Sunday, June 25, 2017

Sunday, July 23, 2017 - Sketching at Beechwood Cemetery

You are invited to join the Ottawa Urban Sketchers 
for a day of sketching at the historic Beechwood Cemetery in Ottawa.
Sign up here:

The Botanical Cremation Gardens Of Beechwood

After reading an article about the Beechwood Cemetery in the Ottawa Citizen, the Ottawa Urban Sketchers contacted them to see about organizing a sketching event there. They informed us that they have never been approached to organize a sketching event before and they welcomed us!

I met with them this past week and have scheduled Sunday July 23, 2017 from 10-2 pm for our event. (I also attended the monthly Beechwood tour on June 25, 2017 and the photos here were taken on one of those two visits)

Some Interesting Facts About the Beechwood Cemetery

  • Beechwood Cemetery was established in 1873 and is recognized as one of the most beautiful and historic cemeteries in Canada. 
  • 80,000 people are buried there.
  • Originally outside city limits, Beechwood would be a day's outing by horse and buggy for a family, likely to bring a picnic lunch and spend time walking and admiring some of the more elaborately sculpted monuments -- the type that are rarely erected now
  • Beechwood Cemetery is not-for-profit organization.The Beechwood Cemetery Foundation, a registered Canadian charity, and is governed by an active volunteer board of directors.
  • Beechwood Cemetery is 64.7 hectares (160 acres) and is the largest cemetery in the city of Ottawa.
  • Beechwood Cemetery has been designated as a National Historic Site in 2001.
  • Beechwood Cemetery was designated the National Cemetery of Canada through an Act of Parliament (Bill C-17) in 2009.
  • Admittance to the Cemetery grounds is permitted daily from sunrise to sunset.
  • Beechwood cemetery is for everyone regardless of race, creed, religion or social standing.
  • Beechwood has been, from its beginning, non-denominational, an attractive feature for many Ottawa groups and societies such as the Home for Friendless Women, the Union Mission for Men, the Protestant Home for the Aged and the Protestant Orphans’ Home. 
  • The burial of  the first person of Chinese origin in 1903 led in the 1920s to the establishment of a burial place for members of the Chinese community, an area given its distinctive character      by the construction in recent years of a Pagoda of Remembrance
  • There are sections specifically designed for the Chinese, Egyptian, Greek, Lebanese, Latvian, Muslim, Polish, Poruguese, Ukranian and Vietnamese communities.
  • Located in the southeast section of Beechwood Cemetery, the Macoun Marsh is a unique urban wetland named after John Macoun, a pioneering Canadian naturalist buried at Beechwood
  • Beechwood Cemetery has 28,000 recorded trees, 300 varieties of hostas
  • Following the death of Tommy Douglas in 1986, the City of Ottawa passed a by-law forbidding the construction of buildings that would block the direct line of sight from Tommy Douglas’ resting spot in Beechwood to the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill. 
  • In November of 2007, 29 different religious groups came together to bless the new Beechwood National Memorial Centre. The ceremony, held in an auditorium known as the Sacred Space, was led by a 10-year-old child from a local school, and included a First Nations’ smudging ceremony around the great rock that sits in the centre of the room.

Useful Links About Beechwood Cemetery
Beechwood Map - We will meet in Section 60

Details About Ottawa Urban Sketchers Event

  • When:  We are scheduled to meet Sunday July 23, 2017 from 10 am to 2 pm. You are free to arrive earlier or stay later.
  • Where: We will meet in Section 60. This is a lovely wooded area with some of the very oldest markers. It is near Poets Hill and the burial space for Tommy Douglas (Sect 64, Graves 285. 286)
  • How to get there: 280 Beechwood Avenue, Ottawa, ON K1L 8A6
    • By Car: There is ample parking at Beechwood Cemetery. You are also able to park your cars on any of the roads by pulling off far enough to allow other cars to pass.
    • By Bike: Please consult the google map link above for bike routes
    • By Bus: OC Transpo bus No. 7 stops near the entrance.
  • Washroom: There are washroom facilities open to the public in the main building
  • Cemetery Etiquette  
    • Be respectful of mourning families. 
    • We are holding our event on Sunday because typically Beechwood does not do funerals on that day. However, families will be visiting their loved ones and should be given space and privacy.
    • The cemetery has requested that we do not sketch any markers that are younger than 5 years old
    • FYI: Chamberfest "Mozart In The Morning" will be playing in the main building on the same day (at 11 am) as our sketch event.
Monument for Nicolas Flood Davin (1843-1901)

Beechwood has played a major role in ensuring that the sacrifices of our Canadian Veterans and War Dead are not forgotten. Beechwood’s Veterans and War Dead Section is the time-honoured final home of over 3,000 of our Canadian Veterans and War Dead.
Canadian Veterans and War Dead are not forgotten
Please remember to post your Beechwood Cemetery sketches to our Urban Sketchers Facebook Pages

Friday, June 9, 2017


The idea for a world wide sketchcrawl originated with Enrico Casarosa of San Francisco in late 2004 . Enrico is an  Italian storyboard artist and director who works at Pixar Animation Studios.

Since 2004, SketchCrawl has become a worldwide phenomenon participated by artists around the world armed with sketchpads, pencils, watercolor and other sketching materials.

Join Us - In Ottawa - July 29, 2017

So - put your pen to paper on July 29th for as long as you can (be it 20 minutes or 6 hours) drawing, sketching, journaling about your day and what you see around you. For one day, slow down, look around you, see ... and draw or write. Record your day. No specific level of skill is expected ! Anyone is welcome.

Sign Up On Facebook!

Click here to sign up on facebook for Ottawa's 56th World Wide Sketchcrawl

We will meet at the National Gallery near the sculpture "maman" (aka the spider). 
There is plenty of parking. 
We can gather, get to know each other and sit and sketch "maman", 
the Basilica or head to the next spots: Major's Hill Park, 
Parliament Buildings or the Bytowne Museum (canal locks)

Show and Tell:  Bytowne Museum (canal locks) 
Before lunch, we will have a quick show and tell 
for the benefit of folks who are sketching for only a half day. 
By meeting at 12, artists could decide where to have lunch together
and even sketch their lunch location!
We will meet under the bridge: Rideau & Rideau Canal
(There is a large sheltered area directly beside the canal to meet)

The afternoon could be spent in the alleyways and/or the colourful vendor areas
of the Byward market. 
There are plenty of places to sketch
Byward Market Building
(We can meet indoors at the Moulin De Provence Bakery end)

The Byward Market

Show and Tell: Farewell
We will meet at the corner of York and Sussex
at the western end of the Byward Market
Byward Market Building
(We can meet again indoors at the Moulin De Provence Bakery end)

Please Note
La Machine will be downtown in the same general area during our WW Sketchcrawl - there will be crowds!
Here is the schedule:

DAY 3: Saturday, July 29
11 am – Kumo Walkabout: By Ward Market
11 am – Long Ma Walkabout: ByWard Market
3 pm – Long Ma Walkabout: departs from the ByWard Market
3:10 pm – Kumo Walkabout: departs from the ByWard Market
8: 30 pm – Long Ma Walkabout: departs from Confederation Park
9:30 pm – STATIC SCENE: Kumo and Long Ma at the Supreme Court of Canada
You can add La Machine to your list of sketches 
or avoid the area all together.

 (More information can be found here:

La Machine will invade Ottawa (July 27 to 30) from Ottawa 2017 on Vimeo.

World Wide Sketchcrawl Links: 

Want to know more about World Wide Sketchcrawls? 
Visit the links below.

Other Canadian Urban Sketching Groups

Want to now more about Urban Sketchers in other provinces? 
Visit some of the blogs below:

48th World Wide SketchCrawl Ottawa Report

Read about the LAST time that Ottawa Urban Sketchers did this very same sketchcrawl on our 48th worldwide Sketch Crawl :

John "Sketch Journal" Ottawa Sketchcrawl links:

Other WW Sketchcrawl in Ottawa links:

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Doors Open Ottawa June 3-4

Doors Open Ottaw

Doors Open Ottawa is a free annual architectural event that celebrates our community’s built heritage and a perfect opportunity to sketch the outside (and in some cases the inside) of over 150 historically, culturally, and functionally significant buildingsin Ottawa!

Did You Know: Doors Open Ottawa continues to be the second-largest Doors Open architectural event in North America.  Since its inception in 2002, over 920,000 visitors have discovered some of the city’s most prestigious buildings including Earnscliffe: Official Residence of the British High Commissioner, the Supreme Court of Canada, the Embassy of the United States, and the Sir John A. Macdonald Building....just to name a few.

This Event Is Part of #100in1day Ottawa

100In1day Ottawa

100In1day is a global festival of civic engagement and a growing movement that is changing how people interact with their cities.  Originating in Bogota, Colombia, and spreading to cities around the world, the festival has inspired citizen-driven change in cities through small urban interventions. The spirit of 100in1day is democratic, imaginative and empowering. The festival is a platform for citizens to activate ideas to make their city healthier, happier and more inspired, one initiative at a time.  

Powered by Synapcity, with support from United Way Ottawa and community partners, 100in1day is coming to Ottawa for the first time this year!

Link to our event at the 100In1day intervention is here:

Getting There by Bus, Bike or On Foot
Take advantage of the Doors Open Ottawa FREE Shuttle Bus, operating within walking distance of over 50 participating buildings. Or, take the opportunity to enjoy the summer sun and cycle your way around the city on a Doors Open Ottawa bicycle tour. No bike, no problem! Visitors can visit numerous buildings per day by making their way around the downtown core on foot.

Join Suvitha and Cindi! 

Urban sketcher Suvitha and I will be sketching Doors Open locations on Spark St this Saturday 10-2 ( we chose Saturday because forecast calling for rain Sunday)

You are WELCOME to join us.

We are including urban sketcher Greg Manley's recommendation of visiting the Wellington building (pictured on brochure) on our tour.

We are meeting at CBC at 10 (see map) and hoping to end at St Andrews around 2. There's lots to sketch outside and inside.

Important Details:
  • The Sir John A MacDonald building & Bank of Canada ( on my map) are both closed Saturday and open only on Sunday
  • Some of these buildings are government buildings so security scanning will be required to enter

If you are heading to other Doors Open venues closer to you to sketch, (Link:
) send a shout out here, and, as always, PLEASE post your sketches on our Facebook pages ! 

 Share Your Sketches!

Share your sketches on social media using hashtag  #DoorsOpenOttawa experience on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 

 Happy sketching

Information - Doors Open Ottawa 2017