Canada Day in Kanata (2013) – Fireworks and Stage Show

Canada Day in Kanata (2013)  – Fireworks and Stage Show

My original plan was to head downtown to the Parliament Buildings for the daytime activities and then return to Kanata for the night time fireworks and stage show. That plan was shortened to just the Kanata portion. Weather was perfect and the number of mosquitoes per person was quite low. At first, I thought that, this year, I might like to head to the top of the toboggan hill and shoot the fireworks from that vantage point but, by the time that I got to the hill and looked at all of those people enjoying the stage show, I decided that I would make too many people upset if I tried to gently tip-toe around everyone on the hill.


This year’s stage show starred the Canadian Juno award winning band “Trooper” with vocalist Ra McGuire, guitarist Brian Smith, bass player Scott Brown, keyboardist GoGo and drummer Clayton Hill. The folks on the hill were certainly enjoying the show and really reacted with enthusiasm to the group’s playing of “Raise A Little Hell”.

RON_4199-Ra-McGuire  RON_4201-Ra-McGuire

RON_4195-Brian-Smith  RON_4215-Brian-Smith-guitar


It is always interesting when the performers decide to take their own photos. When keyboardist GoGo pulled out his Apple iPad mini and began photographing too, I just had to capture the moment.


After that he was back on the keyboard playing solo while the other members of the band got a moment to catch their breath.

RON_4223-GoGO  RON_4228-GoGo

A quick walk over to the amusement grounds and then I was back to the pond in time for the first volley of fireworks.

RON_4234-Polar-Express  RON_4244-Gazebo

Since I had changed many of my camera settings to photograph the previous night time images, I ran into a few problems for the first few volleys of fireworks. Everything worked a lot better once I realized that I had the camera delay timer on.

RON_4258-Fireworks RON_4259-Fireworks

RON_4261-Fireworks RON_4266-Fireworks

RON_4271-Fireworks RON_4272-Fireworks

All too soon the fireworks display was over for another Canada Day and off we went to home.

RON_4254-Fireworks  RON_4265-Fireworks

Happy Canada Day from Kanata, Ontario

Canada Day’s coming – Planning for Fireworks displays

Canada Day’s coming – Planning for Fireworks displays

Today, among other things, I’m actually thinking ahead and trying to decide where to go to photograph Canada Day fireworks. I’ve decided not to go to downtown Ottawa this year for the fireworks so that leaves something closer to home. Choices include Walter Baker Park, Kanata, or Stittsville although there are probably other choices as well. I’ve often photographed the fire works at Kanata but normally from the soccer field level. This year, just for something different, I might go to the top of the toboggan hill instead. One thing is for certain though, I expect the mosquitoes to be out in force considering all of the rain that the Kanata area has had in the past few weeks!

Planning for Canada Day 2013

Fireworks tutorial – things to think about.

Planning for Canada Day 2013

Planning for Canada Day 2013

I haven’t decided what I will be trying to photograph this weekend yet. I guess, it depends a lot on the weather forecast for the Ottawa area, which at the moment, looks like hot and sunny for most of the weekend. Right now (Friday), it is raining outside my window and has been doing that all day, so one never knows too far in advance what changes the weather can force on the best-made plans at this time of the year.

Last Year (2012), I decided to stay close to home and went to the fireworks and stage show in Kanata, Ontario.

The previous year (2011), I headed into the sea of red in downtown Ottawa to see the royal couple(Kate and Will) and their entourage of black cars and then headed back out to Kanata to listen to Sloan and to photograph the Kanata fireworks.

This year it looks like either place will have a pretty good line-up of entertainment so the final decision will be a tough one.

RON_3699-Canada-Day RON_3698-Canada-Day-poster-

Canada Day in Kanata 2013

The following is extracted from Marianne Wilkinson’s Kanata North Ward Newsletter

Once again the Canada Day in Kanata team has been organizing a wonderful day, full of activities, for everyone in the family, from seniors down to little ones. On the site at Walter Baker Park and the parking lot of the Kanata Recreation Complex there will be a range of attractions, from a midway to a free yoga class at 10:00 a.m. to musical acts on the main stage all day from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., ending with a spectacular fireworks show at 10:00 p.m.

Seniors are invited to begin their day with a breakfast especially for you in the Kanata Recreation Complex, 100 Walter Baker Place from 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. (OOPS! Correction – Try the beer tent instead of the complex)

Young children will enjoy the bouncies in the Kanata Montessori School Family Fun Zone, and a puppet show at 11:30 a.m. on the Hazeldean Mall Gazebo Stage.

Ry Guy Magic is performing at 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. on the Hazeldean Mall Gazebo Stage.

Over on the main stage, the day starts with the Doghouse Villains, who have teamed up with Soldier On which provides resources and opportunities for serving and retired Canadian Forces personnel with a visible or non-visible injury or illness to participate in physical, recreational or sporting activities.

Various other acts perform on the main stage all afternoon, with the opening ceremonies at 5:00 p.m. A guitar, donated by Trooper, will be raffled at 8:00 p.m., and Trooper will finish the musical part of the day from 8:30 – 10:00 p.m.

Apart from the midway, all these activities are provided free of charge. However, the Canada Day in Kanata committee really needs your help, so plan to bring a donation.

Drop by my tent while you are on site to receive a maple leaf tattoo and purchase a Time Capsule for $20 for the Richcraft Recreation Complex Kanata. You will receive information with suggestions about mementoes you can place in your numbered capsule. You will receive a certificate, with your capsule number which can be used by your descendants to claim the capsule when the vault in the complex is opened in 2063.

The Canada Day in Kanata team strives to bring a green carbon neutral event to the community. Plan to walk, bike or ride the bus (for free on Canada Day) as there is no parking on site. Bring your own water bottles and recycle in the appropriate bins conveniently located throughout the site.

Whatever I decide to do, if fireworks are involved, I better remember to read our MPT Fireworks tutorial again!  It’s been a year since I photographed fireworks and I’ve probably forgotten a few things, like I do each year  :-).

Time to get out and wave the flag!

Canadian Flag

Winterlude 2012 – National Capital Commission – Ottawa/Gatineau

Winterlude 2012 – National Capital Commission – Ottawa/Gatineau

Today marks the first day of The National Capital Commission winter festival, “Winterlude”.

Where: Ottawa, Ontario & Gatineau, Quebec (former Hull, Quebec). During the period of festivities there are activities in many locations but the primary locations are at Confederation Park (Ice Sculptures and Ice Carving), Jacques Cartier Park (Children’s snow slides) and along the Rideau Canal between Wellington Street and Dow’s Lake.

When: dawn to dusk and later each day from February 3rd, 2012 until closing on February 20th, 2012. During that period of time, Graeme and I will be attending various events and posting photos on our website.

Tonight, February 3rd: photo opportunity for fireworks near the Alexandra Bridge at about 9PM (location)

Lots of detailed information is available at the National Capital Commission’s Official Winterlude Website.

A year in review – 2011

A year in review – 2011

It’s a damp, cold and drizzly day outside (December 13, 2011 – Kanata, Ontario – +3C and forecast for freezing drizzle overnight) so I decided to start our year end review a bit early (will add to edit through December and then will do final update Jan 1st!)

Flickr photo views – I passed the 700,000 views level this year in my Flickr account so between Graeme and I, we expect our individual on-line photo views to pass the one million mark sometime in 2012. Might already have passed that mark if we count in previous discontinued accounts that Graeme and I have had in pBase or Nikonians galleries.

MegaPixelTravel blog – when we started the MPT blog in the Fall of 2010, we thought that we were being a bit optimistic when we projected that we might see 30,000 to 35,000 views in our first year. When we passed the 50,000 mark with ease in 2011, we were both happy and surprised and very appreciative of all of the nice feedback that we received.

Geographic distribution of visitors to our MPT site – we don’t specifically track visitors to the MPT site itself but I do have a counter on my (Ron’s) profile page  In 2011, that counter rolled past the 2900 count for unique visitors from 78 different countries. Visitors to that specific page have included individuals from all of Canada’s provinces and all of the United States except Delaware.

I think that the most interesting photo of ours that has appeared in a commercial publication this year is this shot of garter snakes emerging in the springtime from their underground dens in Manitoba’s Interlake country. The Narcisse area is alive with snakes in early May of each year (LOCATION) and I am happy that John Wiley and Sons chose this image for their publication: Frommer’s Far & Wide: A Weekly Guide to Canada’s Best Travel Experiences which is available through or as well as many other locations.

Exploring the world of film:
I continue to stick with the still image world while, in 2011, Graeme has expanded his interests in the world of film. I’m rather fond of my star role in Graeme’s short clip of the roof opening on the Volvo C70 while Graeme is certainly happy with the success of other film work that he has been involved with in 2011 including, most recently, his work with the Digi60 Ottawa Film Festival.

Travel and Events:
Traveling in 2011 was a bit curtailed for a variety of reasons but we were still able to travel to many interesting locations and photograph many interesting places and events both at home and abroad. It has given us a lot of pleasure to share images and stories from those travels and events through our MegaPixelTravel website. Some of the highlights.
Polar Bear dips in the Ottawa River and Cycling in Florida in January.
– In February,  Old Montreal on a cold Sunday morning and an NHL hockey game in Ottawa.
Stowe, Vermont in March with a Super Moon event to add a bit of excitement at home.
Syracuse, NY in April
Tulip time and Ottawa’s Tulip Festival in May
– June got rather hectic with everything from participation in a breeding bird survey in Northern Ontario, to Graeme’s presentation at the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, to participation in the Juvenile Diabetes Society Foundation Walk, to the photographing of the Ottawa Bicycle Club’s Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour
– July featured the Will & Kate show in Ottawa (a.k.a. Royal Visit), plenty of fireworks, Noctilucent clouds, a real wedding in the Kingdom of Osgoode, an exciting re-enactment in Ogdensburg, NY, and adventures on a bus tour through Italy.
– In August it was some astrophotography for Graeme and a Fort Niagara visit for Ron.
– September was a bit subdued.
– October opened with the excitement of the Annual Butterfly Show at Carleton University, included the drummers and dancers of Remic Rapids and featured the many colours of Fall.
– November was a great time to wander the local trails and feed the Chickadees.
– December isn’t over yet but already Christmas lights and seasonal decorations in Toronto, Ottawa and Upper Canada Village are the theme.

Seasons Greetings to everyone and hope Santa knows what you want!

Fireworks in Kanata – Canada Day 2011

It was an interesting way to spend Canada Day.  First, there was the not so easy task of milling around Parliament Hill trying to see and then maybe photograph royalty.  Then I returned to Kanata and enjoyed listening to and photographing the Nova Scotia group, “Sloan” and now as nightfall came I was setting up to capture a few of the fireworks  images.

Continue reading

What’s in the news this week? Mail Delivery Resumes, Royals Visit Canada, Fireworks, Fireworks and More Fireworks.

Some royal visitors are coming to Canada and spending Canada Day in the Nation’s capital (an understatement!). Their arrival should completely clog up the streets of downtown Ottawa on July 1st (Canada Day) and add to the party mood that normally engulfs the city. Expect a good fireworks display! Weather forecast looks very promising!

The above image was from the days of the Tulip Festival. See the other side of the artwork (the Kiss) here.


The Government has announced the details of itinerary for the visit on the govt’s website: Itinerary for 2011 Royal Tour.

For Ottawa, the details are as follows (subject to change so check the official site for any last minute changes)
Continue reading

The big bang theory of fireworks watching!

If you stand downwind from a fireworks display you get smoke in your eyes and the sound is louder. There are other words of advice and things to think about in our on-line Fireworks Tutorial but let’s just say that we don’t always follow our own advice.

We arrived late on the scene and didn’t have much time to pick our locations, so I suggested to Graeme that he cross over Carling Avenue and stand on the other side of the street closer to where we thought that the launch site would be. The gusting wind was coming straight at our faces!

The shot below gives an idea of how close he was. Graeme was one of the folks standing on the other side of the street. Bits of falling fireworks debris was landing all around him. A movie will follow once he has time to process the file.

Fireworks and Smoke.

As mentioned in my other post for the May 23rd fireworks on Carling Avenue, Graeme and I arrived late and ended up being downwind from the fireworks launch point. Not ideal for photography but an interesting experience especially when the smoke came across at ground level. I started off pointing the camera at the higher level burst but then decided to focus on the lower level action especially when the smoke rolled across Carling Avenue.

Continue reading

Backyard Fireworks

My middle son purchased a box of fireworks to set off in the field behind our house. As soon as it stopped raining, he decided to head out through the wet grass in the dark with me and my tripod following behind. In my Fireworks Tutorial, I suggest that a flashlight is a useful item to bring along so that you can see your camera settings better and find black lens caps in the dark, etc. Of course, I didn’t bring a flashlight but otherwise followed all of my tutorial rules. I had never tried to photograph the backyard-style of fireworks before so this was a new experience for me. First difference between the backyard variety and the public displays is that you have no idea how high each of the shots will go. Since there tends to be only one of each kind of fireworks per box, you don’t get a second chance. This is what the box got us.

The first shot didn’t go very high so ended up looking more like a Star Wars light sabre than a fire works display.

Continue reading