a peek inside the fishbowl

22 Oct, 2007

busy weekends just keep coming

Posted by andrea tomkins in: - Ottawa for kids|Easy ways to make kids happy|Ottawa

It’s been busy around these parts. I feel like I need to rekindle my relationship with my own home. We just haven’t been around, like, at all.

But first, would ya look at these two girls:



Those were taken at the park behind the Parkdale Market, where we bought dried corn cobs, multicoloured organic carrots (deeelish!), bok choy, and perfect fall apples. This was on our way home from a few morning hours wandering around the annual Enriched Bread Artists (EBA) open house.

[Last year’s open house was particularly fabulous. Read about it here.]

Part of the reason I like to bring the girls to art-related events is that they get it. They get art. They have no pre-conceived notions about what art is supposed to be. They are accepting and genuinely interested. And they have fun.

Pile of felt? It’s art!
Stringy stuff? It’s art!
Old pair of shoes? It’s art!

I had to laugh. Emma pointed to a wooden bench and asked me if she could sit on it, you know, because what if it was art? (BTW, one of the times we went to the National Gallery I also caught her thoughtfully studying one of those built-in-the-wall fire extinguisher cabinets.)

I think their natural open-mindedness comes from years of those preschool/early elementary fingerpainting, stamping, toilet-paper rockets, handprint-turkeys, popsicle-stick art and projects of that ilk. Much of it is very abstract, or it comes out looking very abstract (whether that’s intended or not) and they love it for what it is, that is, a creative effort borne out of some tiny part of a person’s brain.

If you have kids (and even if you don’t) you must (must!) go. I insist. And you’re not too late. It continues next weekend (dates/times here). Please go!

First of all, it’s free.

Second of all, it’s exciting. There are three floors of studios, with nooks and crannies and hallways that twist and wander. You will never know where you’re going. And the wind. Oh the wind! Every year there is a howling wind. It gathers, banging and clanging through vintage air vents, yelling at anyone who’ll listen.

Third, it’s eyeball and head filling. You will see some really awesome art, all made by local hands.

Visit to the EBA open house 

Visit to the EBA open house

Visit to the EBA open house

Visit to the EBA open house

Visit to the EBA open house

The snooping is amazing.

I love love love the photos of the girls taken at these times. They walk around the place practically holding their breath… enraptured and totally agog. The geewhiz expressions are priceless.

I hope they can always be like this.

Tomorrow: sporting things, anteeky things, a very large robot, and general nostagia.

4 Responses to "busy weekends just keep coming"

1 | Sharon

October 22nd, 2007 at 12:52 pm


I so envy you. Glad you had a great time wandering and Looking.


2 | porter

October 22nd, 2007 at 6:34 pm


It would be nice to live in Ottawa again so I could actually DO all of these great things you suggest. I miss Ottawa.

3 | twinmomplusone

October 23rd, 2007 at 7:29 am


and this is why I LOVE your blog: great photos, fun stuff to do with kids in and about Ottawa :)

thanks for letting me know about this exhibit, actually a friend of mine is showcased and I didn’t even know about it, now I’ll have to go!

4 | b*babbler

October 23rd, 2007 at 9:05 am


I love these photos! They look so intrigued and awestruck.

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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