Sunday 23 June 2019

Quirky Ottawa

Quirkiness, noun:
“The quality of being unusual in an attractive 
and interesting way.”
- Cambridge Online Dictionary

Ten days ago, when I was in Ottawa for Quilt Canada 2019 with my husband, I took the opportunity to explore downtown Ottawa. I’ve always liked Ottawa, despite its snarly traffic, never-ending construction, and occasional pretention. What struck me most during this visit was its delightful quirkiness. 

Wandering through the National Gallery of Canada, the Ottawa Art Gallery, the ByWard Market, the Rideau Centre, the Sparks Street Mall, and Parliament Hill was great fun. And my camera agreed.

By wonderful serendipity, I was on Parliament Hill as the annual Carivibe Ottawa Caribbean Festival parade inched its way brashly along Wellington Street. What a feast of music and vitality! Such a contrast to the gothic solemnity of the Parliament buildings.

The weeks ahead: I will be flying to Iowa on June 30 for the annual Friends General Conference (FGC) Gathering for a week of Quaker nourishment. About 1200 members of the Religious Society of Friends (aka Quakers) will attend the Gathering at Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa. The theme of the Gathering is Peace in Our Hearts, Justice in the World. As part of the Gathering, I will be participating in a five-day workshop entitled “Photography and Social Justice.” What a grand opportunity it will be to spend five days with twenty or so other Quaker photographers, thinking and talking about how photography can make the world a better place. 

Such a gift this week promises to be. I am filled with gratitude, excitement, and maybe a little apprehension. I look forward to writing about the experience in this blog...but not until I take a couple of weeks off to recover.

See you back here at this blog in mid-July. Meanwhile, enjoy Canada Day (Canadian readers), Independence Day (US readers), the summer weather (northern hemisphere readers), the winter weather (southern hemisphere readers), and anything else you are celebrating in your life. 

Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy these photographs of quirky Ottawa.

Oh – and one more thing: if you are in the Belleville area on Thursday evening, June 27, 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm, please feel free to attend my artist talk about Tasmanian Grace, the photo exhibit I currently have running at the John M. Parrott Art Gallery. The gallery is located on the third floor of the Belleville Public Library, 254 Pinnacle Street, Belleville. The talk will feature the fifteen photos in the exhibit, a slideshow of other photos from Tasmania, a selection of my street photographs, and a look ahead at some projects I’m working on. Free admission – and free parking in the adjacent parking lot after 6 pm!

Window Display, Rideau Centre

"Torching Maman" 
Repair work on Louise Bourgeois' sculpture Maman
outside the National Gallery of Canada

"O Train" sign outside the new Rideau 
light rail transit station.

Camel VIII by Nancy Graves (detail)
National Gallery of Canada

Window display, Rideau Centre

Café chairs, Ottawa Art Gallery

Outdoor deck chair, Ottawa Art Gallery

Joy by Bruce Garner (detail)
Sparks Street Mall

Carivibe Dancer

Carivibe Dancer

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