• City Council approves Arts Court redevelopment and Ottawa Art Gallery expansion

    Ottawa – City Council today approved the Arts Court redevelopment and the Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG) expansion, marking the culmination of a longstanding vision for a municipal arts centre for the visual, performing, literary and media arts and for the revitalization of Ottawa’s downtown.


    The $34-million capital project will include:
     – a new and larger Ottawa Art Gallery;
     – a new 250-seat multi-purpose and film screening room within the new OAG space
     – a new 120-seat black box theatre and four classrooms for the University of Ottawa
     – repurposing of space vacated by the OAG and reallocation to the major media arts partners
     – development of a connection between new construction and existing buildings on four floors to establish a truly integrated and functional facility.


    The project will be financed with no new borrowing and without incurring any new debt.
    The City will now initiate the procurement process for the design and build phase of the facility and for the sale of private sector tower development rights.


  • Report recommends Arts Court redevelopment and Ottawa Art Gallery expansion

    Ottawa – In a report to be considered by the Finance and Economic Development Committee on November 5 and by City Council on November13, City staff are recommending a project for the redevelopment of Arts Court and expansion of the Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG).

    The proposed $34-million capital project is the culmination of a long-standing vision for a municipal arts centre for the visual, performing, literary and media arts and for the revitalization of Ottawa’s downtown and will be financed with no new borrowing.

    “The proposed redevelopment of Arts Court and expansion of the Ottawa Art Gallery will create a significant showcase for our region’s artists while creating jobs and helping to attract tourists to the City of Ottawa,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “I am very pleased that we have found a way forward, working with our community partners, to realize this important term of Council priority while using existing City funds. I am also pleased that the project can proceed without the need to incur any new debt.”

    In 2011, City Council approved the implementation strategy for the Ottawa Arts Court Redevelopment project and in 2012, Council approved the Renewed Action Plan on Arts, Heritage and Culture, confirming this as a priority project for the City.

    The proposed OAG Expansion and Arts Court Redevelopment project will include:

    – a new and larger Ottawa Art Gallery;
    – a new 250-seat multi-purpose and film screening room within the new OAG space
    – a new 120-seat black box theatre and four classrooms for the University of Ottawa
    – repurposing of space vacated by the OAG and reallocation to the major media arts partners
    – development of a connection between new construction and existing buildings on four floors to establish a truly integrated and functional facility.

    Upon approval, the City will implement the procurement process for the design and build development of the facility and for the sale of private sector tower development rights.

  • Mayor Watson proclaims Franco-Ontarian Day in Ottawa

    Ottawa – Mayor Jim Watson proclaimed Franco-Ontarian Day in Ottawa at a ceremony this morning to mark the 38th anniversary of the first raising of this emblem of the Franco-Ontarian community. Franco-Ontarian Flags were raised at 10 City locations but remain at half-mast to commemorate the victims of last week’s tragic collision between a train and a bus.

    “The flag represents the spirit of Francophone culture in Ontario which has a rich history in Ottawa,” said Mayor Watson. “Proclaiming this special anniversary honours our city’s Francophone community and celebrates its heritage and joie de vivre.”

    In 2010 the provincial government proclaimed September 25 of each year as Franco-Ontarian Day to officially recognize the contribution of Ontario’s Francophone community to the cultural, historical, social, economic and political life of the province.

    The City of Ottawa is a proud partner of the newest Monument de la Francophonie at the University of Ottawa. The Franco-Ontarian Flag will also be raised at the following City locations in compliance with the current flag protocol:

     – Heritage Building entrance on Elgin Street

     – Orléans Client Service Centre, 255 Centrum Boulevard

     – Kanata Client Service Centre, 580 Terry Fox Drive

     – Ben Franklin Place Client Service Centre, 101 Centrepointe Drive

     – Ottawa Police Service headquarters, 474 Elgin Street

     – OC Transpo headquarters, 1500 St. Laurent Boulevard

     – By-law and Regulatory Services, 735 Industrial Avenue

     – Ottawa Paramedic Headquarters, 2465, Don Reid Drive (ceremony at 10 a.m.)

     – Ottawa Fire Services headquarters, 1445 Carling Avenue

     – Centre d’accueil Champlain (Champlain Long Term Care facility), 275 Perrier Avenue

    The Franco-Ontarian Flag was created in 1975 by Laurentian University history professor Gaétan Gervais, and first year political science student Michel Dupuis. It was officially recognized as the emblem of the Franco-Ontarian community in the Franco-Ontarian Emblem Act of 2001.

  • City Hall adds summer sizzle with free summer activities

    Ottawa – The City has officially launched its free weekly summer programming at Ottawa City Hall’s Marion Dewar Plaza– providing programs for everyone, morning, noon and night.

    The free weekly programs, running now to August 27, range from physical fitness to dance and artisan markets to music. Each day holds a different series of morning, noon-hour and evening programs – which includes YM-YWCA Tuesday morning boot camps, and Wednesday evening’s outdoor salsa lessons and dancing.

    ““Whether it is in the summer or the winter, inside or outside, we are making City Hall a real people place,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “By opening up City Hall and offering new programming, we are energizing the downtown core with exciting options for residents of all ages.”

    On Thursdays, starting tomorrow to August 11, from 7 to 11 p.m. will be a special evening that focuses on music, mind and art, called Expressions, in partnership with RBC Bluesfest Be in the Band. Youth bands and local art groups will combine their talents to raise awareness of mental health.

    “The summer programming at City Hall, as well as other programs in local parks, is a product of our community support and spirit,” said Councillor Mark Taylor, Chair of the City’s Community and Protective Services Committee. “Each program organizer is providing their services on a voluntary basis. Without their generous support, we could not provide this type of free programming and entertainment for our residents to enjoy.”

    In addition to the weekly schedule, special events are also planned such as an outdoor silent movie presentation and a roller derby weekend on July 19 and 20 – featuring the Rideau Valley Roller Girls and Capital City Derby Dolls.

    The full list and details of the summer programming events at City Hall’s Marion Dewar Plaza are available at ottawa.ca.

  • Sandra Oh receives Key to the City

    Ottawa – Mayor Jim Watson presented Ms. Sandra Oh with the City’s most prestigious award, the Key to the City, during a special ceremony this evening in recognition of her many accomplishments in the field of the performing arts on both a national and international level. Sandra Oh is likely best known for her role as Dr. Cristina Yang in the award-winning television series Grey’s Anatomy, which earned her a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award and five Emmy nominations.

    “It is such an incredible honour to have Sandra Oh back in Ottawa, and to present her with the Key to the City in acknowledgement of her amazing talent and achievements”, said Mayor Jim Watson.

    Sandra Oh was born and raised in Nepean, starred in her first play The Canada Goose at the age of 10, and was extensively involved in drama courses and school productions at Sir Robert Borden High School. During a city-wide competition of the high school Improv Games, she caught the attention of the organizers and was invited to join the improv troupe Skit Row High, which created and wrote original works performed by the National Arts Centre.

    “I’m happy and excited to be back in my hometown and to be a part of such a celebratory event”, said Sandra Oh. “I’m looking forward to seeing all my friends and all those who I haven’t seen in many years and to figure out what this key to the city opens.”

    Working professionally at the age of 15 in theatre and commercials, she eventually attended the prestigious National Theatre School of Canada to study drama, where after three years, she beat out 1,000 other hopefuls for the coveted title role in the CBC television film The Diary of Evelyn Lau earning her a Gemini Award, a nomination for Best Actress, and the 1994 Cannes FIPA d’Or for Best Actress. She is also the recipient of two Best Actress Genie Awards for her leading role in Double Happiness and Last Night.

    After moving to Los Angeles in 1996, Sandra Oh has appeared in several major movies, including Under the Tuscan Sun and the Oscar-winning Sideways for Best Adapted Screenplay and in 2001 was honoured with a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame.

    The Key to the City was first presented in 1935 by His Worship Stanley Lewis to Lord Tweedsmuir, Governor General of Canada and his wife Lady Tweedsmuir. Other Key to the City recipients include author Margaret Atwood, photographer Yousuf Karsh and the Community Foundation of Ottawa.

  • City Hall heats up with summer activities

    Ottawa – Ottawa City Hall’s Marion Dewar Plaza is the place to be this summer with free weekly programs and special events for every taste and interest, morning noon and night.

     

    “Whether it is the winter or the summer, inside or outside, we are making City Hall a real people place,” said Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson. “This summer will feature some great new attractions for residents of all ages.”

     

    “The schedule of activities at City Hall this summer showcases a diversity of cultural and recreational talent in Ottawa,” said Councillor Mark Taylor, Chair of Community and Protective Services Committee.

     

    “I hope everyone makes plans to visit Ottawa City Hall sometime this summer.”
    Regular programming begins July 9 and ends August 27, except where otherwise noted. All events listed are free. No registration required. For more information on all of these events visit the City’s website, ottawa.ca.
    (This list does not include events at City Hall hosted by outside organizations which may require fees or registration.)

    Tuesdays

     – 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. – YM-YWCA Outdoor Boot Camp
     – Noon to 1 p.m.- Hatha Yoga
     – 2 to 9 p.m. – Summer Art Market

    Wednesdays

     – 7:30 to 9 p.m. Circus Jam

     – Noon to 1 p.m. – Taoist Tai-chi

     – Noon to 1 p.m. – performances by Odyssey Theatre

     – Running clinics (Time TBD)

     – 6 to 11 p.m. – Outdoor Salsa, sponsored by Azucar! Latin Dance Company and Salsa Force

    Thursdays
     – 7:30 to 8:30 a.m.- Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health’s Pow Wow Pump
     – 6 to 9 p.m .(July 11 to August 1) – Be in the Band (in partnership with RBC Bluesfest)

     

    In addition to the weekly schedule, additional free special events are planned, including:

     – Roller Derby Weekend

     – Silent Movie Night

     – Chamberfest Music

     – Creative Mornings… and more!

     

    Follow the City on Twitter for updates @ottawacity.
    Ottawa City Hall, located at 110 Laurier Avenue West, is home to the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame, the Barbara Ann Scott exhibit, the Rink of Dreams and host to a number of community and special events and festivals. It has quickly become the people place for all seasons.
  • Seventh annual Mayor’s Rendezvous marks the 100th anniversary of the creation of LeDroit newspaper

    Ottawa – Mayor Jim Watson and 200 members of the Francophone community today celebrated at the Mayor’s seventh annual Francophone Rendezvous, the 100th anniversary of LeDroit newspaper, one of the most enduring and key media organizations in our National Capital Region.

    Mayor Watson acknowledged the critical role LeDroit has played over the years in news reporting and coverage of issues impacting the Francophone community, and used the opportunity to make a special proclamation acknowledging the newspapers’ status and role in the community.

    “LeDroit newspaper has been a pillar of the Francophone community for the last 100 years. We are proud to highlight the existence of this great daily newspaper in Ottawa’s Francophone landscape”, said Mayor Watson.

    Special guests at the annual Francophone Rendezvous included a number of local politicians, community leaders and Mr. Jacques Pronovost, President and Editor of LeDroit newspaper, as well as LeDroit’s reporters, editors and former contributors.

    Mr. Pronovostsaid: “LeDroit is proud of its Franco-Ontarian roots, proud of the commitment of its staff over the last hundred years to defending the rights of Francophones, and it is still just as committed today to defending and promoting the use of the French language in Ontario and in the National Capital Region. LeDroit is also proud of taking part in cultural, social, economic, and political life in Ottawa and in eastern Ontario by keeping French-speaking citizens informed every day and by putting their legitimate concerns at the forefront of the news.”

    March 27, 2013 will be the pivotal point in celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of LeDroit which was founded on March 27, 1913.

    “Like many Ottawa residents, reading LeDroit is part of my daily morning routine and the paper continues to be current, modern and relevant with an electronic version which is regularly viewed by close to 20,000 people every week, which is impressive”, added the Mayor.

  • artsVest™ program an investment in Ottawa’s cultural economy

    Ottawa – Mayor Jim Watson and Business for the Arts President and CEO Nichole Anderson were on hand to celebrate Ottawa’s success in securing the artsVest™ program. They were joined by Ottawa Chamber of Commerce Chair Dave Donaldson and Jean-Claude Des Rosiers, Président du Conseil d’administration, Le regroupement des gens d’affaires de la Capitale Nationale as well as government funding agencies, local businesses and cultural organizations.

    The program will offer free sponsorship training to help Ottawa’s local cultural organizations build mutually beneficial partnerships with the business community. Cultural organizations will also be invited to apply to artsVest for a total of $100,000 in matching incentive grants. When matched with sponsorship from the local business community, artsVest has the potential to flow more than $200,000 of investment into Ottawa’s cultural sector this year.

    “This is an exciting opportunity to bring the public, private and cultural sectors together with a common goal of enhancing Ottawa’s cultural offerings,” said Mayor Watson. “ And since these investments can be generated as soon as next year, Ottawa residents and visitors are the real winners here.”

    According to Business for the Arts, Ottawa has the ingredients to be a success story with growing potential for business benefactors and sustainable, diverse arts, heritage and culture offerings. “The jury evaluating Ottawa’s application was really excited about the breadth and range of local cultural programs that could benefit from artsVest’s matching grants,” said Business for the Arts President Nichole Anderson. “Ottawa’s bilingual character is also attractive as it will allow artsVest to reach a greater Francophone population.”

    A recent economic study reported that Ottawa-Gatineau’s cultural industry (non-profit and for-profit) represented approximately 4.1 per cent of GDP, totalling $1.98 billion. In 2010, attendance and participation in Ottawa’s local cultural activity totalled 4.1 million, and 21,861 volunteers provided 519,755 volunteer hours (valued at $9.1 million) to the local cultural sector.

    Other cities selected to be part of the 2012 Ontario artsVest program include Windsor, North Bay, Midland and Elliot Lake.

    artsVest is a program of Business for the Arts and delivered with funding from the Government of Ontario, the Ontario Trillium Foundation and Canadian Heritage. Ottawa’s application was sponsored by the Council for the Arts in Ottawa, the Arts Ottawa East Arts Council and the Council of Heritage Organizations in Ottawa.

    For more information on the artsVest program, visit www.artsvest.com.

  • JUNO Host City Kick-Off Event

    Ottawa – The Mayor of Ottawa, his Worship Jim Watson, in collaboration with National Capital Commission Chief Executive Officer, Marie Lemay, the Province of Ontario, the Ontario Media Development Corporation and the 2012 JUNO Awards Host Committee would like to invite the public to attend the JUNO Host City Kick-Off Event.

    Join host and JUNO Award winner Measha Brueggergosman, along with special guests, for a live performance by 2012 JUNO Award nominees, Ottawa’s own Hollerado.

    Date: Wednesday March 28, 2012

    Time: 3 pm

    Location: National Arts Centre, Main Foyer

    This exciting hour-long special event will officially welcome the JUNO Awards to Ottawa and recognize JUNO Award-nominated artists from Canada’s Capital Region. The Mayor will take this opportunity to proclaim March 26 to April 1, 2012 as JUNO Week in Ottawa, Canada’s Capital.

    Attendees from the general public will also have the chance to win tickets to attend the 2012 JUNO Awards Broadcast at Scotiabank Place on Sunday, April 1.

    The 2012 JUNO Awards Host Committee would like to thank our sponsors, who have been instrumental in putting together events that will showcase our local talent and celebrate Canadian music: TD Bank Group, Slaight Music, University of Ottawa, Algonquin College, Downtown Rideau BIA, Rideau Centre, Max Media, and many more valuable partners and volunteers.

    This event is presented by the 2012 JUNO Awards Host Committee with the gracious support of the Downtown Rideau BIA and the National Arts Centre.

  • Council approves action plan for arts, heritage and culture

    Ottawa – Today City Council approved a six-year action plan for arts, heritage and culture. The renewed plan builds on Ottawa’s strengths, reflects its unique and authentic identity, aims to build pride in Ottawa as a vibrant, cultural city, and sets out a path aimed at leveraging opportunity.

    “Arts, culture and heritage are about remembering where we come from, celebrating who we are today and dreaming about what we can be tomorrow,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “These will continue to be the keys to our success, especially as we prepare to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017.”


    “The renewal process brought together the strongest diversity of representation and participation ever for municipal cultural planning purposes in Ottawa,” said Councillor Mark Taylor, Chair of the Community and Protective Services Committee. “The plan will close cultural gaps, meet emerging needs and continue to improve cultural investment in the City of Ottawa.”

    The plan includes four strategies:

     – Celebrate Ottawa’s unique cultural identity and provide access to culture for all

     – Preserve and develop cultural and creative places and spaces

     – Get the word out about Ottawa’s vibrant local culture and unique identity

     – Invest in local culture and build cultural leadership

    The process brought together First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals and communities, representatives of the Anglophone and Francophone cultural mosaic, diverse citizenry from rural, suburban and urban neighbourhoods, new Canadians and arts, heritage, festival and fair representatives.

    A recent economic study reported that Ottawa-Gatineau’s cultural industry (non-profit and for-profit) represented approximately 4.1 per cent of GDP, totalling $1.98 billion. In 2010, attendance and participation in local cultural activity totalled 4.1 million, and 21,861 volunteers provided 519,755 volunteer hours (valued at $9.1 million) to the local cultural sector.