Festivals in Ottawa

Image: Grass Dancer via Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival https://www.ottawasummersolstice.ca/media/

It’s definitely festival season in Ottawa.

Festivals can be great ways to get outside, celebrate the diversity that is Ottawa, and connect with community. Starting this week:

Welcoming Ottawa WeekJune 20-30, 2017

Welcoming Ottawa Week is an annual festival celebrating Ottawa as a city that welcomes newcomers, and hosting events where residents can get to know more about each other. Activities include a series of heritage walks in Chinatown, Little Italy and Lowertown with local residents sharing the stories of how immigrants have shaped those neighbourhoods, and Indigenous Walks, to understand Ottawa’s public spaces from an Indigenous perspective. There’s also a recreational soccer tournament, photo and art exhibits, film screenings, community picnics and much more.

Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival, June 20-25, 2017

This colourful and fascinating annual festival at Vincent Massey Park (and a few other places) celebrates the artistic and culture diversity of First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples. It includes live musical performances, theatre, art and food vendors, Aboriginal Day Live! and a three-day Pow Wow. Not to miss.

Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival, June 22-25, 2017

With origins connected to nature and the bounty of the land and water, the annual Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival brings more than 150 teams to compete in dragon boat races at Mooney’s Bay Park. There’s also live music, a family zone, food vendors and more.

Also on: Canada Scene, the Ottawa Jazz Festival and Festival de la St-Jean à Ottawa.

100In1Day, Doors Open Ottawa, World Environment Day and More

Image by abdallahh on Flickr Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) https://www.flickr.com/photos/22168167@N00/2083496138

June is underway with some amazing (and free) activities and events.

Kitchi Blanket Exercise

Join KAIROS in a journey to help understand the effects of colonization on Indigenous peoples. Using blankets that represent the land, participants trace a shared history from life before colonization, through treaties, residential schools, the “60s’ scoop” and more. Friday, Jun. 2, 2017 from 5-7:30 p.m. on Parliament Hill. A Pot Luck Community Feast and Open Mic on Saturday, Jun. 3, 6-9 p.m. at the Bronson Centre will honour Blanket Exercise facilitators and Elders.

100In1Day Ottawa

Visit an organic farm, re-imagine uses of the Ottawa Rail Bridge, help spread native plant seeds, join a hike and yoga in Gatineau Park, or take part in any of the other dozens of micro-actions in support of the environment and civic engagement on #100In1Day in Ottawa. It’s on Saturday, Jun. 3, 2017; see the website for details.

Doors Open Ottawa

This is your chance to see inside buildings not normally open to the public, and/or of historical, architectural or civic interest. Included are the Lemieux Island water purification plant, Parks Canada’s conservation labs, Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind’s national training centre, SunTech Greenhouses, the Wild Bird Care Centre, and many embassies, museums, places of worship, government buildings, fire stations, sports and sailing clubs, art studios and more. Cycle or take a shuttle bus between some of the sites (see website for details). Buildings are open Saturday, Jun. 3 and/or Sunday, Jun. 4; check the schedule for times.

Westfest

A great reason to spend some time outdoors: Westfest, Ottawa’s free festival of music, art and family activities, with an incredible lineup of performers. It’s happening Friday, Jun. 3-Sunday, Jun. 4 in Laroche Park, Mechanicsville. See the website for schedule and details.

World Environment Day

Reconnect with nature: that’s the theme of this year’s World Environment Day, #WithNature, on Monday, Jun. 5, 2017. Take part by spending time in a park, going for a hike, planting a tree, birdwatching or digging in the garden; add some indoor plants to your life. Take photos and share what you’ve discovered. Contribute a landscape photo to the “World’s Biggest Nature Album,” or help build “the world’s largest nature database” by downloading the iNaturalist app and using it to record the biodiversity around you. You can also search for WED-related events in Ottawa.

Also coming up:

USC Canada’s public forum Shifting Ground: Transitioning to Diversified, Agroecological Food Systems Jun. 6

Carbon 613 and EnviroCentre’s Evening of Recognition Jun. 6

EnviroCentre’s Living Lightly event Jun. 8

 

 

Jane’s Walk Ottawa 2017

It’s Jane’s Walk time!

This annual series of walks explores and celebrates well-known and not-so-well-known public spaces, connects people with the built and natural environments around them, and sheds light on what makes for a liveable city.

Update: Jane’s Walk Ottawa is still on despite the rain, but check the Jane’s Walk Ottawa website to make sure the walk you want to attend hasn’t been cancelled due to wet conditions or flooding.

What makes Jane’s Walk particularly compelling is that the walks are led by local residents: storytellers, historians, scientists, community organizers, neighbours and others who volunteer to share their perspectives on parts of the city they know. The walks are free and open to everyone.

This year, Jane’s Walk in Ottawa-Gatineau takes place May 6-7. The 50+ local walks happen at the same time as thousands more around the world, all commemorating the ideas of writer and activist Jane Jacobs. Jacobs advocated for people-centred urban planning, building on the “intricate sidewalk ballet” of informal neighbourhood activities, for example, and for vibrant, accessible neighbourhoods.

There are so many great walks this weekend that it’s hard to list them here, so check out the full schedule at janeswalkottawa.ca. Here’s just a sample of what’s available to discover:

  • Envision Elgin St., Stittsville Main St., Rideau St. or Bank St. as redesigned lively, walkable community streets;
  • Take a foodie tour focused on local, organic food in Centretown;
  • See downtown through the eyes of an Indigenous woman, or from the points of view of people who have experienced homelessness, or from other perspectives;
  • Examine the past, present and future of Lebreton Flats; land use in the Central Experimental Farm; or the shift of a disused railway line into a green corridor;
  • Learn about Indigenous people’s relationship with the Ottawa and Gatineau Rivers, colonialism, industrialization, urban planning, resistance and resurgence;
  • Find wild, edible plants growing in the heart of the city;
  • Check out Little Free Libraries in the Glebe;
  • Discover how downtown buildings can be made more bird-friendly;
  • Explore the connections between urban design and health in the Carling/Merivale area;
  • Learn about the ecology and restoration of the Pinhey Sand Dunes.

Also see the Jane’s Walk Ottawa and Jane’s Walk websites for more information about Jane Jacobs’ life and work. (Check out Ten Big Ideas drawn from Jane Jacob’s work.)

Hope to see you on a walk!

Posted by Denise Deby.

 

 

Earth Day 2017 in Ottawa

Written by Denise Deby.

Every day is earth day, of course, but Earth Day, April 22, is an ode to the power of people in protecting the environment. Although sometimes co-opted for marketing consumer items, Earth Day was originally organized to bring people together to promote action for the environment.

March for Science

It’s fitting, therefore, that the March for Science will take place on Earth Day (Saturday, Apr. 22, 2017). The March, led by scientists and supporters, is a celebration of science and a reminder of the need to protect scientific enquiry from budget cuts, censorship and political interference. From the organizers:

On April 22, 2017, we walk out of the lab and into the streets. We as Canadians know too well the damage that can be done by an anti-science political agenda. Yet we also know first hand the positive change that is possible when scientists come together to defend science and its critical role in our society and democracy. Join us on April 22nd as we come together in Canada, in the US, and around the world, to march in solidarity with our American neighbours and stand in defence of science.”

To participate in the Ottawa March, come out to the main steps of Parliament Hill at 11 a.m.

There are plenty of additional ways to mark Earth Day on Saturday, April 22, 2017 in Ottawa:

Old Home Earth Day Event: The Glebe Community Association is hosting exhibits and workshops all about how to be energy efficient and live more sustainably in older homes. It’s at the Glebe Community Centre (175 Third Ave.), 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Find the schedule on their Facebook page.

Earth Day at the Canadian Museum of Nature: Walk across a giant map of the Arctic, journey through an inflatable polar bear, join a botanical scavenger hunt, crafts and play Inuit games. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. More information on the Museum website.

Great Cloth Diaper Change: Ottawa Doula Services is hosting the Great Cloth Diaper Change in Ottawa from 10-11:30 a.m. at the Ottawa Birth and Wellness Centre (2260 Walkley Rd.) The event, held in more than a dozen countries, promotes use of reusable cloth diapers.

Wakefield Earth Day Green Market and Environmental Fair: This event features exhibits by local craftspeople, artists, green builders and food vendors; bike repair, tree-climbing, music and more. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Wakefield Community Centre (38 chemin Valley, Wakefield, QC); hosted by Chambre Wakefield-La Pêche Chamber.

River Ward Earth Day Event: Riley Brockington hosts this community event at the Hunt Club-Riverside Park Community Centre from 2-4 p.m. Maison Tucker House talks energy conservation and Junk That Funk provides an e-waste drop-off.

Added: Rethinking Canada’s 150: Human Library and Arts Showcase: Although not billed as an Earth Day event, this gathering features people sharing their experiences and perspectives on social and environmental justice, decolonization and immigration. The focus is “to bring alternative discourses to the mainstream narrative of Canada’s 150th anniversary.” Organized by Next Up at 25One Community (251 Bank St., 2nd floor), 3-6 p.m.

Added: Indigenous Walking Tour: Not specifically for Earth Day either, but Indigenous Walks is holding a public tour of central Ottawa from an Indigenous perspective. 5-7 p.m.; register at booking@indigenouswalks.com.

Ottawa Park Summit and Earth Day Celebration: Ecology Ottawa is organizing two related events for Earth Day. From 1-5 p.m., they’re partnering with Greenspace Alliance, Just Food, EnviroCentre, Sierra Club Canada Foundation, Federation of Citizens’ Associations, Social Planning Council of Ottawa and Park People to host a gathering on how to make Ottawa’s parks great. See the website for details and registration.

At Ecology Ottawa’s Earth Day Celebration, the focus is on celebrating community efforts towards environmental justice. The evening (5:30-9 p.m.) includes entertainment by comedian Martha Chaves and DJ Cat Abreu, refreshments and door prizes from local eco-friendly businesses.

Both Ecology Ottawa events will be at Makerspace North (250 City Centre Ave.).

Earth Day 2017 Ottawa International Writers Festival: The OIWF brings an impressive line-up for Earth Day. Nishnaabeg writer Leanne Betasamosake Simpson presents the stories and songs of This Accident of Being Lost. David Suzuki and Ian Hanington discuss Just Cool It!, their book on solutions to the climate crisis. At 6:30 p.m. at Christ Church Cathedral (414 Sparks St.).

Voices of Earth: Local choir Tone Cluster is holding Voices of Earth, a concert to mark Earth Day. It’s at Centretown United Church (507 Bank St.) at 7:30 p.m.

Let us know if you hear of other Earth Day events in Ottawa!

More April Events

Posted by Denise Deby.

Photo of Diana Beresford-Kroeger courtesy Call of the Forest Film / Treespeak Films http://calloftheforest.ca/

Call of the Forest Film – Wednesday, Apr. 12 – Saturday, Apr. 15, 2017

This documentary features amazing local author and environmental scientist Diana Beresford-Kroeger and her journeys to explore and share the history, legacy and contributions of ancient northern forests, and our connection to them. She also examines native species, how to plant them and the medicinal and ecological benefits they provide. Call of the Forest – The Forgotten Wisdom of Trees is on at the ByTowne Cinema; see their website for times.

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The Same River Twice: Nature, Media, and Philosophy in the Anthropocene – Wednesday, Apr. 12, 2017

Carleton Climate Commons Working Group presents this talk by Dr. Etienne Turpin on urban ecologies, human understandings of nature and much more (see the website for details). At Carleton University, 132 Azrieli Pavilion from 3-4:30 p.m.

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Zero Waste Talk with Bea Johnson – Tuesday, Apr. 18, 2017

​Bea Johnson’s zero waste lifestyle launched a movement on living waste-free. The creator of Zero Waste Home will be speaking at this session hosted by NU Grocery—Ottawa’s first zero waste grocery store—in collaboration with city councillors David Chernushenko, Catherine McKenney, Jeff Leiper, Mathieu Fleury and Tobi Nussbaum, EnviroCentre and EcoLead. At First Baptist Church, 7-9:30 p.m. See Eventbrite for details.

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Urban Organic Gardening Seminars 2017 – Tuesday, Apr. 18 – Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Canadian Organic Growers Ottawa – St. Lawrence – Outaouais (COG-OSO) presents its spring series of seminars on growing organic vegetables, herbs and edible flowers. Topics include getting started, healthy soils, in-ground and container gardening, pest management, vertical gardening and more–you can sign up for one seminar, or the whole series. At City Hall, 7-9 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. See the schedule and registration information on the COG-OSO website.

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April 2017 Events

Posted by Denise Deby.

More April events this week!

Urban Forum, in partnership with loveOttawa, is holding I Love Ottawa, an evening about what people around our city love about Ottawa and why. It’s on Wednesday, Apr. 5, 2017, 7-9 p.m. at the Champlain Room, Ottawa City Hall. Presenters include Ottawa River Keeper Meredith Brown, Ottawa writer Phil Jenkins, Ecology Ottawa’s Graham Saul, cycling advocate Hans Moor, photographers and creative city builders Dwayne Brown and Anita Ruivo of the loveOttawa project, and other people you’d love to hear and see from. Urban Forum is presented by the Ontario Professional Planners Institute, Ontario Association of Landscape Architects, Ottawa Regional Society of Architects, Institute of Transportation Engineers and City of Ottawa.

Also on Wednesday, Apr. 5, the Carleton Climate Commons Group presents Climate Politics: Trudeau, Trump, Political In/Action, and Alternative Forms of Political Mobilization. Speakers from climate, university and environmental groups will lead the discussion on strategies for change in the current political environment. It’s 7-9 p.m. at the James St. Pub (390 Bank St.)

The City of Ottawa continues its Wildlife Speaker Series with A Celebration of Canada’s Wildlife on Thursday, Apr. 6, including a Wildlife Expo at 6 p.m. and a presentation by naturalist Michael Runtz of Carleton University at 7 p.m.

The NCC’s Capital Urbanism Lab – Youth Engagement in City Building on Thursday, Apr. 6 is all about how youth are engaged in creating the city through housing, transportation and community development, from the perspective of groups from California, Edmonton and Gatineau. It’s from 6-8 p.m. at 40 Elgin St., 2nd floor (and will be livestreamed on YouTube).

Added: Just Food presents a discussion on growing (and eating) vegetables, seasonal eating and wild foraging with Stephen Barstow, author of Around the World in 80 Plants. On Thursday, Apr. 6 at Centretown United Church, 6-9 p.m. 

If you’ve ever wanted to learn skills in repairing and making stuff rather than throwing out or buying new, the Ottawa Tool Library and Makerspace North have a deal for you. On Saturday, Apr. 8 from 11-4, they’re hosting a Repair Café, where you can bring your items that need repairing (or share your repairing skills), and a Make-a-Thon, where you can reserve space to work on your project—and borrow tools from the library, of course. Check the website for more information and to register.

Learn more about the connections between the environment and health at Upstream’s Closing the Gap: Better Health for All conference on Saturday, Apr. 8. It’s from 1-5 p.m. with evening speakers scheduled as well. If you register to attend, you can also access the livestream of the event.

Stay tuned for more April events as we approach Earth Day, April 22.

 

 

To the Ends of the Earth Film

To the Ends of the Earth film
Filming To the Ends of the Earth image courtesy http://endsofearthfilm.com/press

April (a.k.a. Earth Month) brings a host of events promoting environmental issues and solutions.

Today (Tuesday, Apr. 4), catch To the Ends of the Earth film at Arts Court.

This documentary looks at and beyond extreme energy extraction in Canada’s fossil fuel industry (e.g. Arctic drilling and shale gas fracking), and follows the scientists, authors and activists who are finding alternatives based on cooperation, social justice and ecological stewardship. Narrated by Emma Thompson. A panel discussion includes Ottawa City Councillor David Chernushenko, renewable energy expert Chris Young, Stu Campana of EnviroCentre and Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-operative president Dick Bakker. Presented by SolarShare Cooperative, at Arts Court, 7-10 p.m.

More information on Eventbrite.

To the Ends of the Earth official TRAILER from David Lavallee on Vimeo.