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Light Up Your Ottawa Life Contest Begins NOW!

December 1, 2016 12:00 am
Light Up Your Ottawa Life Contest Begins NOW!

decal1Welcome to Day 1 of our
25 Day Ottawa Life
Christmas Calendar

We’ll be updating with a new treat daily so be sure to check under the 

OLM Tree to see what’s there each day.

Now we know these things usually end with a big surprise but we
thought why not start there with a huge prize pack giveaway!

We’ve been teasing it for weeks but can now officially ask you:

Get your cameras ready! How’s what you got to do to enter:

  1. Send a SINGLE photo of your holiday display (house lights, tree, Christmas village) to: olmlightup@gmail.com
    NOTE: You MUST be a resident of the National Capital Region and those who submit
    more than one image will not be considered. Images must be submitted between December 1st and (noon) December 16th.
  2. Ensure that your NAME is included as well as a NUMBER and EMAIL where we can contact you. Those with no valid email or contact number are ineligible.
  3. Wait to see if you win!

Pretty simple huh?

Ottawa Life staff will vote on winning entrants on DECEMBER 16 and we will be in contact with the winners. Winners WILL BE VERIFIED (as we hope to drop off the package to you and get a photo of your winnings with your display) so please ensure the image you send is yours and from this year. (Be honest Santas and not Google Grinches).

Please see FULL CONTEST RULES below.

We have three fabulous prize packs you can choose from (Our top pick gets first choice, second gets second and, well, you get the idea!). Okay, now to the good stuff.

Start your escape with 2 nights accommodations for two at the beautiful
Mirror Lake Inn in Lake Placid! Enjoy a Celtic holiday treat for the ears
with 2 tickets to Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy: A Celtic Family Christmas
at the National Arts Centre then treat your hair with $200 worth of hair care
products and a $25 gift certificate from Deluca Hair. Take a musical journey
through Germany and Italy with CDs from Claudio Ottaviano Trio and
Di Meschugeles and a trip to the Arctic with Norman Hallendy’s book
An Intimate Wilderness: Arctic Voices in a Land of Vast Horizons.
More reading travel can be done with Will Ferguson’s hilarious Canadian Pie.
Don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten you campers out there. We’re throwing
in an MSR Portable Stove Kit! Finally, toast your beautiful escape
with a bottle of Amazing Wine from Savvy!

Actually, this could be a few nights on the town! First, enjoy some quality
jazz with tickets to the Ottawa Winter Jazz Festival. You’ll also have your
choice of  a show by The Assad Brothers (Feb. 11) or Les Boréades
de Montréal (Apr. 10) courtesy of the Ottawa International Chamber
Music Festival. Get ready for you night on the town with manicure
and pedicure kits from Amope! You can listen to the fantastic new album
House of Many Rooms by Laila Biali while you try out your
new Dafni Hair Straightening Brush. Toast your night out with a
bottle of Amazing Wine from Savvy. There’s no better way to end your
night out than with a morning in. We’re giving you a new
Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker
to start the day off right!

love-localWho doesn’t love local? We sure do and we’ve put together some of
the best of what Ottawa has to offer. We’ll start you off with a slew of CDs
(and one vinyl) from lots of fantastic local musicians including: Moonfruits,
The Peptides, Monday I Retire, John Allaire, Lynne Hanson,
Harea Band and so much more! Also, love local early this holiday season
with two tickets to Handel’s Messiah (Dec. 18) performed by local choir
Seventeen Voyces and Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra. Ottawa’s
top local movie house The Mayfair has two movie tickets for you and
why not visit the House of Targ across the street for a pierogi dinner.
Stay for some pinball! Take in either the Aviation Museum
or Agriculture Museum with a 2 for 1 pass. We’ve also got some SENS
merch and CHIN Radio swag to give you and wear your local love
with a tee from LIVE! on Elgin. Local authors have added to the mix
with the new book The Other Side of Reason by David B. Gibson and
Ottawa Food: A Hungry Capital by Don Chow and Jennifer Lim. We’ve got
some issues of Ottawa Life to add to that reading list. Oh yeah, did we
mentioned we’re throwing in a gift pack
of our favorite local BEAU’S brews?

ALL three prize packs will continue a jar of tasty Nutella!

1) Contest commences 12 a.m. EST on Thursday December 1, 2016 and ends at noon,Friday December 16, 2016.
2) No purchase necessary.
3) The are three prize packages available to be won with only one pack per person. Prize must be accepted as awarded, without substitution and are not convertible to cash. Prize packs are subject to change.
4) The contest is open only to residents of the National Capital Region that over 18 years of age. Employees of Ottawa Life Magazine, or any of their affiliates, or any of their respective advertising and promotional agencies or contest organizations, or persons with whom any of such employees are domiciled is not eligible to enter. Decisions of the contest organizers and their representatives are final. The odds of being selected depend upon the total number of entries received.
4a) The winner will be contacted via email or number provided on December 16th. By entering the contest the winner agrees that they are in compliance with the contest rules and acceptance of the prize as awarded. By entering this contest entrants release Ottawa Life Magazine, contest organizers, their affiliates, officers, directors, employees, agents and representatives from all claims, demands, damages, liabilities, costs and expenses relating to the administration of the contest and use of the prize, including without limitation, personal injury, death, property damage, loss, accident or misfortune relating to all aspects of the contest, including without limitation, the administration thereof and the use of the prize.
5) Ottawa Life staff will vote on entrants on December 16th and three will be chosen. The first place chosen will get to select which package they would like first, the second would choose from the remaining two and the third would be given the package that is left.  To win, the selected entrant must comply with these contest rules.
6) The contest is subject to applicable federal, provincial and municipal laws and is void where prohibited.
7) The participants, by entering the contest and the winner, by accepting the prize, consent to the use of their name and/or photograph or other likeness in any publicity carried out by the contest organizers without compensation.
8) Ottawa Life Magazine Inc. or their designated representative will make a maximum of two (2) attempts to contact selected entrant by email or phone (using the information provided at the time of entry) within 24 hours of contest end date. Should we not be able to reach them another entrant will be selected.
9) Ottawa Life Magazine Inc. reserves the right, in their sole and absolute discretion, and without prior notice, to adjust any of the dates and/or time frames stipulated in these Rules, to the extent necessary, for purposes of verifying compliance by any entrant or Entry with these Rules, or as a result of technical problems, or in light of any other circumstances which, in the opinion of Ottawa Life Magazine Inc., in their sole and absolute discretion, affect the proper administration of the Contest as contemplated in these Rules.

$1.5 Million Donation Bolsters Ottawa Art Gallery Expansion

November 30, 2016 12:01 pm
$1.5 Million Donation Bolsters Ottawa Art Gallery Expansion


The Ottawa Art Gallery is celebrating its largest private donation to its Art Now-L’art ici Capital Campaign. On Tuesday night, John and Jennifer Ruddy announced they are donating $1.5 million from their Trinity Development Foundation. The money will go towards the OAG’s new gallery, which will be located at 50 Mackenzie King Bridge and is scheduled to open in Fall 2017.


“We are happy to support the Ottawa Art Gallery Expansion, for what will be a game changing building for our community,” said John Ruddy, Executive Chairman of Trinity Development Group. “We believe that the arts are an important aspect of any thriving community and we are proud to have a hand in helping to keep the Ottawa Art Gallery active and vibrant for years to come.”

The exterior of the OAG Expansion will be named the John Ruddy Cube. The new OAG is currently under construction just next door to its present location. With the new addition, the gallery will expand to more than 80 000 square feet. It will house a 250 seat multipurpose and multidisciplinary screening space that will be home to the Canadian Film Institute. In addition, there will be a changing exhibition gallery, a permanent collection gallery, a studio for workshops, a café, a gallery shop for visitors, and a new dedicated gallery space for the Firestone Collection of Canadian Art.


The expansion will also include a private sector mixed use residential complex and a boutique hotel.

To date, $5.1 million has been raised by the Capital Campaign committee for the OAG expansion. The donations will fund both the expansion construction costs as well as future OAG programming and exhibitions.

Ashcroft Homes Announces Key Sparks Street Development in the Heart of the Capital

11:47 am
Ashcroft Homes Announces Key Sparks Street Development in the Heart of the Capital

It was over a decade ago, back in 2006 that Ashcroft Homes began discussions with the National Capital Commission (NCC) about developing a prime Sparks Street property, one block south of Parliament Hill.

The RESIDENCES project was finally announced October 26, 2016 as Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, Ashcraft Homes President David Choo and several other dignitaries gathered at development   location site between Sparks and Queen Streets, west of Metcalfe Street. The project was supposed to begin in December 2011 with completion anticipated for 2013 but negotiations with the NCC proved slow. Some of the delays came during the application process in applying for the multitude of development permits required by the NCC. The NCC is tasked with   maintaining the heritage status of many of the Sparks Street properties.


The RESIDENCES plan is impressive and should be completed in 2018. It includes both a 6 story and a 16 story building with 110 luxury rental suites for weekly, monthly and yearlong stays and an additional 92 condominium units. The site will also have 6,000 square feet of retail space along Sparks Street.

2016_06_22_05_14_45_re_residences_exteriorAshcroft Homes President David Choo told attendees to the unveiling of the project that more than 70 per cent of the units have been pre-sold Choo noted that “This site has always been an iconic piece of Canadian real estate,” The NCC is hopeful that the development will contribute to the revitalization of   Sparks Street which has seen many stops and starts over the years.

Part of the reason for this has been the shared responsibility of the pedestrians’ street between PWGSC and the NCC who have often bickered over the vision for the street to the dismay of many in the capital. In recent years however, this bickering seems to have come to an end with several high profile projects moving forward on the famous street.

Grey Cup Win Caps off Nissan’s Titan Rally

November 29, 2016 7:04 pm
Grey Cup Win Caps off Nissan’s Titan Rally

A collection of journalists and CFL players gathered for the wrap-up of Nissan’s Rally of the Titans. Third from left is Neil Moore, standing next to Argos kicker Lirim Hajrullahu.

I may be an automotive scribe, but can write competently on many things.

The exception being pro sports.

This requires a level of dedication, love for trivia, and savant-like retention of player and team minutia that I never could muster.

So, when Nissan invited me to a Grey Cup-inspired event, bringing together CFL fans with their full-size Titan pickups, I wasn’t sure how to cover it.

The Rally of the Titans began on November 12 – a cross-Canada convoy of 10 CFL-branded pickups, their teams squaring off in a series of local challenges from a polar bear dip to Habitat for Humanity build.

Participants were divided into East versus West, two squads of “brand ambassadors” captained by TSN sports personalities, simultaneously leaving Vancouver and St. John’s, Newfoundland. They passed through more than 88 communities, converging in Toronto for the 104th Grey Cup.

Which is where we joined them and a handful of CFL players for a football skills challenge.

What’s the connection between Nissan trucks and football?


Auto journalist Neil Moore and Argos kicker Lirim Hajrullahu strategize during Nissan’s football skills challenge.

According to marketing director Steve Rhind, CFL fans buy a lot of pickups. League support tends to skew west – a strong truck market – and with Grey Cup being in the top three sporting events in Canada, this Ottawa Redblacks overtime victory ensured plenty of eyes on the Titan.

Around 5 million pairs, if the 2015 viewership stats have held steady.

Nissan has been the CFL’s official vehicle provider for 10 years, but also supports football at the high school level. The Kickoff Project has helped fund and equip school programs to the tune of $435,000 over the past three years, and in 2016 will benefit nearly 1,200 students from 26 schools in 24 cities coast-to-coast.

Indeed, the connection is solid, but up until Sunday’s nailbiter, Canadian football hasn’t been on my radar.

Yet the idea of tossing around the pigskin with some of this sport’s finest was intriguing.

My day began in the cold November drizzle, on the back-campus fields near University of Toronto’s Hart House. A handful of players were on hand, with Argonaut kicker Lirim Hajrullahu my team mate for the challenge.


We began with a 40-yard dash – metric not welcome in this sport – followed by an agility exercise, and then punting. I fared well in the first two, but wasn’t going to stand in the way of Lirim exercising his craft.

He then coached me in running an effective play, positioning us well to win the competition.

His first throw was long, but I went for it anyway. The combination of my backwards summersault on the wet field, followed by a perfectly-caught second pass all but ensured our victory.

The event wrapped up with some good-natured ribbing, and a realization, at least among the players, that their jobs were safe. For now.

big-joeMy takeaway is that Nissan has hitched its wagon not only to a sports organization that is uniquely Canadian, but one that is approachable. And if you believe the fans, more exciting than the American competition.

Not a bad message to send when you’re up against the domestic brands, who have been building trucks – and loyalty – for decades longer.

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