tribes of the Pacific Northwest are the emphasis here, with artifacts in the rooms behind the walls. Corridors leading off either end of this space go through an extensive area on the First Nations peoples of Canada. Totem poles dominate the hall.

I was here on both days of the Canada Day weekend- I visited the new Canada History Hall on the second day. On both days, these two stilt walkers were present in the museum. When I first saw them on the second day, they were coming out of an elevator onto an upper floor.

Here are more views of Alex Janvier's Morning Star, which stands high over the south end of the Grand Hall.

I decided to come back the following day in order to take in the new permanent galleries, but came outside, where a good deal was going on throughout Canada Day.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Museum Of History

Another stop I made on Canada Day was at the Canadian Museum of History on the Gatineau side of the Ottawa River. Formerly the Museum of Civilization, it has had a large scale reworking of the permanent galleries, which were officially opened on Canada Day by Prince Charles. Douglas Cardinal's architectural masterpiece is always a pleasure to visit.

I could hear the sound of drumming as I approached. What I found was an unusual drum, with a canoe covered over by drum skin.

Hanging in the corridor outside the temporary exhibits was this Canadian flag. This is the first one, flown over Centre Block after the inauguration of the new Canadian flag on February 15th, 1965. Flags on the Peace Tower are flown for a single day, and then sent to those Canadians who want one that flew there. It is a very long list to be on.

A look at my favourite work of art in the National Capital Region- Alex Janvier's Morning Star, which is painted on the dome above the south end of the Grand Hall.

Close by is another artistic treat, a plaster cast of Bill Reid's Spirit Of Haida Gwaii.

There were musicians performing here in the Grand Hall as well.