Archive for ottawa

Did you vote?

Posted in Thoughts with tags , , , , , on October 26, 2010 by Mitch Leuraner

I did – though I was disappointed by the results.

But what really stood out for me last night was not the results of the election – it was the ease with which I was able to cast my ballot.  This is the first time I’ve had the opportunity to vote in an Ottawa Municipal election, and I have to say that it was done better than any election I have ever participated in.  And since I had moved in the last few years, I wasn’t even on the voter list!

The Federal and Provincial election people should take note.


How many cities have one of Pauta Saila’s dancing bears?

Posted in Finds, Thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 15, 2010 by Mitch Leuraner

I lived in Windsor for a long time before coming to Ottawa, and one of my favorite things about Windsor is the Odette Sculpture Park that runs forever along the Detroit River. Actually, most of the sculptures are horrid – it’s the park itself that I like.

Windsor's "Dancing Bear" | Source:

In any case, where the park starts (near the University of Windsor campus) there is a sculpture by Pauta Saila called “Dancing Bear“.  I remember it clearly because I had girlfriend that really liked it.

Fine. Fast forward a whole whack of years and here I am in Ottawa.

Last week, I had the pleasure of walking around the Market on one of the only days that the weather was actually agreeable. And what did I stumble across?

Another “Dancing Bear“!!

And not just any dancing bear, but one apparently created by Pauta Saila!

How many of these bears are there? And do both cities know about the doppelganger bears?

Honestly, I prefer my art to be of the one-of-a-kind variety.  I don’t think it is fair to make copies of a piece that everyone likes, and then shop it around.

It’s too hot to blog

Posted in Random, Thoughts with tags , , , , , on July 7, 2010 by Mitch Leuraner


I don’t like heat.  It makes me irritable and extremely impatient.  Worst of all, it makes my very – very – lazy.  I simply don’t want to do anything. Not even write.

Our fair city

Posted in Finds, Random, Thoughts with tags , , , , , on April 25, 2010 by Mitch Leuraner

I really like Ottawa. For all the complaining I do about city leadership decisions, and as much as I miss the overwhelming power of ‘real‘ big cities, I’m still glad that I ended up here.

I spent some time sitting by, and wandering around, Dow’s Lake today. My plan was to just relax with some music, a book, and enjoy the distraction of runners, walkers and rollers.  As it turned out, I didn’t get any reading done at all.  As soon as I found a bench and sat down, I noticed the gently rolling water, the immaculate shoreline, the birds, the trees, the sun giving the lake an electric sparkle, and all the people enjoying one last day in the sun before returning to five days of office life. I forgot all about my book and spent my time taking wholly inadequate pictures with my phone. (You can see the rest on my Facebook profile.)

Other cities have other rivers, other canals, other lakes – but none of them are like ours. Ottawa’s outdoor life is distinctly Ottawa; it’s conservative, subdued, and definitely understated. It doesn’t have extremes of height, flatness, or vastness. But if you stop for a moment and really let it surround you, it can be as beautiful as any part of Canada.

Oh, and just as buggy too.

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Ottawa “only” the second worst city for arts funding, Calgary hits new low

Posted in Aggravations, Random, Thoughts with tags , , , , , , on April 14, 2010 by Mitch Leuraner

An Ottawa City Council committee is reportedly going to hear on Thursday about how the city spent $6.08 per person on arts and festivals in 2008. This is supposedly an improvement over the $3.64 per person that was reported for 2005, and brings Ottawa ahead of Calgary’s $5.45 per person. Of course Ottawa is still behind Vancouver, Montreal, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Toronto.

Great. So the nation’s capital, the city that should be setting the bar for everyone else, is one step from the bottom? And we should celebrate because, incredibly, that is an improvement!?

Before you get too excited, this ‘improvement’ is apparently the product of a 2007 arts investment strategy that city council adopted – a strategy that runs out this year. So council gets to decide if it wants to renew the program.

According to CBC, Councillor Diane Deans is in favour of the program… but what about the rest of council?