Monday, January 1, 2018

City Daily Photo Theme Day: Best Of The Year

The first day of each month is a theme day for members of City Daily Photo, and January 1st is always a retrospective of the year that has come before, with best of the year or photo of the year being the chosen theme. Take a look at how other members around the world are selecting their choices for the theme here.

I have a number of different choices, and I'm starting with our Winterlude event, an annual celebration of winter held in February in both Ottawa and Gatineau, with snow and ice sculptures, skating on the Rideau Canal, and many more activities. Confederation Park hosts a series of ice sculptures, both sheltered and out in the open. Perhaps the best time to come see them is at night when they are lit up. This first large one marks a centennial for Canada- the hundredth anniversary of the pivotal Battle of Vimy Ridge, which happened during the First World War and was the scene of a bloody victory for Canadian troops over German soldiers. The Memorial is incorporated into the ice in two ways, both on the main structure and in the reproduction of one of the many sculptures that adorn  the Memorial itself in France, standing closer to the visitor.

This is a mermaid sculpture, one of a number of sculptures held under shelters elsewhere in the park.

The National War Memorial is one of my favourite photo subjects in the city. 2017 was the centennial year for the battles of Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele, two critical moments in Canadian history, as well as the 75th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid, a dark day for Canadian servicemen in the Second World War. April 9th marked the centennial of the first day of Vimy Ridge's four day battle, and there were commemoration services in France and here; I attended the Ottawa ceremony. The evening before, I also attended a vigil ceremony at the Memorial, where images of the era were projected onto the monument and cadets stood at post around the Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier. That is the final resting place of an unknown Canadian serviceman who fell in action at Vimy.

I was also here on Remembrance Day in November for the national services, and at the end of the day, I happened to be in the right place at the right time as a pair of active servicemen came up to the Tomb to place their poppies and give a final salute. The image really stood out to me.

In May we have the Tulip Festival, which is a legacy of the Second World War and which takes place each year on both sides of the Ottawa River. In this case, these beds are in Jacques Cartier Park on the Gatineau side of the river.

2017 also happened to be the 150th anniversary of Canada's Confederation, something that has been marked across the region and the country all year- I will have more of that in a retrospective tomorrow. On Canada Day I was out and about taking in a lot of the celebrations; these were fireworks taken at the end of that day.

One of the Canada 150 events that really made an impression was called La Machine, in late July. This was urban street theatre involving a company from France bringing two giant machines, a spider and a dragon horse, and over the course of four days having them move through the streets of Ottawa and engage with the city in their marches and confrontations. It captured the imagination of so many people, and I covered it extensively. If you'd like to see the whole affair, just click here for the first post of the series of seven posts I did on the series, including videos.

Another Canada 150 event that really drew people in took place over in Jacques Cartier Park starting around Canada Day and going into October. MosaiCanada was a topiary exhibition featuring over thirty sculptures. My favourite, a First Nations version of Mother Earth, is seen here in two perspectives.

And I finish off with another Canada 150 event called Miwate, a partnership between a First Nations group and a lighting production company called Moment Factory. The Chaudiere Falls, in the heart of the Ottawa River, was opened to public access after a century plus of being isolated by the presence of industry, and for a month from early October into early November was the scene of a light show in the evenings. The falls were illuminated in a ten minute light and music show that was magical to watch. I did some videos at the time; if you'd like to see it, click here.


  1. So many great moments from last year!
    Happy 2018!

  2. Great selection !
    A very Happy New Year, William !

  3. What a great year in review. Happy New Year, William!


  4. ...2017 was a good year, let's make 2018 even better!

  5. Happy New Year! Good to look back - and forwards!

  6. Hello, a wonderful recap of 2017. I am looking forward to your photos and post in 2018. I wish you and yours all the best in 2018, a very happy and healthy New Year!

  7. Happy New Year, William. It's a nice selection of the year.
    I really like that giant spider. Gosh ... I missed that one among a lot of other things, but I catched up the complete serie now. :-)

  8. What a year it has been! Happy New Year

  9. So many good choices, William!

  10. All good choices, I remember them well! Happy new year William and all the best for 2018 ✨

  11. You've had a lot of fun this year bringing awesome photos to us. Keep on blogging and bringing Ottawa experiences to us.

  12. Good choices William. Happy New Year!

  13. @Christine: thanks!

    @Karl: thank you.

    @Janis: thanks!

    @Tom: good idea!

    @Jenny: definitely.

    @Eileen: already working on 2018.

    @Francisco: thank you.

    @Jan: I figured it was a good idea to add a link for that series.

    @Cloudia: it was quite a year.

    @RedPat: I had a lot to choose.

    @Grace: thanks!

    @Red: it was a momentous year.

    @Sharon: thank you.

  14. It has been such a rich year. Happy 2018, William.

  15. Such stunning photos. Some of the best moments you captured! Wishing you a wonderful new year!

  16. A number of wonderful, and interesting, shots. I think of all that you show here I'd go with the giant spider as my favorite! What a delightful creature that is!

  17. Lots of wonderful choices, William. Enjoy 2018, you'll have plenty of new photo opps.

  18. Thank you William for another wonderful year of photographs

  19. A lot of interesting things go on in Ottawa over the year!

  20. Fun shots! Those last two are stunning.

  21. @Catalyst: It's my favourite shot I've taken of the Memorial.

    @Marleen: thank you!

    @Tamago: thanks!

    @Lowell: that spider and dragon horse were quite a pair.

    @Bill: yes, but a bit quieter than it was this past year!

    @Maywyn: you're welcome.

    @Furry Gnome: we had quite the party.

    @Linda: thanks!

  22. All very beautiful ~ favorites are the first few with the blue colors and ice ~ very dynamic ~

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

  23. There's that big spider again!

  24. now that's the way to do it! loved the look back at 2017! happy new year william! hope you don't get banned from facebook this year ;) ...seriously though i wish you all the best!

  25. Love the ice and the mother earth, spectacular! Happy 2018!

  26. that spider is huge!! i am so glad they are not that big in real life. i don't think i would have shoe big enough??! spider lovers don't read this please. ( ;

  27. Okay, it's La Machine and the sculptures, then the ice sculptures.

  28. @Jennifer: I had a lot to work from.

    @Carol: the ice sculptures are a joy to see each year.

    @Norma: the spider made a huge impression on many people.

    @Francisco: thanks!

    @Tanya: I imagine before year's end, I'll be suspended again.

    @Wilf: thank you.

    @Beth: that spider was enchanting!

    @Mari: we had a lot going on.

  29. It certainly was quite a year in Ottawa - and thanks for taking us all along on your adventures.

  30. All of them are great, William. #4 is very moving and this one is my favourite.

  31. Thanks for sharing these memories of Miwaté! Moment Factory was proud to be invited to be a part of some of Ottawa's memorable 2017 experiences...especially since one of the studio's co-founders, Sakchin Bessette, was born and raised in Ottawa.

  32. A year filled with so many events!

  33. Ottawa has seen a lot of events this past year, and I'm so pleased you have been able to share them with your fellow bloggers!
    Thank you.

    All the best Jan

    PS Here's to a great 2018.

  34. @Kay: you're welcome.

    @Klara: thank you!

    @Amahl: I enjoyed both ventures that Moment Factory engaged in last year, and plan on featuring them a couple of times this year for some of our theme days.

    @Nancy: we had a lot going on.

    @Jan: it was a tremendous year.