Ottawa's Canada Day celebration might be the biggest in the country, but that didn't mean there wasn't room to showcase five other cities Wednesday.

In partnership with the Department of Canadian Heritage's Cultural Capitals of Canada program, the National Capital Commission hosted artists from Coquitlam and Whistler, B.C., Trois-Rivières, Que., as well as Fredericton and Caraquet, N.B., as part of the Canada Day celebrations here.

Artists showed off pottery, spoon playing, storytelling, metalsmithing, weathervane making, broom making and even giant carnival heads that told the stories of their towns and cities at Major's Hill Park Wednesday.


While a lot of people have heard of Caraquet, resident and artist Marie-Josee Brideau said having the display in Ottawa on Canada Day teaches people about the area.

"And a lot of Acadians came by, which is really nice," said Brideau, who demonstrated how she makes huge papier mache heads for the upcoming National Acadian Day celebration.
Fredericton resident Denise Richard said her city is "very active.”

"The arts community is very strong and there's a lot of theatre," said the fibre and textile artist. "It's a very dynamic little community. The area has a lot of artists and it's very bilingual, which is nice."

It's similar to Ottawa, she added.

Trois-Rivieres, which celebrates its 375th birthday this year, is often overlooked because it's located between Montreal and Quebec City, said resident Francois Poisson. But it's a city with a lot of history as well as lots of artisans and an international poetry festival, he said.

Whistler painter Vanessa Stark was hoping to convey her city as "a beautiful place to live."

Stark, who was creating a piece on site at Major's Hill Park, said the art there "represents the spirit of Whistler," which is "fun-loving and really cool."

Kristina Cunningham, who represented the Kwikwetlem First Nation located near Coquitlam, said the area is very diverse.

The Avenue of the Cultural Capitals of Canada allows festival goers to discover Canada's cultural heritage through displays and demonstrations by artists from these diverse municipalities, the NCC stated.

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