Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Canada 150: The Celebration For The Country

In the lead up to our anniversary year, the government at large had various Canada 150 projects in mind. So too did the cities of Ottawa and Gatineau. And so too did the community; library branches hosted Canada 150 groups with their own ideas for the event in the year or two beforehand. For myself, I decided that my Canada 150 project would be to document the year in the national capital region as much as possible. That included a number of events that were added onto the usual course of the year, and which kept me busy- I was glad to be able to make use of my writer's blog as an additional publishing spot when things were exceedingly busy. 

Today I have a reflection on the year past with more shots of the anniversary year, beginning with this shot taken on Parliament Hill on New Year's Day, 2017. A concert had been held the night before.

One early Canada 150 event the city put on was called Crashed Ice. A speed skating track had been placed along the Ottawa Locks of the Rideau Canal in the weeks leading up to the early March event, and a group of slightly insane speed skaters rocketed down the course on a couple of exceedingly cold nights, much to the delight of onlookers.

Yesterday I made mention of La Machine, the urban theatre event with giant machines facing off against each other among various landmarks in the city. This was from the finale, with the dragon horse proving triumphant over the spider. Both machines are visible here. The event was put on by the city, and proved to be quite a success in how it drew people in.

Populace was the title of an exhibit held outside the Museum of Nature during the summer to mark the anniversary. A pottery guild here in Ottawa placed ceramic feathers, English roses, and fleur-de-lys sculptures in the grass on the east side of the property.

Canada's Table was an event that I covered in the writer's blog, taking place in August on what turned out to be a lovely day. Restaurant owners collaborated with chefs from the region and the country as a whole in a thousand place setting, four course meal on Wellington Street in the shadow of Parliament Hill, an event benefiting charities, yet another celebration of Canada 150. I photographed it as preparations were underway in the afternoon.

On a late June day near this same spot, I happened to be in the downtown core one day when I came across an official function taking place on the street. This was on a national day for our indigenous peoples. Prime Minister Trudeau was speaking, and can be seen in this shot in the center of the shot, above the heads of onlookers. The former location of the American embassy, across from the Parliamentary district, has been turned over to the First Nations of Canada for their use as a cultural center in the heart of Canada's political power, one more step in the ongoing process of reconciliation. I put this photo up at my Facebook page that day, after listening to the Prime Minister speak. It's the first time I've seen him in person, and he is a good speaker. It's nice to have a government leader in the job that you don't have to be ashamed of.

Canada 150 saw the renewal of the permanent gallery at the Museum of History in Gatineau. It reopened for Canada Day, with the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall attending the ceremony. The spaces here have been extensively reorganized with an emphasis on telling the story of Canada from its very beginnings, interweaving the story of indigenous and settlers throughout. I found the end result very well done. This is a wide view taken from my visit. 

Kontinuum was a multimedia exhibit that ran through the summer in what will be an underground LRT station beneath the city core in 2018. Lights and music made for a fascinating walk through what will eventually be typical infrastructure when the east-west system comes online. It felt like a sci-fi movie, and I visited it numerous occasions, especially towards the end of the run as I'd moved into a new place a couple of blocks away.

Ottawa Welcomes The World was an event that ran through the year at Lansdowne Park, allowing embassies from various countries to present themselves to visitors. I found it enlightening and entertaining, visiting many of these events during the year. I posted some of the series at my writer's blog, and others here after the packed schedule of summer had ended. Below are some of the events: musicians on stage during the Ireland event, an artist at work during the Columbia event, and candombe dancers who were part of Uruguay's presentation.

MosaiCanada was another major event, held in Gatineau at Jacques Cartier Park. I attended the topiary exhibition several times, enjoying the sculptures. Two of them are here: puffins and musk oxen, representing two very different parts of Canada.

And I conclude, as I did with yesterday's post, with two images from Miwate, the light show that illuminated the Chaudiere Falls. Canada 150 was an event that will certainly live on in many memories; the anniversary year was quite a milestone, and I enjoyed documenting things as I went along.


  1. Nice look back! I've noticed that you cover an impressive array of incredible events.

  2. It was a year full of wonderful highlights, up to th next 150!

  3. ...an exciting city, I can't wait to visit.

  4. This is a lovely reflection.
    I had great trouble with the 150th, with First Nations kids lacking water. I hope the next 150 will be better, but there are still issues to be resolved, and unfulfilled treaty obligations.

  5. So many events. May you have just as many in the new year! Janey

  6. @Linda: we had a lot going on.

    @Marianne: it was an extraordinary year.

    @Tom: you'll enjoy it.

    @Jennifer: I read a comment in a paper yesterday by a First Nations chief who noted about the year that each step forward is progress, that this is something that will take more than one year.

    @Janey: it was quite a year.

  7. Hello, what a great celebrations. I love the sculptures. Great event! I wish you and yours all the best in 2018, happy New Year! Have a great day and new week!

  8. It's a nice overview of a very busy year full of celebrations.

  9. This snap shot of 2017 reminded me of the many significant events you covered. Nice summary.

  10. Congratulations Wonderful Canada!

  11. Yes you certainly have a leader to be proud of William, I'm happy with our Prime Minister also. Such a shame about #45, hopefully not for too much longer 😀 Canada and Australia are about the same age! Another series of excellent images here.

  12. @Eileen: thank you!

    @Jan: I certainly thought so.

    @Red: it's been quite a busy year.

    @Cloudia: thank you!

    @Grace: I hope it's not much longer. I've never despised someone I haven't met as much as I despise that wretched excuse for a man currently occupying the Oval Office.

  13. Lovely series of photos reflecting the past year ~

    Wishing you a Happy New Year,
    A ShutterBug Explores
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  14. I can hardly imagine such events in this country. Maybe we're just too big. But what great fun and it was nice to travel back with you in time to see what happened when. It will be exciting to see what happens when y'all reach 150.

  15. So many wonderful events that you have shown us, William!

  16. I liked the garden/flower sculptures a lot! So nice to see a few of them again.

  17. @Carol: thank you!

    @Norma: I thought so!

    @Lowell: it was a momentous year.

    @RedPat: there was a lot of fun stuff going on.

    @Marleen: I enjoyed that exhibit thoroughly.

    @Francisco: thank you.

  18. A nice wrap up for a fun filled country celebration. May 2018 be just as eventful for Canada.

  19. I always enjoy watching (and photographing) artists at work.

  20. Your series on Canada's 150th anniversary celebrations has been amazing to follow!
    Thanks so much!

  21. i really enjoy the paint part ... what gorgeous colors. to cheerful ... fun too! ( ;

  22. Quite an eventful year. It's too difficult to pick a favorite.

  23. @Bill: thank you!

    @Revrunner: I did this time out as well.

    @Christine: you're welcome.

    @Beth: she was quite talented.

    @Mari: I had a lot to go with.

  24. I think Ottawa was the heart of the Canada 150 celebrations!

  25. More great images from so many wonderful events. (Yeah, William. Rub it in and show off with Trudeau. Wish you had more open immigration policies. The Canadian border is so, so appealingly close to us...)

  26. It takes real dedication to cover all these events. Congratulations.

  27. Such great sights! I saw your comment on Tanya's blog and all I can say is "Again?!"
    I'm sure FB won't mind if I share this post though.

  28. This year was full of events in Ottawa. Great collection of pictures.

  29. Those topiary sculptures are very cool!!

  30. So many great events! Love the garden sculptures!

  31. A very nice look back ...

    All the best Jan

  32. @Furry Gnome: it definitely was!

    @Kay: he's not been perfect, but he hasn't shamed us!

    @ODP: last year kept me quite busy.

    @Linda: yes, again. Supposedly it's up in seven days, but they've extended suspensions before. I'm quite displeased with Facebook.Particularly when they throw me out for nothing, and give a free pass each and every time to white supremacists.

    @Klara: we had quite the year.

    @Jenn: they were something else!

    @Nancy: I did as well.

    @Jan: thank you.