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International Polar Year

August 3, 2008

Ottawa, Canada:

We have a full day of activities planned today, including a special tour of the new Sàmi and Inuit Art Exhibit at the National Gallery of Canada, a visit to Parliament Hill, and a late afternoon of activities and exercises on the grounds of Rideau Hall, home to the Governor General of Canada.
Photo by Lee Narraway

Photo by Lee Narraway

Late night update!

We are not sure it is possible to pack more into one day in Ottawa than the SOI Expedition team did today!

After a hearty breakfast at the Carleton Commons, the team boarded buses and it was off to Canada's Parliament Hill for a morning tour. The Parliament Building's Centre Block is dominated by the 295 ft tall Peace Tower, which commemorates the nearly 67,000 Canadians killed in WWI.

The team watched the changing of the guards, explored the grounds, posed with statues of former Prime Ministers and gathered around the Centennial Flame for the first - and certainly not the last - group picture of the expedition!

After Parliament Hill, the team made their way down Sussex Drive via the Rideau Canal's lock system beside the Ottawa River to the extraordinary National Gallery of Canada. At the NGC students and staff were given access to the new Sámi and Inuit Exhibition - In the Shadow of the Midnight Sun: Sámi and Inuit Art 2000–2005. This exhibition presents over 70 important works by artists from Canada, Norway, Sweden and Finland.
Photo by Lee Narraway

Linda Mackey, our Expedition's Landscape Artist, briefed the students about northern art and highlighted things that we are likely to see on our expedition. She also spoke to students about art as a form of expression including how every piece and person has a story to tell. SOI will also have a very famous Inuit artist on board the ship named Jolly Atagooyuk from Pangnirtung. Jolly will teach the students the art of print making.

After visiting the gallery, it was outside again for a nice walk over to the Governor General of Canada's residence - a huge, sprawling estate - with gardens, fields, music, and an active cricket pitch! The team broke up into various groups with chaperones. Some played frisbee, some toured the grounds, some listened to a concert in the park, and some appeared to doze under some weeping willows after so much walking.

Photo by Lee Narraway

At 5:00 PM it was back on the buses and off to Carleton for another delicious dinner and an hour of free time before our final big pre-expedition briefing!

The students who joined us today introduced themselves and told us a bit about why they are participating in the expedition. We also had the opportunity to meet some of the education team members who flew in earlier today.

Diz Glithero, Students on Ice Education Director, led a fabulous talk about Youth Activism and the importance of getting involved with our community which really fired up the team!

Finally, Expedition Leader Geoff Green briefed the team about tomorrow's events and about our flight north and exciting day in Iqauit!
Photo by Lee Narraway

Stay Tuned for Further Updates!


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Natural Heritage Building
1740 chemin Pink
Gatineau, QC J9J 3N7 CANADA