Ottawa’s embassies showcase international art and culture

Aside from processing passports and visas, Ottawa’s embassies have been busy this summer organizing art exhibits and cultural events.

Eva Ricarda-Willems, head of communications and culture at the Embassy of Germany in Ottawa, said there’s lots of competition to organize cultural festivals during the summer months.

“The bigger embassies have lots of events, so there’s some competition when it comes to planning,” she said.

Despite the competition between embassies, Ottawa’s International Animation Festival will see collaboration between several local institutions.

Starting on Sept. 20, the festival will showcase short films from different countries all over the world, including France and Germany, according to the festival website.

In addition to their participation in the film festival, Ricarda-Willems said the Embassy of Germany will be taking part in St. Paul University’s International Week on Sept. 13, where students can learn about language courses, scholarships, and international co-ops.

“We aim to show German modern art, dancing, painting, music, films, the entire spectrum in order to broaden the cultural variety on display here in Canada,” Ricarda-Willems said.  

Aside from educational events, the embassy will also be hosting a free comedy show with the German art group Muttis Kinder, at the St. Brigid’s Arts Centre on Sept. 28.

Ricarda-Willems said cultural events and activities are a big part of promoting tourism in different countries.

“If a German pop concert or comedy, or a language class inspires a Canadian to go abroad and have a look at the country where this language is spoken or this music group comes from, we’ve reached our goal,” she said.

Aside from upcoming events with the Embassy of Germany, Ottawa’s Embassy of Mexico will be hosting events this fall.

Starting this week, the Embassy of Mexico will be showcasing My City, My View, a plastic art show by Mexican artist Dulce Tapp. The show will be running from Sept. 6-26 at the Shenkman Arts Centre in Orleans, according to the embassy website.

To learn more about the latest cultural events, residents can check out the Ottawa Festival’s website, or Ottawa’s various embassy web pages to stay up-to-date.

Photo by Meagan Casalino