The summer continues to roll on and the heat has been sticking with us this whole time. I have to say that it’s been one of the nicest summers that I’ve seen in Ottawa in years. Wouldn’t it have been a perfect festival year? Oh well. August 17th; there’s nothing special about this week. Nothing new is happening, and there are no holidays or season changes to report on, so I’ve focused on getting back to the basics. With COVID, my newsletters have strayed to covering really any random topic that I find interesting. I’ve had some positive feedback, but I want to shift back to events, now that there are some going on!
Canadian Heritage Northern Lights Show
Each summer, there is a spectacular sound and lights show projected against the parliament buildings that draw thousands of spectators, tourists and locals alike! The stories that are told cover essential elements of our history and show what makes Canada so great. This year, once again, due to the pandemic, these shows were cancelled to avoid crowds from gathering on the hill. If you’re new to Ottawa and/or have never seen this show, here’s the official description:
Since its debut in 2015, Northern Lights has been a huge success on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. More than one million spectators have enjoyed the experience!
The sound and light show has been transformed into a virtual format this summer and promises an equally magical experience as the iconic Centre Block and Peace Tower are recreated on screen. This is a unique opportunity to join loved ones for a personalized viewing session!
So, what’s my point? Well, you can take in this year’s chronicle online. It’s just over half an hour long, and one again highlights an important part of our history. There are shows in English and French.
Last year, the “Festival of Small Halls” put a series of events on, using the same management team that brings us Bluesfest and Cityfolk each year. This fantastic series of events showcased some of the best chefs in Ottawa, pairing an incredible meal with a great venue, and showcasing music by talented local musicians. Well, this year you can do it again! Now that we can eat in restaurants again, they’ve booked the restaurant at the National Arts Centre for three weekends in September.
The Chef’s Table is a farm-to-table feast with menus curated by Canadian chefs and musical entertainment. Presented by the Festival of Small Halls, this year’s series will run for six nights in September in collaboration with the National Arts Centre’s chefs-in-residence program.
The Chef’s Table will host chefs Helena Loureiro (of Portus 360 and Helena Restaurant in Montreal), Kenton Leier (National Arts Centre), Pascal Ménard (Global Affairs Canada and Rideau Gate), Ian Bilodeau (Museum of History) and Sheila Flaherty (of sijjakkut in Iqaluit).
Celebrate a special occasion with a three-course meal from world-class chefs – or just enjoy reconnecting with your closest friends over food, music, and the beauty of a summer night by the Rideau Canal. Safe and distanced group dining on a spacious patio, with musical entertainment provided from a nearby boat.
September 11/12 features Chefs Helena Loureiro from Montreal, Kenton Leier from the NAC, and the musical performance will be Dueling Pianos featuring Dave Kahlil, Tyler Kealey and Todd Huckabone. If you’ve never seen these guys, you’re missing out!
September 18/19 features Chefs Kenton Leier from the NAC, Pascal Menard from Global Affairs, Ian Bilodeau from the Canadian Museum of History and musical entertainment by Rebecca Noelle.
September 25/26 features Chefs Kenton Leier from the NAC and Sheila Flaherty from Iqaluit, with a musical performance by the HOROJO Trio lead by Ottawa’s own JW Jones.
Buy your tickets early; it sold out last year every night and I’m sure it will again this year. Ticket and more details are found on their website at: https://thefestivalofsmallhalls.com/the-chefs-table/
COVID hasn’t completely held festivals back. Ottawa Pride has had time to adapt, and they have designed an exciting, fun-filled schedule of virtual events. Official festivities kick off on Sunday, August 23rd and run all week until the 29th. I’ve got the schedule posted in my events calendar for each day, or you can go to the Ottawa Pride website for all of the details and watch this video:
There are going to be plenty of other pride-related events popping up through the city, and I’ll try to keep them updated on the calendar, so if you know of something going on that needs promotion, just shoot me a tip!
I’ve missed writing about my guilty pleasure lately! First, let’s talk 90-Day fiancé briefly. I had once posted a list of all the spin-offs of this popular show. Well, this past Sunday, another one hit the air! “Darcy and Stacey” premiered on Sunday night. This train-wreck of a show focuses on the sad attempts at finding love for arguably the most-loved/hated past 90-Day repeat personality, Darcey, and her twin sister. These twins are looking for their Mr. Rights, and I can only imagine what this show will become as the season progresses (or more likely, spirals!)
In case you’ve never seen Darcy, she has been on 90-Day Fiance twice, with two different potential spouses over the past few years. The first, Jesse, was from Amsterdam and the two of them bickered and fought continuously, eventually causing a disastrous and emotional break up. Second, she met Tom from the UK, who ultimately suffered the same fate as Jesse. Between these two relationships, Darcey has been on 4-5 seasons of 90-Day and it’s spin offs. Reality TV at its best!
America’s Got Talent had a spectacular performance by a Canadian girl from Toronto last week that’s worth mentioning. It’s always great to see Canadians doing well on AGT, so I wanted to highlight her performance here:
AGT will have a “live” show this week on Tuesday night. It has seemed like they’ve been struggling to air the show through the pandemic. First, they lost judge Heidi Klum for a while (uncertain why), then they reverted to audition shows with no audience, then finally finishing up with some “best of” type shows. I’m not sure what this week will look like, but I’ll be tuned in. Love or hate reality TV, AGT produces some amazing acts, even from the non-winners. You can find many of them touring the world, including venues in Ottawa. Piff the Magic Dragon is still my favourite.
Okay, I have to talk about sports again. I went really heavy into it a few weeks ago and I’ve been trying to hold back since, but I can’t. Hockey playoffs are on, and are just as exciting as they are every year. Five overtimes in one game?? It would be so heartbreaking to lose that game, but what a start to the playoffs; it was the fourth longest game in NHL playoff history! Then the Boston Bruins…still pulling off a win without the Maurice Richard (co-winner of most goals in a season), David Pastrnak, and all-star goalie Tuukka Rask out of the game. Rask has decided to break the NHL bubble and has left the playoffs to be with his family. I’m not sure why exactly, but it’s for personal reasons, so we’ll leave it at that. That’s a lot riding on Halak, though.