Tag Archives: winter solstice ottawa 2011

Winter Solstice Celebration, Ottawa?

I’ve wondered for a few years now why a Winter Solstice celebration hasn’t emerged in Ottawa like it has in other places and I envy Toronto and Vancouver with their vibrant celebrations.
So, here we are, two days to go, and I’m wondering, could the following plan get retweeted enough on Twitter to make it happen? Up to you, Ottawa, let’s see …
Here’s the idea – starting at 7:00PM on Winter Solstice (that’s Thursday, Dec. 22 this year), a moving column of light along Scott Street, by the transit way, from the Tunney’s Pasture station to the Westboro station.
How? Get yourself, and some friends and family too, if possible, to either station at that time, with whatever you’ve got to light up the night – lanterns, flashing bike lights, glow stix, etc., and move out onto Scott Street in the direction of the other station, till you meet up with the group doing the same thing from the other station! Got a nice portable noisemaker? Bring it!
So then what? Well, you can either head into Westboro or Hintonburg to warm up at your choice of many fine restaurants and bars or simply (and easily!) get back on a bus and head downtown or elsewhere to continue your celebration, or just be done.
It’s pretty simple. And I think it would be pretty awesome.
Ottawa, it’s in your court now …

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Winter Solstice Ottawa – Update & Appeal

My last post shared my annoyance that a sub-committee at work used “Celebrate the Winter Solstice” to advertise a film screening having nothing whatsoever to do with the solstice. I’m pleased to report that a few e-mails and a phone conversation, expressing my conviction that a true solstice celebration would focus on the seasonal event and be an actual form of celebration, have produced some positive results –

I was asked for ideas and assistance in helping the group to host a more relevant Winter Solstice Celebration in future years!

So now I need to get busy with some ideas, bearing in mind that it’s a workplace event and likely confined to the lunch hour, however, the invitation will extend to roughly 5,000 employees! I’ll let you know how things develop …

But, back to the wider Ottawa community:

Judging by my blog hits over the past few weeks, many people in Ottawa are seeking a way to celebrate the solstice but, at this time, our community offers little in providing a way for people to come together to celebrate this event.

It’s up to those of us who want a community event to make it happen in future years …

How about a lantern procession to light up the darkest night, with workshops in preceding weeks, at various public locations, so people can make a unique and colourful lantern for solstice night?

The lantern procession – maybe along Somerset West and Preston, with access from all directions – Chinatown, Wellington West, Carling Avenue and the transitway at Scott Street – and ending at Plouffe Park, adjacent to the Plant Bath, on Preston, or perhaps greenspace at Dow’s Lake?

Maybe some mummers, drummers, fire-eaters or who-knows-what to liven things up?

People could fan out afterward to continue their celebration at a wide array of nearby restaurants and bars or at private celebrations elsewhere.

A key aspect would be to keep it in the hands of the people – city involvement that of helpful assistance only – with universal determination of planners and participants that it be free, distinct from competing holiday events and devoid of commerciality.

What would you like to see as a solstice celebration in Ottawa? Or wherever you are?
Care to collaborate on a 2011 event?
Leave a comment!