Canada Day in Ottawa

Ottawa has a reputation for being a sleepy government town. You know, the kind of place where you can’t get a decent meal after 9:00 pm, bars close at midnight, and the docile sports fans sit on their hands for the entire game.Personally, I think the city is much more vibrant than that, and it’s never more true than on Canada Day. Your first Canada Day in the nation’s capital is a revelation – there are thousands and thousands of people wandering the streets, all decked out in white and red. Canada flags are everywhere, and the downtown core is filled with tourists and the sounds of various free concerts.For several years, the orchestra has put on two free public concerts. This year’s event featured no fewer than 2 singers, 400 choir members from across Canada, an African drumming ensemble, and about 30 students from the NAC’s Young Artists Programme. It’s a good way to introduce new audiences to the orchestra, and I always get a kick out of seeing people line up an hour before the show to get a seat.Anyway, if you haven’t done Canada Day in Ottawa, add it to your list of things to do.

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