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WEEKENDER: What to do on the weekend of July 31 to August 2


Photo by Andrzej-Grygiel, one of the selections in this year's World Press Photo 14 collection, being shown at the Canadian War Museum until Aug. 21

Photo by Andrzej-Grygiel, one of the selections in this year’s World Press Photo 14 collection, being shown at the Canadian War Museum until Aug. 21

World Press Photos 14
Warning — contains graphic imagery. That same warning, however, is also intended to inspire understanding of the world through the lenses of photographers, some who’ve risked their lives to capture images in recent and ongoing conflicts. World Press Photo 14 is an exhibition at the Canadian War Museum showcasing 140 photographs that feature the most astonishing images from around the world, and include such shocking photographs such as one of the Boston Marathon Bombing and another of a bomb-maker in Aleppo, Syria. The exhibit is at the Canadian War Museum until August 21. Price of exhibit is a general admission ticket. Museum is open Monday to Sunday, 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Canadian War Museum is at 1 Vimy Place

Canadian Film — The Birder
Ever since I moved away from Elgin Street Video, and since I refuse to pay for cable, my film options are, sadly, limited to Netflix (Canada) — which is sorely (and inexplicably, given the CRTC’s powers) lacking in Can-Con. Sarah Polley films? Forget it. Don McKellar’s material — missing. Even films by our superstar director, Cronenberg, are spotty. That’s why, among other reasons, I’m plugging a Canadian film this weekend — The Birder. Directed by Theodore Bezaire, it has an impressive cast (Tom Cavanagh, Mark Rendall, Jamie Spilchuk), including Canadian film-heavy weights, Graham Greene (Dances with Wolves) and Fred Willard (Second City, Modern Family). The dark-comedy presents the ornithologist version of Breaking Bad’s Heisenberg — a down-and-out high school teacher who is thrown out by his ex-wife and who is also growing estranged from his teenage daughter and her modern ways. The spark ignites, however, when he loses out on a park job to a younger applicant. Whereupon he embarks on a haphazard mission to take out his rival. The Birder screens one night only in Ottawa — Thursday, July 31 at 7 p.m. at the Mayfair Theatre. Members $6; non-members $10.
Mayfair Theatre is at 1074 Bank St.

The Belle Game, Vancouver/Montreal band plays at The Black Sheep Inn on

The Belle Game, Vancouver/Montreal band plays at The Black Sheep Inn on Thursday, July 31.

The Belle Game
With the mostly-great weather, it’s the perfect time for a short road trip — especially out to Wakefield’s Black Sheep Inn to see up & coming Vancouver/Montreal band, The Belle Game. Sound-wise: writers have noted their “dark pop rhythms” or called their brand of music, “pastoral pop” — singer Andrea Lo does seem to be drawing on some creepier imagery in her lyrics, and the band’s beautifully haunting music is, at times, inspired by blues and roots. Though it’s tempting to drift away in Lo’s voice or in the band’s richly layered melodies, poignant percussive moments interrupt the spell. A bewitching listening experience — The Belle Game play on Thursday, July 31 at 8:30 p.m. with Wakefield’s own, The Strain. Tickets $10 adv.
Black Sheep Inn is at 753 Riverside Dr., Wakefield

Whispers FREE!
Blink gallery is a rarity to begin with. Firstly, it’s only open during the summer months; secondly, it’s practically invisible — it’s hiding in an old ammunition’s bunker in the very back of Major’s Hill Park. Thirdly, blink and you might miss this weekend’s performance art piece — Whispers — because it’s only happening for three days. A trio of Ottawa artists — musician/composer Judith Manger, visual artist Maria Gomez Umaña, and poet Charles C. Smith — will present a collaborative performance to show notions of healing: individually, as a community, and as a planet. And given the ongoing conflicts around the world (Gaza, Congo, Ukraine, Syria, etc.), goodness knows we could use some healing. For the curious, for the artistic-minded, or for those who’ve managed to resist becoming cold and cynical, check out Whispers on Thursday, July 31, at 6:30 p.m., and on Friday, August 1 and Saturday, August 2 at 1:30 p.m.
Blink Gallery is at Major’s Hill Park, near the National Art Gallery

Eye Candy — Fireworks
Fireworks — are they not the opiate of the masses? Now, I know they’re nowhere near to being a drug, but they do seem to have this intoxicating effect, in that people will stand for hours in a sweaty crowd, sometimes even after enduring torrential downpours, to watch what is, essentially, gunpowder exploding in the sky. Wow. So magical. Now that I’ve sucked out all the fun, Lac Leamy’s annual summer fireworks festival, Sound of Light, kicks off this Saturday, August 2 with a fireworks/musical performance from Hong Kong. The music is inspired by some of the most popular Western musicals. But the show is more than just fireworks. Get there earlier — 6 p.m. — and enjoy music, dance, and other family-themed fun. The fireworks blast off at 9 p.m. Tickets are $5 for adults, and it’s free for kids 11 and under. More info click here. The remaining fireworks shows are as follows: Wednesday, August 6 — Canada; Saturday, August 9 — Portugal; Wednesday, August 13 — Switzerland; and the finale is on Saturday, August 16.
Canadian Museum of History, 100 Laurier Street , Gatineau, Quebec





ARTFUL BLOGGER: “The Financier” — best Odyssey Theatre performance in 28 years


Photo by Glen Hartle

The Financier, performed by Odyssey Theatre at Strathcona Park, from Tuesday to Sunday at 8 p.m., and weekend matinees at 3 p.m. Photo by Glen Hartle


The very stylized form of theatre known as commedia dell’arte is an acquired taste. And, heretofore, I had not acquired a taste for costumed, masked actors preening and strutting on stage like it was the 16th century. But if all commedia dell’arte was like the new Odyssey Theatre production of The Financier, I could become an addict.

The Financier is the best thing I have ever seen performed by Odyssey in its 28 years as Ottawa’s prime outdoor theatre troupe. The set and costumes by James Lavoie are dazzling. The perfectly timed physical comedy, including some wacky dance numbers, is hilarious, thanks to “baroque choreographer” Marie-Nathalie Lacoursiere. The madcap storyline is totally ridiculous. (And that’s a compliment, by the way.)

Laurie Steven, the director of the play and the founder of Odyssey, surely deserves much of the credit for this winner. Of course, it helped that Steven had a great cast, notably Alanna Bale, who played the dual roles of chambermaids Marine and Lisette. Bale stole every scene in which she appeared. Her two roles demanded exaggerated gestures and overly dramatic delivery of dialogue and Bale was so polished that she often left her fellow actors in the dust.

The plot is a comedy of manners by Alain-Rene Lesage and first performed, in French, in Paris in 1709. Fans of Moliere’s Tartuffe will undoubtedly love The Financier or, as it was called in French, Turcaret.

At the centre of the story is The Baroness, played by Chandel Gambles. The Baroness is poor, but beautiful — and an outrageous flirt. One minute she is cozying up to the rich, ugly financier, M. Turcaret (Andy Massingham), and the next moment all her attentions are lavished upon the handsome impoverished The Knight (Atilla Clemann).

All players, including the servants, are greedy schemers, trying to determine the easiest way to fleece M. Turcaret. A diamond ring, a love letter, an IOU, and other props are constantly appearing and disappearing and being tossed from one character to another like hot potatoes. And then a long-lost wife appears and the plot takes off like a rocket into outer space.

In the laugh-a-minute second act, The Financier becomes a total farce. The set is demolished. Actors remove their masks and rip off their costumes. They suddenly look very contemporary. The greedy schemers, they seem to say, are still among us.

The Financier continues outdoors at Strathcona Park in Sandy Hill until Aug. 24. Performances takes place Tuesdays through Sundays at 8 p.m. Tickets from $24. Pay-what-you-can on matinee weekends, which start at 3 p.m. Wise members of the audience bring their own lawn chairs or at least a cushion for the hard wooden bleachers. And arm yourself with insect repellent against the mosquitoes.

Visit their site for more info.


Photo by Glen Hartle

Photo by Glen Hartle



OUTSIDE VOICE: Jon Hynes moves keenly to the front with confident “Watchful Creatures”

By Glenn Nuotio

Jon Hynes + cat

Songwriter JON HYNES, a multi-instrumentalist taking his time and building a new community with the release of “Watchful Creatures”


It seems everyone in Canada’s indie music scene should have met, heard, or performed a show with Jon Hynes by now. Since leaving St. John’s (as singer/songwriter of the acclaimed band Trailer Camp) for Toronto in 2008, followed by a move to Ottawa in 2011, his back-up vocals, guitar, bass and percussion abilities have assisted an impressive list of already innovative musical acts, including Betty Burke, Gentleman Reg, Matthew Barber, Hidden Cameras, Hey, Rosetta!, and Jeremy Fisher. Just back from this summer’s Dawson City Music Festival as drummer of Evening Hymns, and about to split after Ottawa’s Arboretum Festival in August for 9 weeks to play bass for The Wooden Sky across Europe this autumn, it’s difficult to keep track of what he’s doing lately and for whom. He managed somehow to also fit in his own debut album launch in Ottawa on Friday, July 25.

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WEEKENDER: Five things to do on the weekend of July 24 to 27 (The Almost Free-Edition!)




Famed American hip-hop artist, activist, photographer, and director Ernie Paniccioli will be speaking on Saturday, July 26, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Gallery 101 as part of the five-day Asinabka Film and Media Festival

Asinabka Film Fest (almost FREE)
The third annual Asinabka Film and Media Festival, which celebrates local, national, and international Aboriginal filmmakers, kicks off this Wednesday, July 23 with an outdoor screening of two films on Victoria Island: Decolonizing Together, and Rhymes for Young Ghouls — the director of the latter will be in attendance. Each night during the five-day festival, screenings (and parties) will take place in various locations throughout the city. Thursday, July 24’s screenings take place at Gallery 101, accompanied by food and music (cash bar); Friday, July 25’s films will be shown at SAW Gallery. At 10:30 p.m., there’ll be live music, with a spotlight on Nogojiwanong (Peterborough) musicians: Sean Conway, Tara Williamson, and
 Sarah DeCarlo ($10 cover). On Saturday, July 26 there’s an artist’s talk with director, and well-known hip-hop photographer, Ernie Paniccioli, at Gallery 101 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., with more screenings that evening at the Museum of Nature, starting at 7 p.m. and ending at 1 a.m. ($10 cover). Sunday, July 27 brings the festival to a close with another outdoor screening at Victoria Island at 8:45 p.m. For a more detailed look at the festival, click here.

Wrestling with C.S. Lewis’ Demon
Although C.S. Lewis is more commonly associated with ‘children’s’ series, the Narnia Chronicles, the bulk of his writings concern Christianity (Narnia is, in fact, an allegory for various Christian themes). In his collection, one book in particular stands out: The Screwtape Letters, which involves a professor named Screwtape who is actually a demon from hell who councils a pupil called Wormwood on how to undermine faith and promote sin. It is, essentially, a satirical exposition on how to avoid temptation and sin. It also makes delicious subject matter for a theatre company with a mandate to address works that explore faith and spirituality. No surprise then that the Ottawa-based 9Th Hour Threatre Company is putting on The Screwtape Letters this summer. The play will be performed in the studio at the Great Canadian Theatre Company from Thursday, July 24 until Saturday, August 9. Most weekday showtimes are at 8 p.m.; weekend shows vary. See schedule. Tickets from $20.
The GCTC is at 1233 Wellington St.

Centretown Movies (almost FREE)
Since the days of drive-in movies, there’s been something magical — and very summery — associated with watching a movie outdoors. Centretown Movies has been showing flicks outside in the summertime for decades now, becoming sort of a seasonal rite. The venue has changed over the years, but that fun hasn’t — especially with a schedule that includes new and classic, sappy and campy. Already one week in, this Friday, July 25 Centretown Movies’ Outdoor Film Festival in Dundonald Park shows Rent, which is hosted by the AIDS Committee of Ottawa. The following night, Saturday, July 26, watch the adorable Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel fall in and out of love in 500 Days of Summer. Movies begin at 9 p.m. and they’re pay-what-you-can. The festival runs every Friday and Saturday until August 16. Friday’s films tend towards awareness of such social issues as mining, homosexuality, AIDS, etc., while Saturday’s films are more entertainment-driven. For the full schedule check here.
Dondonald Park is at Somerset, between Bay and Lyon.

Photo by Alexis Francoeur-Leblond

Empty Shelves play — for free! — on Friday, July 25 at 8 Locks’ Flat Gastropub. Photo by Alexis Francoeur-Leblond

Empty Shelves (FREE)
My ears are tingling, partly due to the ear infection I garnered over the weekend, but more likely because there’s a new, and definitely buzz-worthy addition to Ottawa’s burgeoning indie scene — Empty Shelves. Though they’ve only released two tracks so far, both portend to their future capabilities. The sound of a ticking clock at the beginning of Where Are You sets a constrained measure, both moody and beautiful, and which finally bursts out as a jangly-pop song; while Day Art Circa moves with restrained intensity that swells to create an Explosions in the Sky moment. As a six-member band, they have the potential to create more elaborate sonic soundscapes — which they do — but they also know when to shut down and linger in quieter moments. Empty Shelves play on Friday, July 25 at 8 Locks’ Flat Gastropub on the Rideau Canal — a perfect setting to enjoy their thoughtfully constructed music.
8 Locks’ Flat is at 191 Colonel By Drive

Quebec Craft Beers (FREE)
Ever wondered what Quebec craft brewers are up to? On Saturday, July 26 come out to the first edition of Marché des Brasseurs to find out. A project of the Brewery Market, which has hosted events since 2011 to promote craft/artisanal beers, the event is being held at the picturesque Hendrick Farm in Old Chelsea. Sample beers from Le Trou du Diable (Shawinigan), Brasserie Dunham (Dunham), the Microbrasserie le Castor (Rigaud), la brasserie Benelux (Montréal) and, closer to home, Les Brasseurs du Temps (Gatineau). All ages are welcome. Beer and food can be purchased at the event, which runs from noon to 6 p.m. There’s even a shuttle bus that leaves from Ottawa (Fairmont and Wellington). Reserve here.
Hendrick Farm is at 3, Chelbrook, Old Chelsea




SLIDESHOW! “More than just an ice rink,” Rideau Canal offers accessible adventure for paddlers


Claude Galipeau, getting set to embark on a three-day kayaking trip with his brother, Paul, and Ben Welland

Claude Galipeau, getting set to embark on a three-day kayaking trip with his brother, Paul, and Ben Welland Photo: Ben Welland

“It’s more than just an ice rink,” Paul Galipeau says emphatically. Rather, the Rideau Canal water-way can be seen as a natural and historic treasure that’s right in our backyard. And yet, as the photographer and Parks Canada employee points out, most Ottawans have not, and never will, venture out onto its waters — except for a tiny frozen stretch in the heart of the city, while wearing skates, in the dead of winter.

What’s stopping them? Galipeau speculates that perhaps it’s because people think kayaking on the 202-kilometre-long Rideau Canal waterway — also a UNESCO World Heritage Site — is expensive, difficult, and complicated.

Yet Galipeau proved otherwise last summer when he set off with his brother Claude and photographer Ben Welland. All are (or were) novice kayakers. They chose a 40-kilometre stretch — roughly from Kingston to Westport — that was not only doable but unforgettable.

Paddling in 17-foot-long sea kayaks, the trio travelled for three days through various locks, under old bridges, and past historic towns, camping alongside the canal. Since two out of the three are photographers, naturally they documented their trip — at times shooting in 35mm film — capturing what Welland describes as a “local treasure that’s only accessible by boat.”

Having kayaked among the Thousand Islands in the St. Lawrence River the previous year — a difficult and sometimes hair-raising experience — Galipeau says the Rideau Canal trip was easy, not to mention relatively inexpensive. “It’s ridiculous that more people haven’t taken advantage of this park,” he says. Welland agrees that the tour was very relaxed. “Getting picked up by our shuttle was the only deadline.”



GAME DAY! Time to get pumped with Metallica, The Trews, Blackwell, and more


Songs have been an integral part of sports and public spectacle, perhaps even before music was itself one of the contests alongside the physical events of the ancient Olympics.

A giant inflatable REDBLACKS helmet welcomes fans to the pep rally at Marion Dewar Plaza, Ottawa City Hall. July 17th, 2014. Photos by Glenn Nuotio

When the July 17 pep rally was announced to cheer on the OTTAWA REDBLACKS before their Friday, July 18 sold-out home opener against the Toronto Argonauts, the football fan in me had to check it out. With the added news that popular Atlantic Canadian rock band The Trews were chosen to play Friday’s first-ever pregame show at TD Place, the musician in me wondered how else music would play a part in the festivities.

At one point in the pep rally, mascot Big Joe flipped his axe handle over into a pretend mic and lip-synched a Shania Twain song. That was followed by Ottawa-based country vocal trio Blackwell singing “REDBLACKS style”, a modified-version of their new single “Redneck Style,” which will be released to radio next week.

Questions swirled: With a sold-out stadium crowd on Friday and a diverse city with CFL players from all over North America, would the soundtrack to motivate this new generation of #RNation take a regional Ontario approach?

Not being a huge country rock fan, was I just being a music snob?

Did our new CFL team have an official song yet?

What kind of music did the REDBLACKS as a team play in practice getting ready this week?

What about each player? What music do they need to prepare for the big moment?

I surveyed others at the rally to see if I could find out some answers.

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ARTFUL BLOGGER: “Have a great Latter-day!”


The Book of Mormon

There is nothing sacred in The Book of Mormon.

Likely Ottawa has never laughed so hard. There’s a campy Christ; a Hitler disco-dancing in Hell; a murderous African warlord with a name too racy to repeat here. OMG!

This Tony Award-winning musical from the company Broadway Across Canada, and which is currently playing onstage at the National Arts Centre from July 15-27, is perhaps the most politically incorrect production to pass through town since the tart-tongued, cross-dressing Dame Edna Everage last visited, tossing gladioli and insults at the audience. Mormons are mercilessly caricatured in this musical. Ugandans are racially stereotyped. Baptism assumes sexual overtones.

It is difficult not to feel guilty laughing at all the jokes. After all, the jokes are mainly at the expense of people who are pretty serious about their religion.

I kept thinking: What would a Mormon think of this? So, once home, I Googled that very question and found news stories quoting some supposedly important Mormons as saying that the success of The Book of Mormon during the last few years has increased interest in the religion and people are now more likely to answer the doorbell when two fresh-faced, young men in white shirts and black ties come calling with promises of everlasting paradise. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has even been known to buy ads in playbills of The Book of Mormon.

“People will become more aware that we’re a Christian church, that we’re not a cult, and that we don’t force our views on anyone, but that we’re happy to share them with those who are interested,” Elder Steven Bennion, a top church official, is quoted as saying.

Now, that makes me feel better. It’s great to have a religion with a sense of humour — which isn’t always the case. Back in 1979, there was outrage from various pockets of the Christian community over a movie caricaturing the life of Christ in Monty Python’s Life of Brian. And we all know about the sense of humour demonstrated by fatwa-invoking Muslim ayatollahs.

The plot of The Book of Mormon involves two naïve young American men — Mormon missionaries — who are sent to rural Uganda. The Ugandans aren’t interested and the missionaries make no converts until one of the young Americans spices up the evangelizing by adding elements from science fiction and The Lord of the Rings. For example, sinners in Mormonland get sent to The Fires of Mordor. The Ugandans become intrigued. They get baptized. And that’s when the problems really begin for the two Mormon missionaries.

In the end, this is a feel-good musical in the vein of Hairspray — except in The Book of Mormon, it’s a fat boy, not a fat girl, who emerges as the hero.

It is simply a perfect production. The songs are catchy. The dance numbers rock. The set changes are magic. Everybody leaves happy. As fat-boy Elder Cunningham would say: “Have a great Latter-day!”

The Book of Mormon







WEEKENDER: What to do on the (week) weekend of July 16 to 19

The Kestrels play at Pressed on Friday, July 18

Kestrels play at Pressed on Friday, July 18

Bad Ass Dash
So, you think you’re a real bad ass huh. I suppose, then, you’ve already signed up for the Badass Dash? It is yet another outdoor obstacle course challenge (a la Tough Mudder, Death Race, Cops and Robbers Run, Spartan Race) for competitive thrillseekers. On Saturday, July 19 competitors will hurl themselves through The Human Car Wash, The Claustrophobic Crawl, The Horrendous Heavy Bags, and the dreaded Australian Back Crawl challenges, which are just a few of the 30+ obstacles along the 7km course. Sadly, the event closes for registration by Thursday, July 17 (register here), but the bad ass you are means you’re likely already signed up. If you missed this year’s registration, come out anyways; spectators are welcome. More info — visit the website. The event starts at 8 a.m. and takes place at the Wesley Clover Parks (formerly Nepean National Equestrian Park).
Wesley Clover Parks is at 401 Corkstown Rd.

Pickled Turnips & More
Shawarma — it’s long been Ottawa’s go-to fast food. We love the stuff, which is why there’s so many shawarma shops dotted around the city. Then there’s the potatoes, the salads, the pickled turnips (insert drool) — these and other Lebanese culinary mainstays can be had at the 24th annual Ottawa Lebanese Festival, which takes place Wednesday, July 16 to Sunday, July 20 at the St. Elias Cathedral, directly across from Mooney’s Bay. Enjoy Middle Eastern food, musical entertainment, and even a midway! Admission is $5 opening night, $2 for remaining nights. Festival hours are: Wednesday to Friday 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Musical Mormon Mummery
Poor Mormons — Marilyn Manson burned their Bible onstage at a Utah concert in the 90s; HBO cast a not-so-glowing light on aspects of their faith in the series, Big Love; and more recently, South Park creators (who proudly take aim at everyone and everything with their comedy) get their jabs in with the highly popular Broadway musical: The Book of Mormon. The story involves two missionaries who travel to Uganda where a warlord holds sway over the population — one which is less concerned about “God’s word” and more about everyday violence and disease. As such, the missionaries’ naivety is exposed and hilarity ensues — in song and verse, of course. The musical opened in Ottawa this week at the National Arts Centre, and it has showings on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday — and on, until July 27. Check out the NAC’s website for times. Tickets: from $63.
The NAC is at 53 Elgin St.

Zainab Hussain’s Little Urban Myths (Derelict), 2014, one of her pieces showing in a group exhibit at Blink Gallery from Thursday July 17 to July 27

New Uses for Maps (FREE)
Maps, mostly replaced by GPS now, continue to function in ways beyond simply getting from point A to point B. Blink Gallery’s first summer exhibition features Ottawa artists exploring unique ways of “mapping” the city: Stephanie Marton uses audio and Polaroids to document a moment in a journey through the city; Jessie Raymond documents the waste/garbage (the archeology of the space) she finds in the Hurdman area; and Zainab Hussain examines re-zoning of nature, records tiny fairy communities, and displays the skylines of Ottawa/Gatineau through mirrors, while a stereo audio component is split between the two, so that in each skyline, a different side of the compensation can be heard. The show, curated by Anna Paluch, opens on Thursday, July 17, from 6-9 p.m., and continues until July 27. Blink Gallery is open Fridays, from 6 to 9 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 12 to 5 p.m.
Blink Gallery is in Major’s Hill Park.

Kestrels Ride Chrome Waves
I may not be Allan Cross and this is certainly not The Secret History of Rock, but here’s my take on a little-known subgenre of music: shoegaze. It describes slow, distortion-heavy, early 90s music where, unlike the “heavy metal” or performance-based bands of the 80s, musicians (mostly English) would stare down — seemingly at their shoes (they were in fact focusing on their instruments) — focused less on the “show” and more on producing artful, fuzzed out, guitar-based music. The genre has continued to persist, and even more recently, is seeing a resurgence/reinterpretation of sorts. It’s unsurprising then to find a new shoegaze-influenced band emerge from Halifax — especially with its Sub Pop history. The band Kestrels are, perhaps, more explosive and bombastic than other shoegaze bands of old, and draw comparisons to the louder, faster, more melodic moments in the catalogs of My Bloody Valentine, Ride, or even Brooklyn’s Pains of Being Pure at Heart. Currently, they’re touring their newly released EP, out on Sonic Unyon, The Moon is Shining our Way. Kestrels play at Pressed on Friday, July 18, with Harsh Reality and Mnemonics. Tickets: $7.
Pressed is at 750 Gladstone Ave.

Amelia Curran, award-winning singer-songwriter from Newfoundland/Halifax plays at The Black Sheep Inn on Saturday, July 19

Amelia Curran, singer-songwriter from Newfoundland/Halifax, plays at The Black Sheep Inn on Saturday, July 19

Amelia Curran
Now that Bluesfest is over, The Black Sheep Inn in Wakefield is once again filling its evenings with talented musicians. Few are more worthy of the accolades heaped upon her (Juno-winner, East Coast Music Awards, etc.) then Halifax/Newfoundland’s Amelia Curran. Some have compared her to Leonard Cohen or Patsy Cline — but really, her songs are plainly heartfelt, musically deft, and poetic. She’s taking a break from recording her upcoming new album to play at the Inn on Saturday, July 19. Tickets are $25, and the show’s at 8:30 p.m. Note: if you’re driving into Wakefield for the show, Valley Drive is presently closed, so you either have to drive down Rockhurst or all the way around to the end of the highway and double back into town. Fun times.
Black Sheep Inn is 753 Riverside Dr.

DAYTRIPPER: Visit Perth for cute shops and foodie finds


Once voted the prettiest town in Ontario, Perth is dotted with specialty shops and restaurants, many in century-old stone buildings. Go for the boutiques, antiques, and good eats — all just an hour’s drive from the city.

Photo by Justin Van Leeuwen.

Photo by Justin Van Leeuwen.

Backbeat Books & Music
6 Wilson St.
Finally, a used-book store that doesn’t feel like a cramped closet. This cozy spot sells new and used books and vinyl. On one side, there’s a careful selection of new fiction and non-fiction titles (and a couch). Mosey over toward the cash to find high-end turntables and well-organized shelves of records, from vintage and re-releases to indie albums from rising stars like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Click the thumbnails to see more places to visit in Perth:






ARTFUL BLOGGER: National Gallery show reveals how Gustave Doré’s 19th century illustrations haunt us still


Gustave Doré, Oceanids or Naiads of the Sea, c. 1878 Oil on canvas, 127 × 185.4 cm Lawrence B. Berenson

Gustave Doré, Oceanids or Naiads of the Sea, c. 1878
Oil on canvas, 127 × 185.4 cm
Lawrence B. Berenson

Gustave Doré is hardly a household name. But this 19th century French artist is the main attraction this summer at the National Gallery of Canada’s exhibit Gustave Doré (1832-1883): Master of Imagination. So, take a look. You will be pleasantly surprised to realize you have vague recollections of having seen his work before. Hundreds of times.

Doré was a prolific and talented illustrator. He produced illustrated copies of many great works of literature, including Don Quixote, The Bible, Dante’s Inferno, Paradise Lost, and many traditional fairy tales.

The images (or their spin-offs) he created for these books are still regularly seen today. Some of the mythical creatures in Peter Jackson’s film trilogy, Lord of the Rings, were lifted straight from Dore. Or the Puss-n-Boots-like character in the Shrek 2 movie? Dore did it first. Or remember Charlton Heston as Moses in the Hollywood blockbuster The Ten Commandments? The scene in which an angry Moses smashes the tablets with the commandments was inspired by Doré. On and on it goes. He is even given credit for inventing a relative of the beast we know as King Kong.

Gustave Doré, The Triumph of Christianity over Paganism, 1868 Oil on canvas, 300 × 200 cm Art Gallery of Hamilton, Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Collection, 2002 (2002.33.18)

Gustave Doré, The Triumph of Christianity over Paganism, 1868
Oil on canvas, 300 × 200 cm
Art Gallery of Hamilton, Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Collection, 2002 (2002.33.18)

The 100 or so works in the National Gallery summer-long show include film clips allowing visitors to see the uncanny and repeated use of Doré-like images in popular culture throughout the 20th century and beyond. No other 19th century artist has had such a strong influence on pop culture today.

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