WEEKENDER: Seven things to do in Ottawa on the weekend of April 18—21

By CINDY OLBERG

The Love, Handmade. wedding show is happening at Memorial Hall in New Edinburgh on Saturday, April 19

The Love, Handmade. Wedding Show takes place at Memorial Hall in New Edinburgh on Saturday, April 19

In this edition of the Weekender: An undground hunt, swapping vinyl, forbidden love, and four more things to do in Ottawa this weekend.

Vinyl Swap (FREE!)
Do you have a lot of records in your collection that you don’t listen to anymore? This Friday, April 18, bring them to Record Swap Day (er, well, the event is in the evening) at Raw Sugar Café and trade them with other music lovers. After the exchanges are made, a bunch of local DJs (including DJ Adam Saikaley of the band Silkken Laumann and former producer of Tempo on CBC) will be spinning records of their own for your listening pleasure. The Swap takes place from 7 to 10 p.m. Raw Sugar Café is located at 692 Somerset W.

Easter Egg Hunts…
Spring has sprung at the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum. From Friday, April 18 to Monday, April 21 kids will be able to meet newborn animals, help make Easter bread, and take part in the Signs of Spring Easter Egg Hunts — farm activities are scheduled for various times throughout the day. The Canada Agriculture and Food Museum is located at 901 Prince of Whales Dr.

…Underground
If you’ll be in the west end on Saturday, April 19, try looking for eggs underground at the Diefenbunker, Canada’s Cold War Museum — the hunt is from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Diefenbunker, Canada’s Cold War Museum is located at 3929 Carp Rd. in Carp.

Handmade Wedding
Bummed that the Wed by Hand wedding show isn’t happening this year? Well, Meaghan Brunetti, owner of The Handmade Bride, is organizing a brand new indie wedding show on Saturday, April 19 that’ll have just about everything you’ll need for your upcoming wedding. Shop for handmade, eco-friendly designs with a vintage feel, and take in one of the many workshops happening throughout the day. Love, Handmade. Wedding Show takes place at Memorial Hall (across the street from The Handmade Bride) from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance. Memorial Hall is located at 39 Dufferin Rd.

On Stage Diary
The Diary of Anne Frank tells the true story about a 13- year-old who is forced to go into hiding with her family during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. Based on the book, the play has received countless acclaims since its first staging, including the 1956 Pulitzer Prize. Tim Picotte directs the performance at The Gladstone. The play will be running until Saturday, April 19. From $18. The Gladstone is located at 910 Gladstone Ave.

Madama Butterfly, the world-famous opera about love and tragedy will be at the NAC April 19-26 (photo: On Stage Ottawa)

Madama Butterfly, the world-famous opera about love and tragedy, will be at the National Arts Centre April 19-26 (Photo: On Stage Ottawa)

Love & Tragedy
Madama Butterfly, one of the most famous operas of all time, tells the story about a young Japanese woman, known as Madama Butterfly, who marries an American naval officer and is then shunned by her family for choosing to abandon her ancestral religion. The opera, playing at the National Arts Centre, is put on by Opera Lyra OttawaMadama Butterfly is on from April 19 until April 26 at the National Arts Centre. From $25. 53 Elgin St.

Beautiful Shapes
The Abstractionists, currently showing at Studio Sixty Six, showcases the first group of paintings in their New Painters series. In describing the four artists — Ali Kramers, Cindy Merksy, Darren Kooyman, and Karyn Watson — curators Carrie Colton and Manar Abotouk write: “Their subjects are the real beauty of the circle, square, and triangle, and the subtlety and plasticity of sheer colour and surface. Their work offers the freest play of creativity and imagination.” The show is on until May 8. Studio Sixty Six is located at 66 Muriel St., unit 202.

ARTFUL BLOGGER: Gerald Trottier gets some of the recognition he deserves with an exhibition at Ottawa Art Gallery

By PAUL GESSELL

Gerald Trottier, Pilgrimage I, 1980, acrylic on canvas, 40 x 60 in, Collection of the Ottawa Art Gallery, donation by Irma Trottier, 2013, photo David Barbour

Gerald Trottier, Pilgrimage I, 1980, acrylic on canvas, 40 x 60 in, Collection of the Ottawa Art Gallery, donation by Irma Trottier, 2013, photo David Barbour

Ottawa is not always kind to its deceased artists. While alive, major talents from this area are given exhibitions in both public and commercial galleries. The City of Ottawa, through its annual art purchase program, buys works by those artists to hang in public buildings.

But once an artist dies, we rarely hear anything about him or her, unless one or two works are dusted off for some themed exhibition. Occasionally a Henri Masson or Jean Dallaire painting will appear for sale at one gallery or another. But those are the exceptions.

And that is why the new exhibition at the Ottawa Art Gallery of drawings and paintings by the late Gerald Trottier is so welcomed. The exhibition, called Perspective, is at the gallery’s sales and rental space in Arts Court. All but one of the few dozen works on view is for sale. That one, a spectacular painting called Pilgrimage, is part of a donation of 100 of the artist’s works to Ottawa Art Gallery from Trottier’s widow, Irma. This is the largest donation of artwork ever received by the gallery.

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SOUND SEEKERS: Dann Oickle releases video for The Bed off new album Blitzkrieg

Sound Seekers by Fateema Sayani is published weekly at OttawaMagazine.com. Read Fateema Sayani’s culture column in Ottawa Magazine and follow her on Twitter @fateemasayani.

Danniel Oickle at home. Photos by Bonnie Findley.

Danniel Oickle at home. Photos by Bonnie Findley.

New Video
Pop artist Dann Oickle (formerly of Ottawa, now domiciled in Montreal), released his new album Blitzkrieg earlier this year. It’s a reflection on the idea of love as an act of war from tiny inequities to fallings out to near-fatal attractions, as we wrote in a previous Sound Seekers post.

Oickle is a performer who loves imagery. He organizes his live shows with Bowie-esque ambition for make-up and moves. His gigs are prefaced by what feels like a well-executed marketing plan, replete with vivid visuals that stand out in our image-saturated culture.

Continuing in that vein, Oickle hopes to release a video for each track of his new album. The first is for  “The Bed,” an audience favourite from the album.

“People liked the Madonna/Prince vibe of it, and the pulsing sexuality,” Oickle says. “It was also noted that this song maintained an erotic vibe and yet never crossed over to the crass or perverse.”

He brought that sensual, couth vibe to the video setting, which takes place in the hotel room of a landed sailor (played by Oickle) and two call girls (played by Olexandra Pruchnicky and Rebecca Noelle of The Peptides).

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WEEKENDER: Six things to do in Ottawa on the weekend of April 10—13

The Orange Art Gallery has moved into the City Centre building.

Check out the Orange Art Gallery’s new space and celebrate their fourth anniversary this Thursday

Orange alert (FREE!)
The Orange Art Gallery has moved! Celebrating their new space — and their fourth anniversary — the gallery is hosting a reception on Thursday, April 10 from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Check out new works by Orange’s own artists, and stick around for performances by Velvet Underground cover band, No Kinds of Love, and rap artist, The Joynt. Orange Art Gallery is now located at 290 City Centre Ave.

Touring Proof
The Toronto-based alt-country/folk band, Sunparlour Players, is playing The Black Sheep Inn armed with their brand new album The Living Proof (they’re playing two days after launching the record). This double-bill includes rock and roots quartet, Harlan Pepper, who hail from Hamilton. The show is on Thursday, April 10 at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance. The Black Sheep Inn is at 753 Riverside Dr. in Wakefield. Beware potholes along that stretch!

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Q&A: SuicideGirls founder Missy Suicide on celebrating unconventional beauty, baring it all online, and their April 12 show at Maverick’s

By CINDY OLBERG

Missy Suicide is the founder and leader of the sexy and renowned online community SuicideGirls

Missy Suicide is the founder and leader of the sexy and renowned online community SuicideGirls

Since 2001, girls with tattoos, piercings, and crazy-coloured hair have been submitting photos to the sexy and renowned online community SuicideGirls in the hopes of earning official SuicideGirl status. Initially launched to celebrate and foster unconventionally beautiful girls who choose not to fit in, today, the SuicideGirls website gets five million unique views per month and 1,000 applications per week.

During the application process, candidates work with model coordinators, submit professional photos, interact with the community, and get feedback on their work. Once they’ve been selected, the best of the best are featured on the website.

SuicideGirls works hard to create opportunities for its models. And some are even invited to tour and perform with the Blackheart Burlesque show, choreographed by Manwe Sauls-Addison, the same artist who developed productions for Beyonce and Lady Gaga.

This Saturday, fans will have a chance to see some of the most beautiful and remarkable SuicideGirls up close and personal when the Blackheart Burlesque troupe comes to Mavericks with a program filled with stripteases and pop-culture references.

Missy Suicide is the founder and leader of SuicideGirls. She’s in charge of the goings on around the SuicideGirls business, and has watched it grow from the ground up. We talk with the Missy about how she gets these badass bombshells the recognition they deserve.

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ARTFUL BLOGGER: Mathieu Dubé’s daring new aesthetic at Railbender Gallery

By PAUL GESSELL

Mathieu-Dube

Sorry, I Don’t Remember Your Name, part of Mathieu Dubé’s exhibit Body of Thought at Railbender Gallery

A visit five years ago to an abandoned vault below Ottawa Art Gallery confirmed to all that Mathieu Dubé was a rising star in the local art scene.

Dubé had borrowed the abandoned space in Arts Court to stage a solo show of his own sculptures. It was a bold, imaginative gesture for a relatively unknown artist with a background in animation.

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SOUND SEEKERS: Hot new albums from Laurent Bourque and Sound of Lions + a fundraiser for Lefty

Sound Seekers by Fateema Sayani is published weekly at OttawaMagazine.com. Read Fateema Sayani’s culture column in Ottawa Magazine and follow her on Twitter @fateemasayani

Laurent-Bourque-Pieces-Your-Past

Laurent Borque’s new album Pieces of Your Past references aspects of life in love that most take for granted. Album release show takes place on April 5 at The Black Sheep Inn.

There are moments on Laurent Bourque‘s new album Pieces of Your Past that are reminiscent of Andrew Bird or Danny Michel.

Much like those artists, the Ottawa songwriter conveys his ideas in songs with glimmering vocal idiosyncrasies. Those tics make any artist stand out over every other angsty guy with a guitar and Bourque is quickly becoming a master of subtle lyrical and musical charm. You hear it all over his new 10-song album, which follows his 2010 debut release What We Talk About.

Pieces of Your Past was recorded live to tape in Ottawa at Little Bullhorn Studios with producer Dave Draves and musicians Jamie Kronick (drums) and Phil Charbonneau (bass). They did two or three takes of each song — and that was it.

“It was a great way to make an album,” Bourque says. “It allows for much more feeling to shine through, which is important for my music.”

The album, full of folk and pop tunes, is a narrative about “love that had to end despite knowing the pain it would cause.” All the little things that happen between the “fragments of memories” are documented in song — as in the pieces of one’s past, hence the title.

Laurent-Bourque-Cat

“I try to reference specific aspects of life in love that most take for granted,” Bourque says. “Like what happens to your cat after a break up, who gets full custody? The answer in this scenario would be me.”

Stream the album before catching Laurent’s CD release party on Saturday, April 5 at The Black Sheep Inn.


NEW FROM SOUND OF LIONS

Take Me With You by Ottawa quintet Sound of Lions is full of hurt and a lack of sunshine. There’s a pained expression in vocalist Whitney Delion’s soulful croon on the new album. One word song titles such as “Bedrooms,” “Telephone,” and “Goodbye” underscore the album’s sense of despair. Tracks are delicately embellished with a rock touch by guitarist Will Assad, bass player Joel Soucy, and drummer Marco Campagna. Producer and emcee Christian Awad gives the kick-off track “You and Me” a cinematic hip-hop feel that continues throughout the album.

Sound-of-Lions

Sound of Lions vocalist, and former Ottawa Magazine cover subject, Whitney Delion. (Photo: Rémi Thériault)

The 11-track stunner was long in the works. Ottawa Magazine checked in with the band two years ago as they were sketching out ideas for the album and trying to juggle their various styles and interests. Soucy used to play in punk bands, Assad knows his classical music, while Awad has a hip-hop background. Those various influences are reflected lightly: an unpredictable structure gives “When” a punky edge; an uptempo beat provides “Bats” that hummable, head-nodding quality; while “Gray” has an orchestral feel to it. The album’s constant presence is vocalist and onetime Ottawa Magazine cover star Whitney Delion. She gets top billing; her Adele-gone-indie voice plays high in the mix.

“Finding a way to transfer that loose, unguarded feeling to live shows or recordings is something I’m still working on,” she says, noting that she practices singing in the shower.

“I write songs about feelings and frustrations and things that have me all twisted up inside. If sadness is more apparent, I hope it means that my songwriting is stronger than before,” Delion says. “I think it’s important to be as honest as possible in songwriting. Everyone is so closed up these days. It’s refreshing to get a dose of honesty in a song.”

Sound of Lions CD release show takes place Saturday, April 5 at Zaphod’s with Flying Horses. $5.


HELLRAISIN’ AND FUNDRAISING

1_aprilcover.inddDid you see Greg Harris (aka Lefty McRighty) in the current edition of Ottawa Magazine? He’s featured in The Sex Issue and discusses intimate details about his marriage. (Now rush to the newsstands all!) In the interview, Harris and his spouse Holly are candid about the benefits and challenges of an open marriage. Harris, by nature, is honest and forthright — characteristics that are also causing him a bit of a headache of late.

A while ago Harris posted a blog that was critical of the Capital Hoedown country music festival, which has a similar name to his alt-country/punk/etc. music festival called the O-town Hoedown.

Capital Hoedown organizer Denis Benoit didn’t like what he read and filed a $250,000 lawsuit against Harris for alleged “irreparable harm” along with “emotional harm” and damages to his reputation, according to the statement of claim. Now, Harris is throwing a fundraiser to offset legal costs.

See five bands and eight burlesque performers on Thursday, April 3 at The Rainbow Bistro. There will be a raffle for prizes from Spaceman Music and Vertigo Records among other retailers. Find show details on their Facebook page and more info on this page made by fans of Harris, who is well known in the music community. Someone even made 125 mL jars of candied ginger-pear “Lefty’s Legal Jam” to help with the fundraising. You can pick one up at the show for $4.

 

 

WEEKENDER: Eight things to do in Ottawa on the weekend of April 3—6

By CINDY OLBERG

Ottawa-Weekender-April-4

Complexe des genres is a gripping ballet production at the National Arts Centre from April 3 to 5 (Photo: Marie Philibert-Dubois)

In this edition of the Weekender: Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Complexe des genres, Fibre Fling 3, and five more things to do in Ottawa this weekend.

Rock Musical
Hedwig and the Angry Inch is an award-winning Off-Broadway musical that deals with themes of identity, individuality, and rock n’ roll. Follow rock goddess Hedwig Schmidt on her quest for the “Origin of Love” in this fun and unforgettable musical presented by Vanity Project Productions. The show runs from April 3 to 5 at The Gladstone. From $25. The Gladstone is located at 910 Gladstone Ave.

Vulnerability and Desire
Montreal choreographer Virginie Brunelle explores the strengths and shortcomings of the human experience in her ballet Complexe des genres. With a cast of six men and women, the performance covers themes of desire and vulnerability that so often go hand in hand with the search for love.The performance contains mature themes and nudity. Complexe des genres is on from April 3 to 5 at the National Arts Centre. From $30. The NAC is located at 53 Elgin St.

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ARTFUL BLOGGER: Saskatchewan’s favourite artists come to Ottawa’s Cube Gallery

By PAUL GESSELL

Cube-Gallery-Saskatchewan

Poolhall by David Thauberger, part of 3/3 Timeless, Canadian, Classic. at Cube Gallery

The Saskatchewan invasion continues at Cube Gallery.

The province’s most famous living artist, Joe Fafard, has made a few memorable stops at Cube Gallery in the last couple of years and hordes of customers have shelled out big bucks for his animal sculptures.

Now David Thauberger, my favourite Saskatchewan painter, is among three artists from the province shipping art to Cube for an exhibition April 1 to May 4 called 3/3 Timeless, Canadian, Classic.

Thauberger, who is best known for his hyper-realist paintings of prairie architecture, will be joined by Saskatchewan wildlife artist Jack Cowin and a nature-loving Sask. ex-pat Russell Yuristy, who has lived in Ottawa for decades but is still very much a stubble-jumper. All three have works in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada.

Yuristy, Fafard, and Thauberger have all been pals since before most of you were born. Long a staple at Cube Gallery, Yuristy has played a big role in helping bring his friends’ work to Ottawa. Despite being the national capital, Ottawa commercial galleries rarely exhibit any artist from west of Ontario or east of Quebec.

Thauberger will unfortunately not be able to attend the Cube exhibition. He is busily preparing for a large retrospective at the Mendel Art Gallery in Saskatoon April 11 that will be followed by a national tour to Regina, Calgary, Windsor, and Charlottetown. Alas, Ottawa is not on the schedule. As well, Thauberger has an exhibition of new work opening April 13 at Darrell Bell Gallery in Saskatoon.

Busy as he is, Thauberger took time to answer a few questions.

Paul Gessell: Why did you want to be part of this exhibition at Cube Gallery?

David Thauberger: This is an opportunity to show some of my work in Ottawa, the first time in many years. As well (it is) a chance to exhibit with two artists from Saskatchewan whose work I know very well.

Cube-Gallery-Saskatchewan

Danceland by David Thauberger on display at Cube Gallery from April 1 to May 4

PG: You will be exhibiting with two other heavyweights from the Saskatchewan art world. You each have distinctive styles and subjects. But is there a linkage among you three other than geography?

DT: As far as linkage is concerned, it really is the fact that all three of us have personal Saskatchewan history. We have all been involved in printmaking, making limited edition prints, and Russell Yuristy and I go back more than 40 years (he taught the very first art class I ever attended —  this before I was even aware that I had an interest in art). So, he goes back as far as I do and we remain friends and colleagues even today.

PG: Your hyper-realist style makes me think of Christopher Pratt. I suspect he would have created paintings like yours had he lived in Saskatchewan rather than Newfoundland. What do you think?

DT: I am a fan of Christopher Pratt’s work. I don’t know if he would be painting the prairies if he lived here (Saskatchewan) or that I would be painting Newfoundland if I were there. Personal histories, experiences, education, etc., are all factors that help decide the kind of artwork one eventually ends up making, as well as simple geographic location. For myself, however, I will say that I spent a couple of months in PEI in the early ‘90s and have been inspired to make paintings from that visit over the years. So, clearly, something “clicked” for me with the landscape/geography and architecture on the island.

PG: Smalltown prairie architecture is the subject of many of your works. What attracts you to those buildings?

DT: Yes, I have continued to make paintings of the rural/small town architecture on the prairies. I like to think of it as the “built” landscape. Most simply put, this is the environment I grew up in and continue to live in. It is my lived experience. I feel I know it well enough to make genuine and informative works about the world I know. Fortunately for me, I have received considerable positive reaction to the paintings I have been making — enough to make me continue this line.

WEEKENDER: Seven things to do in Ottawa on the weekend of March 27—30

By CINDY OLBERG

ottawa-weekender-march-28

A scene from Serra Pelada, one of the films that will be screening at the Latin Film Festival this weekend

In this issue of the Weekender: VERSeFest, Ottawa Theatre Challenge, and five other things to do in Ottawa this weekend.

Dope poets
This year’s VERSeFest features quite the who’s who of local and international poets! There will be readings from Parliamentary Poet Laureate, Michel Pleau; Scotland’s national poet Liz Lochead; and 2 Dope Boys in a Cadillac, the duo who created the world’s first “psychedelic talk opera.” VERSeFest will be on until Sunday, March 30. Check their website for event times and locations. Tickets from $10.

Annual Rubber Chicken award
Catcall the competition, bribe the judges, and laugh until your sides hurt at this year’s Ottawa Theatre Challenge on Thursday, March 27. Theatre companies from all over Ottawa will be given 48 hours, three “items of inspiration,” and one chance to showcase their impromptu production as they vie for the coveted Rubber Chicken Award and the title of Best Theatre Company in Ottawa. Proceeds from this year’s event, which is hosted by A Company of Fools, will be donated to the Actor’s Fund of Canada. The Challenge takes place at the National Arts Centre’s Fourth Stage at 7:30 p.m. Tickets from $20. The National Arts Centre is located at 53 Elgin St.

Big in Japan
There will be lots to see, taste, and admire at the Canadian Museum of Nature on Friday, March 28. Inspired by the Museum’s 30-year partnership with Ikebana International Ottawa, this month’s Nature Nocturne party will feature demonstrations of Ikebana, the ancient art of Japanese floral design, as well as a variety of Japanese music, and animation. If you get peckish on your way to the dance floor, stop by the Zen Lounge for some sushi. But don’t leave without trying one of the Japanese-inspired cocktails and taking a picture with one of the evening’s costumed characters — especially if you’re also in costume! The event is from 8 p.m. until midnight. The Canadian Museum of Nature is located at 240 McLeod St.

Decade old!
On Saturday, March 29, Guerilla will be hosting a night of live music, collage making, and burlesque at the new Gallery 101 space in Little Italy to launch their special 10-year print edition. Saturday’s event will be the last stop on GuerillaCRAWL, Guerilla’s 10-part series of community-centric events held on 10 consecutive nights, celebrating their 10th anniversary. Saturday’s event goes from 8 p.m. to midnight, with food and drink available at their cash bar. Tickets $10 at the door. Gallery 101 is located at 51-B Young St.

Latin celebration (FREE)
The Latin American Film Festival is an annual event that highlights the best of contemporary Latin American cinema — and this year, they’re offering food! As part of the film festival, ¡Fiesta Latina! will showcase  Latin American food, wine, and culture, featuring specialties made by local and embassy chefs. There will also be performances of Latin American music and dance, and a visual arts display. The ¡Fiesta Latina! takes place at Library and Archives Canada on Saturday, March 29 from 1 p.m. until 7 p.m. Admission is free. The Latin American Film Festival will be hosting screenings of films from countries throughout South America from March 27 to April 13. Admission for the film festival starts at $12. The Library and Archives Canada building is at 395 Wellington St.

Warehouse party
Still dazed from their sold-out debut album release show, Silkken Laumann will be throwing a bumpin’ dance party at the City Centre warehouse facility this Saturday, March 29. Download their album Not Forever Enough online (it’s technically free, but it would be kind of you to pay what you can) and check out the other acts: DJ Matt Tamblyn (of Open Air Social Club fame) and Cabaal from Montreal to get a taste of what’s to come. Doors open at 10:30 p.m. Advance tickets are $8. The event is licensed. Gabba Hey is located at 250 City Centre Ave. unit #202.

Where art thou?
Almost everyone has a soft spot for Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet — a tale of love and love lost. This Saturday, March 29 — for one night only — ballet choreographer, Bengt Jörgen brings his internationally toured adaptation of the timeless classic to Centrepointe Theatre. The ballet starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets from $51. Centrepointe Theatre is located at 101 Centrepointe Dr.