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.