We Have Museum Passes!

We have a wonderful new option available at our library for patrons…..museum passes!  Now you can come in, take out a museum pass for one of several great Ottawa and Ottawa area museums, and use them to get into the museum for free!  Each pass is a little different, but they’ll make family outings a breeze!

Museum passes

Here’s how they work. Come to the library to pick up one of the passes (or call us and reserve a pass—it must be picked up that day).  You’ll have the pass for the next TWO days, and then the pass will have to be returned the following day.  That works out to be four days.

Day one….pick up the pass.

Day two & day three…..use the pass.

Day four….return the pass.

Museum pass

Fines are $1 per day if the pass is not returned on time.  Please make sure you know which day you have to return it to avoid BIG late fees!

Museum pass

Which museums do we have passes for?

The Canadian Museum of Civilization

The Canadian War Museum

The Canadian Aviation and Space Museum

The Canadian Agriculture Museum

The Canadian Museum of Science and Technology

Billings Estate National Historic Site

Bytown Museum

Cumberland Heritage Village Museum


Goulbourn Museum

Nepean Museum

Osgoode Township Historical Society and Museum

Pinhey’s Point Historic Site

Vanier Museopark

Watson’s Mill

We have multiple copies of each museum pass, but they’re pretty popular, so you might have to wait to get the one you want. They each also come with their own instructions….most are good for a maximum of 5 (FIVE) people (some are good for only 2 adults and 3 children, others allow 3 adults maximum, with the total number of people being five.)  Please make sure you ask at the front  desk so you know who is included in each pass. 

While these passes might not cover every member of your family, they will certainly help with the admission costs! And these aren’t only for families.  These are great for couples, people enjoying retirement and more!  It’s an exciting new venture for our library and we’re happy to be able to offer them to our patrons. Happy Museuming! (Okay, I know this isn’t a real word.)

Van Gogh : Up Close

In early May, my husband and I went to the National Art Gallery in Ottawa to see the Van Gogh exhibit entitled Van Gogh : Up Close. We bought tickets weeks in advance to see this once-in-a-lifetime showing of over 40 of his works, assembled from private and museum collections, and it was well worth it. The exhibition is on until September 3rd, and if you’re thinking of going, it’s a good idea to purchase tickets ahead of time. This exhibit has been drawing crowds all over the world, wherever it lands, and Ottawa is no exception.

Van Gogh’s Branches with Almond Blossom (one of the paintings on display at the National Art Gallery this summer)

There are so many wonderful works on display, including photographs and paintings that are believed to have inspired many of his paintings. It is well worth paying extra to enjoy the audio version of this exhibit as well.  You can walk around with a headset and hear more about most of the pieces, and some are even geared toward younger viewers. This is a fantastic opportunity to be able to stand mere inches from some of the most amazing paintings Van Gogh ever created.

If you’d like to read more about his work or life, we have plenty of great books in the library, such as:

Vincent van Gogh : The Life by Steven Neifeh

Van Gogh, a self portrait : letters revealing his life as a painter

What are you planning on seeing this summer?

Did they like the cookies?

Of course the visit by American President Barack Obama to Canada was exciting last week, and it certainly left an impression with the people of Ottawa.  Not only did he make his required appearances at the Ottawa Airport and Parliament Hill, but he took a few minutes before leaving the country to stop and pick up a few souvenirs for his wife and daughters.

You can see the maple leaf shaped shortbread cookies covered in red and white royal icing in the bottom left of this picture.  The cookies were $2.25 CDN each and the President offered a Canadian $20 bill across the counter but the owner of Le Moulin de Provence Bakery wouldn’t take it, offering the cookies as a gift for Obama’s girls. (Of course, the cookies sold out in a matter of minutes after people got word that the President bought some himself.)cookies

There had also been a quick trip by the Secret Service to the Beaver Tail Shack down the street to pick up one of Ottawa’s favourite winter specialties….a Beaver Tail!  This was apparently made on the spot for the President, the warm, flaky, doughy pastry drizzled with a chocolate and maple “O” and packaged up in a box for the trip home.  You can read more about the treats he bought here and here.

There is a fascinating slide show about President Obama’s visit to Canada at the White House Website. It has some great pictures of the day and you can see the delight on the faces of those who were present in his company that day.

We have a variety of new books in the library about President and Mrs. Obama.  They don’t stay on the shelves long, so if you spot one in the new bin, grab it up and read it before someone else does!

If you are interested in making some Beaver Tails of your own, there is a really cute video I came across featuring two adorable little  Canadian Chefs, Leanna and Maggie.  The beaver tails are smaller than you’d find down in the market, but they are a great alternative!  Enjoy!