Monday, 13 October 2008

Art in Ottawa - story for Ottawa Regional Tourism

There is an art to every Ottawa trip
It is Roger Rabbit. It is 50. It is 100. It is timeless beauty

Toronto, September 6, 2008 – There is always something artistic happening in Ottawa. Depending on one’s taste, this fall you can spend an animated weekend in Ottawa being Goofy (and Porky and Bullwinkle), plus you can see how photographers snap the moment, and, admire the traditional beauty of sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

The Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF) is one of the world’s leading cartoon events providing first class screenings, exhibits, workshops and entertainment for both the entertainment industry and visitors alike. This annual festival is one of the biggest of its kind and attracts artists, production executives, students and fans into the city September 17 – 21, 2008 in Ottawa.

Visitors are welcome to take part in many of the festival’s activities. Staged at the Chateau Laurier in downtown Ottawa, the OIAF has a number of public screenings of both new, experimental and classic animations. There will be over 100 animated films screened at the Festival including the latest from Oscar nominee Bill Plympton, as well as Fear[s] Of The Dark - a Twilight Zone-like anthology feature of surreal tales of phobias by six international animator/directors,

Classic cartoon episodes with clips of favourite characters including Porky Pig, Felix the Cat, the Flintstones, Bugs Bunny and Bullwinkle can be seen at the screenings. There will also be a 20th anniversary screening of the breakthrough film Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, with its Oscar award winning animation director Richard Williams in attendance.

In addition to the screenings, there are also lectures, demonstrations and many evening parties, open to the general public. For more information visit Get Drawn In.

Many of the cartoons that will be shown at the Animation Festival hail from the 1950s. The theme for Festival X, Ottawa’s annual citywide photography festival, looks farther back in time.

The second annual Festival X -- -- which opens September 18th and runs until September 28th, is a photographic art celebration that will take place at art galleries, public buildings, and restaurants in Ottawa and Gatineau.
The theme for this year of X, the Decisive Moment, was chosen to celebrate the 100th anniversary of French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson’s birth. Cartier-Bresson stated that, “there is a creative fraction of a second when you are taking a picture. Your eye must see a composition or an expression that life itself offers you, and you must know with intuition when to click the camera. That is the moment the photographer is creative.”

On view at the National Gallery -- -- from November 28, 2008 to March 8, 2009, is the exhibition Bernini and the Birth of Baroque Portrait Sculpture. Four hundred years ago, Italian born sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini was redefining portrait sculptures, and he made a name for himself carving the likenesses of popes and saints.

In partnership with the J. Paul Getty Museum, the National Gallery will host an international exhibition that explores the remarkable development of the sculptural portrait in early 17th century Rome. An exhibition on this topic has never been mounted before; the level of virtuosity displayed by Bernini and others in his sphere in coaxing such a rendering from the intractable medium of stone is astonishing.

The National Gallery of Canada is home to the most important collections of historical and contemporary Canadian art in the world. In addition, it has pre-eminent collections of Inuit, Western and European Art from the 14th to the 21st century, American and Asian Art, as well as drawings and photography. Created in 1880, it is among the oldest of Canada’s national cultural institutions. For more information, visit

Tourists wanting information, tickets and lodging reservations can visit, a powerful website operated by Ottawa Tourism and supported by the region’s growing tourism industry.

Ottawa Tourism provides destination marketing, strategic direction and leadership in cooperation with members and partners to service the travel media and attract visitors, tours and conventions to Ottawa and Canada’s Capital Region. Its vision is to build recognition of Ottawa as an outstanding four-season tourism destination.

Cayman to sink US subtender

Wreck to be sunk at popular dive site - story written for

A 63-year old decommissioned US Naval vessel will soon be acquired by the government of the Cayman Islands and is slated to become Grand Cayman’s newest dive attraction. At a recent press briefing held in Toronto, Tourism, Environment, Investment and Commerce Minister Charles Clifford told Diver Magazine that he expects the USS Kittiwake to be sunk off the popular Seven Mile Beach in June, 2009.
Just a few days before speaking to Diver Mag, Minister Clifford signed an agreement on behalf of his government with the Cayman Islands Tourists Association. The agreement formalizes the government's plan to acquire the decommissioned naval ship in order to create a new dive site and give “desired relief for some of our frequently visited dive sites.”

For years the Tourist Association has been trying to acquire a US navy ship to sink off Grand Cayman. Spearheading the campaign to find and sink a ship is Canadian diver Nancy Easterbrook. Easterbrook runs Divetech, a popular dive operation in Grand Cayman and has been appointed the project manager for the sinking of the submarine tender.

In a recent government press release Easterbrook is quoted as saying, “The Kittiwake has been a labour of love and really hard work for over five years, but it is coming to fruition now. It will be transferred to government before year-end for cleaning and remediation, with an expected sinking date around June 2009.”

According to Minister Clifford, the dive industry in Cayman has already established where the vessel is going to be sunk. She will be put down onto a sand patch north of the capital city of Georgetown, off the Seven Mile Beach.

“We all look forward to seeing water-based tourism in Grand Cayman stimulated by this new underwater attraction, suitable for both divers and snorkelers,” said Easterbrook.

Built in 1945, USS Kittiwake (ASR-13), the ship is 251ft 4in (76.6m) long and 42 ft (12.8 meters) wide. During her service from 1946 to September 1994, the Kittiwake made numerous voyages between the east coast of the United States, the Caribbean and the Mediterranean in support of the American submarine fleet and to conduct rescue missions for the US Navy.

During her years of service, the official crest of the Kittiwake bore the twin images of a submarine and divers hardhat. Much loved by the thousands of sailors who served on her the vessel was often called the “Kitty Cat”. She carried a compliment of 102 officers and sailors and had two large 20 mm deck guns.

Recent dive travel short stories for Diver Magazine and

Above: the island of Nevis Below; Diver Travel News

ß The Nisbet Plantation Beach Club, once a favoured holiday retreat for Lady Di, and now a popular Nevis hotel for divers, is offering a $500 Airline Credit this fall. Nisbet Plantation Beach Club will reimburse hotel guests up to $500 toward the cost of their vacation. From October 10 through December 1, 2008 the Nevis property will apply a $500 credit at check out to help offset the cost of airfare. This 36-square-mile Caribbean island lies a couple miles south of St Kitts near the top of the Lesser Antilles archipelago.

ß The collapse of the UK's third largest package holiday group in September left hundreds of British divers stranded in the dive resort city of Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt and thousands more in England holding unusable tickets. A statement on the now bankrupt XL Leisure Group's website said the closure was “a result of volatile fuel prices, the economic downturn, and were unable to obtain further funding."

ß The 78-year old John G. Shedd Aquarium’s Oceanarium (dolphin and whale tanks) in Chicago is closed for renovation. For the next eight months, the aquarium’s seven beluga whales and four Pacific white-sided dolphins are being housed and displayed in the Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration. Mystic Aquarium, located in Mystic, Connecticut is the base for the famed oceanographer and explorer Dr. Robert Ballard - known best for his discovery of the RMS Titanic.

ß The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation is funding a mooring project aimed to protect the fragile coral reefs of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. This summer a number of permanent moorings were installed in key scuba diving areas of the sanctuary located 100 miles off the coast of Galveston, Texas, in the Gulf of Mexico. The underwater park is a no anchor zone, these moorings that allow boats less than 100 feet long, to tie up and access the sanctuary. Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary