Good morning!! Happy final week of February to all of you. I always get excited when the end of February rolls around, because it marks the unofficial end of winter in my mind. After February, temps start rising, and we see more and more days with highs above zero. Not that March is hot and summery, but I do have photos of myself sitting on patios for St. Patty’s Day without a warm jacket on. That’s only 4 weeks from now (but who’s counting?)
Who is your Daddy, and What does he do?
Before I jump in to the newsletter, I have a few things I would like to get out there. First, after running Covert Ottawa Guy for over three years, I think it’s time to fire out a reminder of what it is that I do (not my Daddy though, I have just been waiting for an appropriate time to use that heading, and that’s as close as I’ve found)!
The primary purpose and the heart of my website is the events calendar. I strive to find all of the events going on in Ottawa and put them on the calendar for you to easily see “What is Happening in Ottawa Today” without showing exclusivity or bias to event organizers who I know personally or who pay me. This truly is a one-stop shop for you to plan the events you’d like to do in and around Ottawa. So, for purposes of clarity, I’m not running these events myself, I just promote them. The information on my calendar is only as good as what I can find online, or is sent to me, so I make no guarantees on the accuracy or ease of use of event organizer’s websites or information quality. I do my best to provide this service, and spend many hours digging through the internet finding events without getting paid (much), so consider me either a volunteer, or simply providing a community service in my spare time.
The second aspect of what I’m doing is writing a blog!! Shocking right? Although the format of the blog has radically changed over the past twelve months, I strive to bring you a newsletter with Ottawa events, plus a little entertainment, and more recently some positive vibes and mindfulness messages. I do not get paid for this either, which is why I ask that you share and interact with the blog. The more people who follow and like my blog, the more inspired I am to continue!
Finally, I offer event services to event organizers. I have a catalogue of dozens of different services that I can either provide myself, provide through my hired staff, or through contacts that I’ve made over many years of working in the events/festivals industry. There is very little that an event organizer would need that I can’t provide in one way or another. COVID has decimated the event industry, so it has been a pretty un-eventful year (is that a pun?).
Now, on with the newsletter! With Ottawa still in the “Orange – Restrict” category for re-opening, events are still pretty much non-existent. However, some smaller, controlled events are popping up around the city. I’ve found a few that look to be pretty fun this week, despite still being virtual.
The Great Canadian Kilt Skating Event
This is a national competition that is ridiculous, but awesome at the same time. Don your kilt and ice skates and get out there with your camera. It seems to me that it’s a national competition between cities to get the most participants posting kilt/skate photos and videos on social media with the required hash tags.
The contest is already open and finishes on the 27th. So, let’s get out there in our kilts (brrrrrr) and win this for our city!! All the details and appropriate hash tags are on my events calendar.
National Caesar Day
Once again, our friends at Ottawa Pub Crawls have declared an unofficial ‘day’ for a delicious drink. Although the official(?) National Caesar Day is on May 20th this year, why not celebrate in February as well? The event is virtual, so you need to purchase a kit to take part. The kit includes 4 virtual mixology classes, a Smirnoff Caesar glass, Smirnoff Vodka, 4 cans of Clamato juice, 4 different Caesar mixes, a recipe card, and gift cards/samples from the participating bars and restaurants. The participating venues are Headquarters, The Blue Cactus, Bar Daddy by Jovan, and Back to Brooklyn. As of today, February 20th the kits for this event are 80% sold out, so you’ll have to hurry. Kits need to be purchased in advance of the actual event, and can be picked up at The Blue Cactus on Friday or Saturday.
For tickets, you can go to the Eventbrite page. Up to 10% of all kit sales goes towards supporting the Canadian Mental Health Association.
Bits and Bytes
This is my random story and features section. These topics don’t necessarily have anything to do with Ottawa. It could include stories about current news issues, sports, funny videos, and/or perhaps just random things that I’ve discovered over the previous week. I hope you enjoy!
What am I watching this week?
I’ve started watching the #1 show in Canada on Netflix (for last week anyway), called Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel. For those of you who like solving cases of missing people, or figuring out the “who done it” of unsolved murder cases, this show is for you. With only four episodes, they waste no time on building the facts and details of this true story. This documentary focuses on the 2013 disappearance of Elisa Lam, a student from Vancouver. The mystery, fueled mainly by a creepy hotel surveillance video, sets off a chain reaction of internet sleuths going over every available detail in order to find out what happened to Lam. Social media forums across the globe exploded with various theories and reporting on the facts, and interpretation of what they meant. Although tragic, a missing or dead student by itself doesn’t typically generate global response, nor a Netflix documentary. However, the setting, one of America’s most notorious hotels, located in the heart of Skid Row in Los Angeles, gives this case a unique and compelling angle. The history of the hotel adds to the creepiness of the story, prompting dozens of theories, conspiracy or otherwise.
The official Netflix description is:
“The notorious Cecil Hotel grows in infamy when guest Elisa Lam vanishes. From the creator of “The Ted Bundy Tapes,” a dive into crime’s darkest places.” – Netflix
At the time of writing this blog, I’ve only watched the first three episodes of this documentary, and I’m hooked. I’ve only been pulled away from the TV in order to write this and I’m excited to watch the conclusion!
Little Ray’s Nature Centre (Reminder)
Last week, I wrote a portion of my blog asking for your support to Little Ray’s Nature Centre. I just want to send out a reminder–they still very much need our help!
As with many industries, they’ve been hurting big time due to the pandemic. The main difference is that they can’t just shut the doors to stop the financial bleeding, they still have hundreds of animals to feed, and they need staff in place daily to care for them. To make their situation even more dire, they are closed to the public, so there’s very little revenue coming in. Many people don’t realize that a significant number of their animals are rescues, whom they take in to prevent from being euthanized or otherwise abandoned. In fact, they are the largest exotic animal rescue in North America! Without assistance, this could quickly change, and they may have to close down for good. Their complete closure is imminent without funds, and if this were to happen, the animals would have to be given up, and who knows what their fate would be. I don’t imagine the humane society is equipped to receive hundreds of exotic animals, so these poor creatures may be sentenced to death. There is a Go Fund Me campaign running for the public to chip in and help out Little Rays. I’m sure almost everyone in Ottawa can recount a time when they’ve interacted with Little Ray’s, and most of us have fond memories of a slimy snake slithering across the back of our neck, or holding a small alligator, or even more recently, petting a sloth or lemur. We need to come together as a city and help out this amazing business, a true hallmark and treasure of Ottawa!
National Love Your Pet Day
Continuing with the animal theme, I thought I’d end this week’s newsletter with a nice little story celebrating National Love Your Pet Day, which was last Saturday, February 20th. Although it’s specified as a US “National” day, we can all appreciate the value that our furry four-legged children play in our lives. I don’t need to explain to pet owners how valuable a loving pet can be, for many reasons. Most relevant right now though, pets can provide emotional support during difficult times in our lives. COVID fortunately doesn’t affect pets, and they are still happy and cuddly, and excited to see us when we walk in the door. Your emotional support pet doesn’t need to be a dog or cat, either. In this story, you’ll see that Finn and Budgie act as very good emotional support bunnies. I admit, I’m not a huge fan of rabbits, but even I have to admit that they’re pretty cute. They seem to be very loving and provide support to their owners. This truly is a feel-good story, and I recommend you read through it! I challenge you not to have your mood lifted once finished.