We’ve already discussed how the face of Ottawa is changing. Whether it be in the emerging food scene or the millions of dollars invested in infrastructure to overhaul the landscape of Canada’s capital—Ottawa is “on the move” in a big way.
While these upgrades affect all citizens—youth, seniors, suburbanites or city slickers—today, we are going to pay particular attention on how a shift in Ottawa’s culture means added entertainment and adventure for one half of the population: women.
The National Arts Centre Renovation
For almost half a decade ladies (and gentlemen!) have flocked to the National Arts Centre (NAC) to take in live performances from some of the world’s most talented artists. Work has already commenced on a project that will completely revitalize the city’s centre stage. With the NAC’s $110.5 million facelift, and the neighbouring Arts Court also undergoing renovation, there is no doubt that these state-of-the-art facilities will become an even bigger attraction for women, their daughters and the community at large.
The Boutique Fitness Boom
In May of last year, entrepreneur.com profiled a new trend in fitness with this provocative headline: Thanks to Boutique Fitness, Working Out is the New Going Out. Over the last few years, Ottawa has quickly raced to stay in step with this corporeal craze. Boutique fitness concepts have popped up all over the city: from Yoga studios to CrossFit boxes, Barre Fitness to Boot Camp, spinning to circuits. What’s particularly enticing about this style of work out for women is that these hip, new gyms promote being social and belonging to a community. Working out is no longer an obligation. It’s a lifestyle, a second family and a fashion statement.
EY Centre Attractions
Don’t get us wrong, Ernst & Young (EY) Centre is gearing up to host the Ottawa Boat & SportsMEN Show later this month. The 5-year-old centre definitely holds its fair share of events that appeal to men and women of all ages. But with Eastern Ontario’s largest and best-equipped event space finding a home in Ottawa, women-tailored events are also abuzz in the Nation’s Capital. This past Fall’s headlining events included: Ottawa Fall National Women’s Show, the Ottawa Wedding Show and the Ottawa Fall Home Show.
Ladies Who Lunch (and do other things)
At work beneath the events and upgrades, the shows and the social, there is a growing community of women supporting women in this city. Ladies Who Lunch (LWL), a business networking event for women, has become much larger than that. Through its Facebook page of over 10,000 members, women post inspiring stories, calls to action, messages of support and place attention on important causes in a forum that is safe, encouraging and welcoming. LWL is just one example. Equal Voice, and its NCR chapter, rallies around its members to empower more women to pay attention to the under-representation of women in the Canadian political sphere.
As Ottawa continues to expand, grow and change, women—and the quintessential question of “What Women Want”—are at the forefront of the city’s altering landscape.