• Thursday, February 10th, 2011
They come here from all over the world to showcase their talents, their unbelievable works of art and display the magic they create from just a single block of ice.
To me, it seems like an impossible task…for them, it seems almost effortless. Not only do they create a masterpiece work of art, but while doing so they are challenged by ever-changing Ottawa weather. No matter what kind of weather comes their way though, these people play the lead role in turning Confederation Park into the Roger Crystal Gardens every year. Amazing!
So being positioned where we are, we get front row seats to watch the ice-carvers every year create mythical creatures, abstract art, and famous buildings from around the world. What really goes into the creation of these masterpieces though? IÆm sure it must be a lot of thought, time and planning. Having the ability to create something that stands out from the rest and in a time frame of only 3 days is always so impressive!
To think that these simple blocks of ice come alive during Winterlude, especially at night when they are illuminated with different colored lights, then when Winterlude is overàtheyÆre gone. We, along with our guests, are lucky to be able to just stroll across the street and take a look, but I would suggest to everyone to get out to see them this year because they are some of the best I have seen in the past few years!
Also, thanks again, to our wonderful Ice SculptorÆs who gave us a carving of our own right outside our restaurant, Grill 41 as well as our beautiful bunnies in front of the hotel. We love being in the center of it all!
• Friday, February 04th, 2011
Thursday, February 3rd marked the kick off for the campaign for Heart and Stroke Foundation. The Lord Elgin was approached and gladly agreed to illuminate the hotel in red for the month of February in support of the Heart and Stroke Foundation. At 5pm yesterday, we turned on the æredÆ and will leave them on for the rest of the month in support of this much needed cause. The Residence Inn by Marriott has joined us in this campaign and will also be lit in red during the month of February. We are both owned by the same company and share in many of our initiatives.
While I was at a conference today in a session on Social Media, the speaker made a very important point that made me think about our hotel. She (Tara Hunt) spoke of ægenerosityÆ and how important it is in gaining a following on Social Media. It was akin to the philosophy of æpaying it forwardÆ . It struck a chord with me, as it something our hotel has stood for through the years and is one of the main reasons I have chosen to work at the Lord Elgin.
We have been part of this community for 70 years now and have some very deep ties. Much of our success is due to the partnerships we have and mutual support we get from the festivals and organizations that we support and the arts community that we sponsor. I recall 30 years ago, when I was a reservation agent here for my summer job, Sister Gertrude Wadsworth walking into Don BlaksleeÆs office (the General Manager who was here for over 50 years) to arrange for donation of beds and bedding for her summer camps. She was by often for support. Don had created that reputation in the community. The Boys and Girls Club were always dropping by as well as other clubs and charities. We have given away rooms for Remembrance Day for the families coming to Ottawa to mark that special day, we started the ChefÆs Charity CafÚ , as well as sponsored choral groups, artists, festivals, galleries, NCC, NAC media and more. We gave away over 300 roomnights last year in donations to charities, both in Ottawa and outside our city. We recognize that the more we support our community, the stronger we are together and I mean that sincerely. It is the festivals, the gallieries and museums, the arts community and the beauty of this city that make us a vibrant place to live and visit. It all comes back around!
The family that owns our hotel is more generous than we all know. Pat Gillin, who passed away over a year ago, was a quiet giver û to his community, his school – University of New Brunswick, his church and to many causes that were close to his heart. That tradition continues today.
So with the red lights on tonight, the tradition continuesà and I am proud to be part of it all.
• Tuesday, February 01st, 2011
Back in October of last year I got a call from the General Hospital in Ottawa. At the age of 56, my father had been brought in after suffering from a heart attack and was going to be staying a few days for observation. It was scary to think something like this could take such a close family member, and mentor of mineà.and so unexpectedly!
This is one reason why I am very proud to say that this year the hotel is going to be lighting up red for the month of February in support of the Heart and Stroke Foundation and all the fantastic volunteers and donors they have. Where would we be without all of these people?
It is such a small part we are playing in directing peopleÆs attention to Heart Month. The real heroes are the oneÆs who have given their time, money and devotion to the Heart and Stroke Foundation. We are happy to be kicking-off Heart Month in Ottawa and taking the first step forward for another year of life-saving research.
We feel so lucky to be one of the two landmark locations in the city to be a part of Heart Month this year (the other is Residence Inn by Marriott) and want to invite everyone out to celebrate all the great volunteers and donors who have helped out the Heart and Stroke Foundation. February 3rd at 5pm we are lighting up the hotel redàcome show your support for healthy hearts!