Winterlude 2010

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

When I stepped off the Via Rail train at the Ottawa Terminal 30 years ago I said a quiet ‘hello’ to a city that would set the stage for a new chapter of my life. I smiled up at the midday sun and quickly noticed the streets were void of any trace of the mid winter landscape I had left behind just 12 short hours ago. Much to my chagrin, it didn’t take long before the temperatures plummeted and the winter blizzards I had hoped I’d left behind had all but paralysed the city. Local government offices, schools and banks were shut down and workers sent home on the few arteries leaving the downtown core. The Queensway was nowhere near its present size boasting only two lanes in either direction and Kanata and Orleans, primarily rural farmland. 

One of the highlights of that first winter in Ottawa was the Rideau Canal. It had in recent years been groomed as a skating rink, the world’s longest, and for previous two years was the setting of a new festival called Winterlude. I bussed to the canal almost daily to skate the length between Dow’s Lake and the NAC.. and back. That actually happened by mistake the first time when I realized I’d left my boots in the change hut at the NAC and had to skate back to get them. Then it just became my ‘thing’. 

Included in the festivities was a competition to have individuals or groups apply to carve ice sculptures at Dow’s Lake. I joined a group of my friends from Bell Northern to chisel a sculpture that on paper was so elaborate and intricate, the gang felt certain we’d win top prize. I believe the final statue ended up being a canoe but we had a ton of fun out there. These days Winterlude is one of the largest winter festivals in North America and for three weeks in February attracts visitors and ice carvers from around the world. People are so happy to be outdoors with family and friends but believe me, the happiest ones are usually around the BeaverTail or the Poutine stands. 

..and I always giggle (to myself) when I catch the odd skater realizing they’ve left their boots somewhere.... very far away. 

Merci pour votre patience

Friday, February 19, 2010

Okay, my last post is lost somewhere out there in techno land.  Silly me actually believed that the switch from my computer to the MAC would be easy and I'd be up and running in a day. Not so fast cowboy! 

It's taken a bit longer than anticipated to get all the data transferred but hopefully in the next day or so I'll be at 100%. Maybe our server people in Vancouver are out enjoying the Olympics and really, who can blame them? So I'll keep plugging away and hopefully have everything back to normal really soon. I appreciate those of you who keep checking back in and leaving nice comments.  The blog is getting hundreds of hits a week so thanks for coming back to check in! 

I've also got some very exciting stuff going on here in the background. The website is under construction, business cards are ordered, workshops with expert photogs scheduled AND most exciting to me....I've been SO lucky to be getting email updates from my friend's brother Doug Stacey who is the trainer/physiotherapist for the Woman's Canadian Olympic team in Vancouver! I am happy to report the girls are super psyched and having a blast! I'm hoping after he gets back to London and the dust settles that I'll have an interview and pictures that I'll post. All in all, it's been busy and thanks for checking back in. A special shout out to my unbelievably awesome hubby who I seriously could not do this without *heart*

In the meantime....a cute little winter pic and GO TEAM CANADA!!! 

Dale Smith Gallery

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Last week, I had the chance to visit my old stomping grounds here in Ottawa. It’s a small area that borders on Rockliffe Park called New Edinburgh. I popped into a gorgeous little gallery not far from my old apartment to see an exhibit featuring Andrea Crabbe, a graduate of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. She has such a cool, unique style as a painter and I was anxious to see her work. She also happens to be engaged to my nephew Michael so that makes her even more brilliant in my books.

Dale, the gallery owner, was lovely to chat with and she invited me to a vernissage for eight young artists/photographers from Canterbury High School here in Ottawa whose work is now being displayed. It’s really a terrific thing she is doing for these students; offering them an opportunity to acquaint themselves with all the undertakings of an “authentic exhibition experience”. If you happen to be in that area you should try to check it out! And perhaps I’ll be inviting you all to MY gallery opening in the future!

For the time being, I’m up to my eyeballs in photo management, developing my website, getting business cards and furnishing my office, managing the admin for my husband's companies and all the regular mom and house stuff... ...but it’ll happen.

Big ‘MAC’ Attack

Monday, February 8, 2010

By all accounts, I should be satisfied with the present arsenal of hard drives, wide screens and hyper speed technology that finds itself positioned strategically throughout our home, having grown up in the age of ‘rabbit ears’ sitting atop our single television to view as many channels. Wow, I just had to take a moment to reflect. At times, the only chance to alleviate all the snow from the picture was to assign a runner to continually move the ears back and forth to gain some type of clear reception. That person was often commissioned the task of standing there for an entire program holding the ‘ears’ so her four older and much bigger brothers could comfortably sit and watch their program. Hey! Wait a minute!

OK...I digress. Well today I am blessed to finally crack open my Christmas present, my very own iMac. I can barely contain myself. I’m so anxious to have my office/studio finished with its HUGE window delivering the most beautiful panoramic view of the countryside. Again, the hallway was great but WINDOWS! iMac and I are about to embark on this journey together. It’s like she and I are going to be partners for a long time so I think she needs a name. I’d like to introduce to the world Ms. Macaroni Corday...Mac for short, 3+Ghz at full tilt and she’s lovely.

Finally, a Vroom.... with a View. 

Hockey Day in Canada

Monday, February 1, 2010

If you ask any red blooded Canadian "Who invented hockey?" and you’ll hear a non-equivocal “We Did!” although versions of hockey can be traced as far back as ancient Greece. Canadian ice hockey however was thought to have originated amongst the Odawa First Nations people in what is now Algonquin Park. You’ll be hard pressed to prove that ice hockey doesn’t have its strongest roots here in the Great White North. Our forefathers, our parents and our children hold the tradition of playing hockey as sacred in Canada so you better not try to imply that it’s not our game without the possibility of gettin’ a good ol’ Canadian smackdown as retribution!

As a way to commemorate our sport, we Canucks host the annual Hockey Day in Canada celebration. Outdoor rinks and frozen ponds all over the country bustle as the young and the not-so’s don their blades for a game of shinny in celebration of our beloved game. In Ottawa, the city hosts a pond hockey game on the world’s largest skating rink, the Rideau Canal, between the Ottawa Senators alumni and some NHL hockey heroes. On Saturday, Steve and I went to check it out as his buddy Shaun Van Allen was playing for the ex-Sens. It was close to being the coldest day of the year but the guys didn’t disappoint us. They were having a blast despite the weather. Even with the oldest player, I could still see the glint of an 8 year old boy who once played on an outdoor rink shining through. I only slightly froze my fingers taking these shots.