Who travels across the country to see a musical? I do! Along with my best friend Mary. We both attend almost every premiere for Broadway Across Canada musicals when they come to Vancouver and for their national premiere of Pretty Woman: The Musical we went all the way to Ottawa for it. Luckily there are direct flights from Vancouver and the weather can actually be pretty nice early into winter there!
Ottawa is of course the capital of Canada and located in eastern Ontario. Before seeing the musical we had time explore the city and focused on things related to parliament. The architecture of these buildings is pretty stunning and it was really cool to see the inner workings of Canada’s government. We got a tour of The Senate (which you can just book online at no cost) and also had the opportunity to witness Question Period, which is when members of Parliament debate with each other. It was really interesting to see how the process works and we even got to sit directly across from the leader of the Official Opposition and behind the Deputy Prime Minister. That also didn’t cost anything and can be arranged through a Member of Parliament (thank you to MP Taleeb Noormohamed of Vancouver Granville for hooking us up)!
On the second day, we decided to take in some of the culture of Ottawa by visiting museums and art galleries. Well, that was the plan at least, but we only actually made it to one – but it was well worth taking up our afternoon. The National Gallery of Canada, which houses a collection of over 42,000 works of art, was quite impressive with the variety of pieces on display, ranging from traditional Indigenous art to modern contemporary pieces. This one cost us $20 each to get into.
Finally, the day of the musical arrived and we were beyond excited. We had heard great things about the Pretty Woman musical and the show did not disappoint! We thoroughly enjoyed it and the actors were incredibly talented. It was really fun to see the movie we all know and love come to life on stage with song and dance. We had a nice dinner at Zoe’s beforehand, which is a restaurant inside the Fairmont Laurier, where we stayed during our visit. It’s a beautiful and historic hotel that’s really a perfect location for everything we went to from the show to the parliament areas to the art gallery. The food at the restaurant was also really good, complete with some eye catching fancy cocktails!
On our last day we planned to go to the War Museum, but due to a mix up in my map app we ended up at the Royal Canadian Mint. Luckily that only cost $10 each and they had room for 2 in the next tour so we got to go around that and learn a bunch about the way our money is made. They also have a great gift shop filled with all kinds of unique items.
Overall, our trip to Ottawa was a really fun experience with the highlight being the Canadian premiere of Pretty Woman: The Musical, but with also really enjoying and learning a lot with everything else we got to do there too. Politicians are of course everywhere (I actually saw the leader of the Green Party walk past me in the hotel lobby) and it’s neat to be in the place where so much of what happens to our country is debated and decided on. I recommend a visit for any Canadian and I also recommend seeing this play when it comes to wherever you live in the country!
Disclaimer: This experience was provided by Broadway Across Canada, but they had no input on my writing and all thoughts are my own.