As the leaves began to slip into their autumnal shades in September of 1988, Ottawa’s artists won a years-long battle to secure their city a municipal art gallery of its very own. Built with the hopes of showcasing the unique energy and voices of the local artistic scene, the Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG) has, in the two decades since its founding, upheld its advocacy and celebration of municipal talent with an ever-changing roster of exhibits. An ongoing lineup of interactive programs and events cultivates a community of art lovers and sparks cultural discussions. Meanwhile, kids' art camps bolster the creativity of local youngsters and the egos of any cryogenically defrosted Monets in attendance. The OAG also houses the Firestone Collection of Canadian Art, a compendium of upward of 1,600 homegrown masterpieces from the modern period featuring celebrated artists including Emily Carr, Jack Shadbolt, and Paul-Émile Borduas.
The artisans at Framing & Art Centre love a challenge. With 25 years of experience in the field and a workshop updated with efficient framing machinery, they take on any framing project with confidence. Hockey jerseys and ticket stubs find homes in custom shadowboxes, and paintings and photographs retain their brightness with the help of acid-free matting and UV-resistant glazes. For those unsure of what style frame they want, Framing & Art Centre's artisans are happy to offer suggestions and collaborate on the final design.
Framing for more than 45 years, Koyman's skilled custom framing team wraps flat valuables such as limited edition prints, photos, diplomas, and memorabilia in high-quality frames. Photo protectors can outfit 8'x10' ($60+), 11"x14" ($95+), and 16"x20" ($110+) family portraits in a basic frame, or guard cherished grass clippings behind an upgraded frame with nonglare glass ($77+). For premium frames ($119+), carefully constructed matting weaves around awards and watercolour paintings as it inflates the outer edge to dimensions up to 22"x26". Expert art consultants stand by at the ready to make suggestions on the best ways to reframe existing artwork damaged from continued use as a frisbee.
DNA 11 is the leading producer of DNA portraits, a truly personalized form of art based on each patron's unique genetic makeup. The process begins with you choosing your style, color, or additional options for your custom work of art. Additional options such as a duplicate DNA mini portrait ($99), a high-resolution digital download ($50), or the addition of your signature ($50) cost extra. After checkout, you'll wait a few days for a DNA-collection kit and instructions to arrive at your address so you can provide a small genetic sample (painlessly taken with a sterilized cheek swab included in the conveniently mailed kit). When you ship the DNA sample back in a pre-addressed envelope from the kit, an authentic DNA image will be generated in a genetic lab. After the DNA is captured for a perfect, raw digital image, the sample is destroyed.
Little Ray's Reptile Zoo is a grand hotel for cold-blooded critters overseen by animal enthusiasts Paul "Little Ray" Goulet and his wife Sheri Goulet. At their new location in Hamilton, they host one of the largest sanctuaries in Ontario for unwanted reptiles. Meanwhile, the renovated Ottawa location features 25 permanent exhibits, a nature centre, and a hands-on room. Born from the joy Little Ray experienced sharing his personal collection of reptiles with school children, the zoo now encompasses a variety of exhibits and daily feeding demonstrations showcasing more than 150 animals.
The expert staff—which has trained keepers at other animal facilities on proper husbandry and correct presentation—safely introduces visitors to the animals which include giant snakes, tarantulas, and more. The zoo is open daily for corporate groups, birthday parties, and everyday animal lovers to tour the reptile environs and educational displays. The reptile zoo hosts large private-party and function rooms and a jungle spa where pythons receive hydrating wraps to combat scaly skin.
The Mud Oven gives amateur artisans the chance to design and paint their own ceramic pieces, with an array of mugs ($19–$25), plates ($18–$32), individual-serving-sized bowls ($18–$26), mixing bowls ($28–$62), and more. Begin your ceramics-styling journey by choosing one of The Mud Oven's earthenware offerings, and then sit down to design and paint the piece. If you're at a loss for inspiration, the studio's staff of pottery whisperers is happy to translate the clay-based concoction's unspoken desires into the realms of colour and form. Go-getter businesspersons may wish to express appreciation for an eventual raise by painting a wine goblet for their CEO, while recently returned-from-orbit astronauts can log their dialogues with the stars on the surface of a salad plate. Once guests have designed and painted their pottery, The Mud Oven staff will glaze and fire it in the studio's onsite kiln, allowing patrons to return for their finished pieces in five days. Rush orders can be met for additional costs.