Stay inspired while you stay at home with these virtual activities

·3 min read

Nearly a year into the pandemic, the prospect of yet more time at home can be daunting.

Perhaps the one benefit of the COVID-19 era is that many of Ottawa's cultural institutions and businesses have adapted to the new normal, and are offering a range of entertainment online.

From concerts to virtual tours to online classes, there's something to help just about everyone stave off cabin fever.

Here are a few ways to explore the outside world without leaving home.

Concerts and talks coming up

Jan. 14 to Jan. 28, on demand, GCTC and Tarragon Theatre present It's All True

Listen to an audio play at your leisure. The GCTC has partnered with Toronto's Tarragon Theatre to bring listeners a series of Canadian plays produced for your ears only. Jason Sherman's It's All True goes liveon Jan. 14 at 8 p.m. Tickets are available for $10 or $7 for subscribers.

Jan. 15, 5 p.m. The NAC presents Geneviève & Alain

Listen to folk group Geneviève & Alain, two singer-songwriters from the Ottawa-Gatineau region. Alain Barbeau plays guitar and Geneviève Roberge-Bouchard plays piano. The event is streaming live for free on Facebook.

Jan. 19, 7:30 p.m. In conversation with Desmond Cole

The Arthur Kroeger College Educational Students' Society and Carleton University's School of Public Policy and Administration are hosting author Desmond Cole. He's speaking about his 2020 book The Skin We're In, which looks at systemic racism in Canada and includes events that happened in Ottawa. The event will stream live on Youtube.

Jan. 19, 7 p.m. One eRead Canada: An evening with Kim Thúy

The Ottawa Public Library is hosting a reading with author Kim Thúy from her new book Vi. The free event includes live questions and answers.

Frank Opolko/CBC
Frank Opolko/CBC

Jan. 20, 7 p.m. Preservation of the 180 Wellington building mosaic

Hear from conservator Kelly Caldwell about the history and preservation of the mosaic at 180 Wellington St. Created in 1927 by American muralist Barry Faulkner, the mural consists of one million coloured glass tiles. The lecture will be held on Zoom.

Classes and other ideas

The City of Ottawa is now offering a range of recreational activities online during the pandemic. The city's Virtual Arts and Recreation Centre provides cooking classes, workout classes, visual arts classes and much more. Registration for online classes began Jan. 14.

Stephanie vanKampen/CBC
Stephanie vanKampen/CBC

In Quebec, Muraï Céramique is offering online pottery classes this month. A four-week course costs $350 plus tax, and includes delivery of clay and tools to your home. A few weeks later, staff will pick up pieces to be fired and glazed. The course starts Jan. 25.

For something different to do with friends or family, Escape Manor is offering two virtual escape rooms to play online. The games costs $30 for a group of up to four players.

Museums, galleries, etc.

Just about every major cultural institution in Ottawa is offering some kind of online content these days.

Take part in mini science courses and family-friendly activities from the Canadian Museum of Nature, or listen to curators at the National Gallery of Canada discuss some of the most famous works in the collection.

Many of the museums also offer virtual tours where visitors can use their mouse to navigate the rooms and halls.

That includes the Diefenbunker, where visitors lucky enough to own a pair of VR goggles can explore the Cold War-era museum as if they were there.

If you're hosting a virtual event and wish to let us know about it, please let us know.