Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Continuing Winter Work At The National Arts Centre

A note to readers in Ontario, the Doors Open Ontario schedule for this year is up, with events starting in April in Guelph and ending at the first day of October.

The ongoing work at the National Arts Centre has been a subject of mine over the last few months, and you can find the last post here. The wrapping of a glass enclosure around a part of the building, while it stays open for performances, is due to be finished by Canada Day. I wanted shots from the ice level on the Rideau Canal, which I took at the same time as the first two shots in yesterday's post. These would date back to the second Saturday of Winterlude.

Some days later, I was back in the area on a sunny day and concentrated on the glass enclosure from the west and north sides of the NAC. It appears that most, if not all, of the glass is now in place, leaving largely interior work to do.

Monday, February 27, 2017

From Alpha To Omega, From Beginning To End

I decided this year that I'd capture some images of the beginning and end of the Rideau Canal Skateway, as well as spots in between. These are not done in chronological order, but from start to finish. The skateway is 7.8 kilometres long, including a loop on Dow's Lake, with markers every two hundred metres. It covers an area equal to over ninety Olympic sized skating rinks, and thus holds the record as the largest outdoor skating rink in the world. The skating season was done a week ago as of Saturday, but I will still have some more material from here before I'm done. I am taking a short break from Winterlude for three days to do some other posts, but we'll be back to this by Friday to get the series finished.

It starts at this marker (well, at the benches) near Plaza Bridge, with Parliament Hill and the War Memorial visible beyond the tree, here where the Canal passes the National Arts Centre. Turning around gives the skater a view towards the NAC and the Mackenzie King Bridge.

This shot is taken from atop the Mackenzie King Bridge, looking south in the early evening. Confederation Park is off to the right in this shot.

Further along is the familiar Bank Street Bridge, between the Glebe and Old Ottawa South. This view looks east in afternoon light.

Further west from there, the Canal widens out into Dow's Lake. I took this shot around sunrise one morning during Winterlude.

On another day on the lake, I took these shots.

This last shot was done at night, beyond Dow's Lake, where the skateway comes to an end at the Hartwell Locks and Carleton University. The figure 7.8 and word end loom out of the darkness on the marker. Ironically I don't live that far away from this end of the Canal, I'm on the campus most of the time, and you'd think I'd get out here in daylight, but nooooo.....

Sunday, February 26, 2017

And Now For Something Completely Different

The Bed Race is a long standing tradition at Winterlude. It took place at Dow's Lake on the second weekend, where teams drawn from city businesses or organizations came together. They were made up of five people, four of whom were positioned on each corner of a bed frame mounted on wheels, the fifth to take up position on top. For each race, the teams would run down the length of the course, and the winner would advance to the next round. I caught some of the action, including teams from previous heats bringing their bed frames back up to the start, as well as a dog who was taking in the event. Yes, it all looks demented (hence the guy in the Tigger costume), but that's part of the fun.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

At My Signal, Unleash The Dragon Boats

The Dragon Boat Festival is a yearly event here in Ottawa, held each summer at Mooney's Bay. I haven't photographed it before- I seem to have so much photographic material already that there are events I often pass up during the summer- but this year I'll have to take in some of the events. The organization that runs it has an office downtown; it might last a few days, but the event requires work through the year. I passed by that office late last year and noticed that they were doing something in addition during Winterlude: ice dragon boat racing. This event has been done in China, but never before in North America, until a week ago today, which was the last day the ice on the Canal was open for skating. The event was held at Dow's Lake, where I first came across these red lanterns.

One of the dragon boats was on display, while the others were in competition. They were outfitted with skating apparatus beneath the boats for going over the ice. Instead of paddles, the crews used sticks that appeared to have specialized ends to drive themselves across the ice. A lot of people were in attendance to watch, primarily on the east side of the course, where race heats were held, one going south, the next one going north, with crews waiting for their respective heats. I even came across a dog in the crowd.

Here's one of the heats, with the boats coming up from the south end of the course, a two hundred metre race. It looks much harder than conventional dragon boat rowing in the summer, with the crews driving those sticks against the ice to propel themselves forward. It would also be slower than summer time rowing, but it was a lot of fun to watch. Tomorrow I'll show you a different event that was held here a week earlier.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Works Of Frozen Art

Here are more of the second weekend's smaller scaled ice sculptures around the fountain. The first one, with its take on the Statue of Liberty doing a facepalm, seems appropriate.

Across the street at City Hall, I caught another stilt walker and drummer- this stilt walker had something of a bird apparatus as their motif. I've seen it at Winterlude before, and I'm pretty sure I've seen the drummer here too.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Within The Park

Here's another view of that map of Canada ice sculpture in the park.

Nearby was this stage, with other ice sculptures on it and before it. The backdrop includes the Lord Elgin Hotel and the National Aboriginal Veterans Monument.

Before Valentine's Day, a heart themed ice sculpture can always be counted on to be carved somewhere in the park.

While visiting the park over Winterlude, I stopped by the Animals In War memorial and took a photo of the life sized dog that is part of the monument. He was decked out in snow.

There were several fresh sculptures of the smaller scale carved on the second weekend, arranged around the fountain in the park. Here are some, and I'll show you others tomorrow.