Tim Wieclawski/Metro ottawa


under the bridge Stephanie Koat and Rob Diaz enjoy an interlude together while taking in a performance by Duo Similia yesterday during the Noon Under the Bridge event — a series of free lunch hour concerts beneath Plaza Bridge that is proving especially popular this summer.


Lunch hour spent in the sunshine, watching artistic performances beneath Ottawa’s Plaza Bridge, is proving to be an emerging summer pastime in the capital’s downtown.


Tim Wieclawski/Metro ottawa

Yesterday’s performance by Duo Similia was the best-attended Noon Under the Bridge concert so far this season.

Yesterday, more than 300 people attended a Noon Under the Bridge performance by classical musicians Duo Similia — twin sisters from Rimouski, Que., who play flute and guitar — and crowds have been the norm for this year’s events.

“It was insane,” said spectator Patricia Hubert. “It sounded like there were twice as many players as there actually were.”

Hubert had no plans to attend the concert yesterday, but went for a lunchtime stroll and “kind of got stuck.” So far, more than 4,500 other people have also been drawn in to see the artistic offerings, being presented for the second year by the National Capital Commission. Performances started on June 21 and will end on August 2.

Chantal Comeau of the NCC said the commission partnered with summer festivals in the city to bring their acts to the impromptu stage for the lunchtime enjoyment of downtown workers and visitors — from jazz and folk music, to musical theatre and historical plays.

The performers enjoy performing in such a unique, accessible spot for passersby.

“We were not sure what to expect,” said Nadia Labrie, of Duo Similia. “We were just hoping for lots of people and sunshine, and we’re very happy.”

Spectator Stephanie Koat has seen a few of the noontime performances, and came specifically to see Duo Similia yesterday.

“I haven’t been to a Chamberfest concert yet, but I wanted to see how it was.”