Olivia Nixon, photographed at Echo Lands Park, on Ottawa’s Rideau River.
One of the wonderful things about loveOttawa is the great people we continuously come across, even as we go about our day to day. While working on a corporate shoot a few weeks ago, we met communications professional, Olivia Nixon. Her positive energy and good vibes immediately came through as she spoke of having just come back from waterskiing. Waterskiing “in Ottawa”, we asked? Her enthusiasm quickly caught on and, before we knew it, we were pulling up at Echo Lands Park, by the Rideau River, with our camera equipment and white canvas, to photograph Olivia in full gear!
You are Ottawa born and raised. What do you most like about our city (besides being able to waterski!)?
“What I like most about Ottawa is our unprecedented access to the outdoors. We have nature’s playground all around us! There’s lots of water, hills and gorgeous countryside. You can waterski in the morning, go to work for the day and then go cycling in Gatineau Park in the evening. It’s fantastic.”
We love how passionate you are about your hobby and knowing it’s possible to practice it right in the city. Does Ottawa have an active waterskiing community? Besides proximity, why is the Rideau River ideal for this sport?
“Ottawa has a small but pretty passionate waterski community. We are really lucky to have the Gloucester Water Ski Association in Ottawa that offers affordable skiing including access to a tournament boat, a water ski slalom course and a bunch of really great people who are just as wacky about the sport as you are. The Club is volunteer-driven and everyone has to pitch to keep it running. The Rideau River is actually not the worst place to ski. Boat traffic can be a bit of an issue but that’s one of the reasons I, along with some other early birds, ski at 6 a.m. The water is like glass. There are worse ways to start your day than skiing with your friends at dawn and then heading to work afterwards.”
What are your favourite spots in the city or in your neighbourhood? Is there a “hidden gem” you’d like to share?
“That’s easy. I have three. I work from a “home office” which often is code for my local coffee shop – my two favourites are Alice’s Village Café in Carp (yes people, that’s in Ottawa) and Quitters Coffee in Stittsville. The coffee is yummy and the vibe is right for creative types. The third “gem” is the Cheshire Cat Pub on Carp Rd. It’s our “local” – literally down the road from where we live. But don’t tell anyone because it’s really hard to get a table there – it’s busy all the time.”
How would you describe Ottawa to a person who’s never been here?
“Ottawa is like the “Goldilocks” of cities. We’re not too big. We’re not too small. We’re juuuuust right! And, I would add, with lots of exclamation marks, we are not a boring government town!!!! There’s so much more to Ottawa than that!”
Thanks so much, Olivia for sharing one of your passions and what you love about Ottawa. For more information about Olivia Nixon and/or to connect with her, you can view her Linkedin profile.