THE (WET) WEEKENDER: 5 watery events happening in and around Ottawa this summer


Photo by Rod Beauprie for Bring on the Bay.

Photo by Rod Beauprie for Bring on the Bay.

Bring on the Bay 3K Swim
July 12
For the eighth year, swimmers of all levels will take part in the Bring on the Bay 3k Open Water Swim. Proceeds from the event go to Easter Seals Ontario, which raises money for children with physical disabilities. Registration from $50. Nepean Sailing Club, 3259 Carling Ave.,


The Ultimate S.U.P. Challenge
July 18-20
The Ultimate Stand Up Paddle Challenge at Owl Rafting in nearby Forester Falls is the first of its kind in Canada. All levels of stand-up paddleboarders are invited to take part in whitewater and flatwater races. Cash prizes total $2,500, and clinics with instructor Dan Gavere will be big draw. A portion of reg- tration fees will go to Lupus Ontario. Registration from $45. 40 Owl Lane, Foresters Falls, 801-554-2236,

The starting line of the Morrisburg Tubie race. Photo by David Trattles.

The starting line of the Morrisburg Tubie race. Photo by David Trattles.

Tubie Festival
Aug. 2-3
At one point, the much-loved Tubie Festival was in danger of being cancelled. Luckily, the South Dundas Chamber of Commerce swooped in and saved the day. So blow up your homemade watercraft, and head to Morrisburg for a fun weekend of tube races and family fun. Free. Waterfront Park, Morrisburg, 613-543-3982,

National Capital Regatta
Aug. 9-10
The National Capital Regatta is one of the oldest annual events of its kind in eastern Ontario. Over one weekend, the Britannia Yacht Club hosts a number of friendly compe- titions between novice and experi- enced sailors alike on a range of sailboats. There will be three separate courses for those who want to hone their skills; see page 37 for more information. Registration from $80. 2777 Cassels St., 613-828-5167,

Dunrobin Kids of Steel Race
Aug. 25
Sanctioned by Triathlon Ontario, Kids of Steel (KOS) races give children and youth the opportunity to try out the popular sports event in a fun and safe environment — the open-water swim is in the Ottawa River; the bike race is along well-paved, closed roads; and the run is through fields and on dirt roads. $50. 1620 Sixth Line Rd., 613-323-5255,

WEEKENDER: Five things to do on the weekend of July 10 to 13

Lemuria, a garage/punk band from the 'lost continent' of Buffalo, N.Y. plays at House of Targ on

Lemuria, a garage/punk band from the ‘lost continent’ of Buffalo, N.Y. plays at House of Targ on Thursday, July 10.

Driving Miss Daisy
Driving Miss Daisy — the Pulitzer-prize winning play, which was made into an Oscar-nominated film starring Morgan Freeman and Jessica Tandy — comes to Ottawa Little Theatre. The division, tensions, and relationship between African-Americans and White Southerners during the tumultuous period of the 1960s play out in the relationship between a stubborn matriarch and her indomitable chauffeur. The play is on this weekend, with shows on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday — at 7:30 p.m. all three nights — and runs until July 26. Tickets from $25.
Ottawa Little Theatre is at 400 King Edward Ave.

The Lost Band, Lemuria
We’ve all heard of Plato’s lost city of Atlantis, but what about the lost continent of Lemuria? Once thought to have existed in the Indian Ocean, Lemuria or Mu (or the ‘motherland of Mu’) was believed to have been the missing land-bridge that connected Madagascar with India. Like the ‘lost continent’, the three-member group Lemuria, which hails from Buffalo, N.Y., sounds like something from the past too — perhaps The Lemonheads, or Superchunk. Like these 90s bands to which Lemuria cites as influences, their sound is made up of girl/guy vocals combined with guitars and drums to create a garage/punk sound with surprisingly ‘pop’ lyrics — all of which is combed over with a low-production feel. Catch them at House of Targ on Thursday, July 10.$10 advance; show’s at 10 p.m.
House of Targ is at 1077 Bank St.

Coco Riot for Change
Believing that “art is not a tool for social change, but social change itself,” queer Spanish artist Coco Riot creates ‘social change’ through his art, incorporating mural, on-site 3D installations, and sculpture to connect with the viewer’s everyday experiences and create an emotional response. On Friday, July 11, Orange Gallery will be unveiling a mural by Coco that challenges gender-based violence. Local arts activists and groups, including Artswell will, in connection with this event, be holding workshops from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Art Is In Bakery will also be serving light refreshments.
Orange Gallery is at 290 City Centre Ave.

Manotick Beer Mill
Me and my gut are currently on a hiatus from beer — but that doesn’t mean you should be. Especially during this season of seasons for beer drinking. Manotick’s Watson’s Grist Mill, a working flour mill from the 1860s, will be host to a craft-beer event on Friday, July 11 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sample beers from local craft breweries, snack on tasty treats paired to select brews, enjoy some jazz, and converse with other beer enthusiasts and bring your questions for a Q&A session with brew masters. Tickets are $35. For more details, follow the event (there may be some last minute changes) on their Facebook site.
Watson’s Mill is at 5525 Dickson St., Manotick.

Kevin James and I
Comedian Kevin James and I haven’t gotten off to a great start. He was mentioned, strangely, during our wedding ceremony by the minister in an off-the-sleeve reference to Hitch; I suffered through James’ starring role in Mall Cop on an airplane; and in some forgetful fit, I rented Grown Ups (which also stars James) on an adolescent idea that Adam Sandler was funny — he isn’t. But hey, comedy is subjective. And so, if you want to catch James in a non-Hollywood setting (I’m betting he’s much funnier on-stage), he’ll be bringing his ‘hilarity’ to the National Arts Centre on Saturday, July 12. Tickets are from $59. Show’s at 7 p.m.
The NAC is at 53 Elgin St.

FROM THE PRINT EDITION: The pills, thrills, and chills of an MDMA trip

The popularity of electronic music in Ottawa is rising — as is its go-to drug, MDMA. This article, in which author David Meffe explores the local scene following the tragic death of a friend, first appeared in OTTAWA Magazine’s May issue. We’re releasing it online following two recent drug-related incidents in the city. 


I was on the dance floor when the drugs kicked in. Caught between the elevated DJ booth and a crowd of hundreds, I was aware that something primal was happening in my body, in my brain. I had taken the pill almost an hour earlier, and the telltale signs were manifesting in the tips of my fingers.

Barrymore’s Music Hall on Bank Street was packed solid: punks, ravers, hipsters, jocks, students, greasers, preps — you name it. German electro-trance duo Cosmic Gate had just commandeered the booth to the rising shouts and screams of the audience begging for what they had paid to hear.

Just about everybody was on something, but MDMA — an amphetamine better known as ecstasy — was electro’s all-powerful soup du jour, the raver’s panacea. Pills, caps, or powder, it was everywhere — in pockets, under tongues, on gums, up noses, and in drinks.

I had spent the past hour misinterpreting every shiver I felt as a manifestation of the drug, but doubt evaporated as my senses aggressively sharpened against a rapidly revolving whetstone in my mind. Movements felt exaggerated and elongated, as if they were expressions of a buried instinct.

Cramped together in our communal womb, floating in the nurturing amniotic fluid of bass and electronic sounds, our tribe was moving in unison. Every brush against my skin was a cascade of warmth, a bathing baptism of the cortex, an orgasm of the mind. Flashing lights danced around my dilated pupils, and I lost myself, feeling content to stay there forever if need be.

The side effects I had feared — hallucinations, paranoia, grogginess — were absent. No stifling feelings of deep synthetic insight or forced introspective revelations, just an overwhelming feeling of oneness with the grinding mass. It felt like an endless rabbit hole of unbridled euphoria, an overarching sense that whatever we were doing was right, that nothing could ever be wrong as long as we all kept dancing. But only if it was with others; oh God, I couldn’t do it alone.

At that time, I had no idea that in a few months, the death of a friend would expose the narrow line that separates youthful excess and the dark side of amphetamine use, the short ride from a rave to the grave.

Illustration by Anthony Tremmaglia

Illustration by Anthony Tremmaglia

Ottawa + Electro + MDMA
Music and drugs have always seen eye to eye, but if MDMA married electro music, Ottawa — despite a short stint in the rave days of the 1990s — showed up late to the reception, long after regular party guests (i.e., Toronto and Montreal) had already passed out drunk at the bar.

Over the past five years, Ottawa has found itself an emerging hotbed for electronic-music concerts. Top artists who previously ignored the nation’s sleepy capital in favour of more established party hubs are beginning to recognize the interest in their brand of music. The summer Escapade Music Festival, which started in 2010, has now become a Canada Day staple that draws concertgoers from across the province to see iconic acts such as DJ Tiesto, Deadmau5, and Avicii.

“More people are willing to come to the city, artists we originally thought would never want to,” says Maninder Virk, of Ottawa-based concert promoter DNA Presents, the company behind Escapade. He says agents are beginning to trust that promoters can ensure a packed audience when their headliners take the booth.

“When people see that Ottawa can sustain a large atmosphere and has a lot of support for the electronic movement, we’re only going to keep getting bigger concerts,” says Virk. “You’re going to see more electronic music incorporated into events like Bluesfest.”

My own MDMA trip started on a street corner — one hand held the ubiquitous raver’s water bottle, the other fidgeted nervously. It was time to take the dive. I kept looking at my chest, where a little plastic bag lay in my left breast pocket.

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ARTFUL BLOGGER: nichola feldman-kiss installation displays horrific images from 2011 massacre in Sudan


nichola feldman-kiss, until the story of the hunt is told by the lion / facing horror and the possibility of shame, 2011-2013, sixty-one digital photographs, three-channel sound composition, electro-luminescent back-light media, Duratrans media, loud speaker system, plastics, wood, electronics, and custom software, installation view, Terms of Engagement: Averns, feldman-kiss, Stimson, Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen's University, 26 April–10 August 2014. Photo: Paul Litherland.

nichola feldman-kiss, until the story of the hunt is told by the lion / facing horror and the possibility of shame, 2011-2013, sixty-one digital photographs, three-channel sound composition, electro-luminescent back-light media, Duratrans media, loud speaker system, plastics, wood, electronics, and custom software, installation view, Terms of Engagement: Averns, feldman-kiss, Stimson, Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen’s University, 26 April–10 August 2014. Photo: Paul Litherland.

The curved backlit photographs glow as they spiral heavenward from the floor of the darkened room. It is as if some whirlwind has just passed through, disturbing what had once been a neat arrangement.

The photographs are fragments of lives disappearing into the gloom. From a distance, the installation looks peaceful and inviting. Until, that is, you realize what is pictured in these photographs. Then the arrangement becomes horrific because the images are of corpses, skeletons and spent armaments – reminders of a 2011 massacre in the Sudanese community of Kaldak.

This installation by Ottawa artist nichola feldman-kiss is titled “until the story of the hunt is told by the lion / facing horror and the possibility of shame (Jonglei State, Sudan)”. It can be seen at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre in Kingston as part of the nationally touring exhibition Terms of Engagement curated by the University of Ottawa art professor Christine Conley.

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REASON TO LOVE OTTAWA: Because two guys on Parliament Hill have been listening to our secrets for a century

By Cindy Olberg

Sydney Mutendi of Harare, Zimbabwe sits by the Whispering Wall monument on Parliament Hill, May 3rd, 2014.

Sydney Mutendi of Harare, Zimbabwe sits by the Whispering Wall on Parliament Hill, May 3rd, 2014. Photo by Jackson Couse


Perhaps you’ve heard whispers about an unusual monument hidden in plain sight on Parliament Hill. On the east side of the Centre Block, past the statues of the Famous Five and Queen Elizabeth II, there’s a statue referred to as the “whispering wall.”

The Robert Baldwin and Sir Louis-Hippolyte LaFontaine memorial, designed by Walter Seymour Allward and built in 1914, is a tribute to two statesmen who worked together to give legislative power to elected assemblies and prove that French and English Canadians could collaborate on political issues.
Often praised for its original curved design, another quality tends to get overlooked: it carries sound. When two people sit at opposite ends of the monument and whisper, they can hear each other — perfectly, as if they were sitting side by side.

According to Craig Merrett, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Carleton University, it’s caused by a phenomenon known as evanescent waves. “Sound waves almost move in a ripple along the surface of the wall, and the person at the other end can hear — with little distortion. With the sound waves moving along the surface of the wall, it actually doesn’t lose its intensity as much as when you normally just talk into open air.”

Students from Sir Guy-Carleton High-school at the Whispering Wall monument commemorating Robert Baldwin and Louis-Hyppolyte Lafontaine, the collaborative Premiers of Upper and Lower Canada. The students, from grades nine through twelve, are on a leadership training scavenger-hunt to Parliament Hill, May 4th, 2014. Photo by Jackson Couse.

Students from Sir Guy-Carleton High-school at the Whispering Wall monument commemorating Robert Baldwin and Louis-Hyppolyte Lafontaine, the collaborative Premiers of Upper and Lower Canada. The students, from grades nine through twelve, were on a leadership training scavenger-hunt to Parliament Hill, May 4th, 2014. Photo by Jackson Couse.

The effect is fun for passersby, but it’s not an intentional design element. Other famous examples include the dome in St. Paul’s Cathedral in London and a dam in Williamstown, Australia – both of which attract tourists with their sound-channeling properties.

Take a friend and experience it for yourself -  tell each other a secret or something nonsensical. But bear in mind: you’ll be doing it under the watchful gaze of two politicians who continue to remind us that communication is the glue that bonds English and French Canadians, whispers and all.

The Novak family of Vancouver - Milan, Marek, and Gabi Novak and their mother, Paula Da Rosa - talk to each other across the Whispering Wall on Parliament Hill, May 4th, 2014.

The Novak family of Vancouver – Milan, Marek, and Gabi Novak and their mother, Paula Da Rosa – talk to each other across the Whispering Wall on Parliament Hill, May 4th, 2014. Photo By Jackson Couse.

This REASON TO LOVE OTTAWA is found on Page 17 in the 2014 Summer Issue of Ottawa Magazine, available now at independent local news outlets or at


Viet Cong, Calgarian band plays at Raw Sugar Cafe on Sunday, July 6. Photo by Jared Sych

What Lies Beneath FREE!
Retinal tears in both her eyes resulted in the inability of being able to work with the harsh light emitted from a computer screen — as such, Montreal-born/Gatineau artist, Ginette Daigneault, was forced to abandon her work in digital media. Instead, she returns to the classic medium of painting, with her latest work representing that transition — one that she describes as a “profound reawakening in an interest for the materiality of creation research.” Her new works, done primarily with her hands, “investigate painting as an extension of the body,” and the layers of paint applied to the canvas as a sort of epidermal skin. Her largely abstract works contain signs, symbols, and other messages (as when copiers would include watermarks, hidden texts, etc.) placed among layers of paint, and, as such, they exist in a state somewhere between appearance and disappearance. Ginette Daigneault /Espaces Improbables will be on display from Thursday, July 3 to Wednesday, July 16 at Galerie St-Laurent + Hill. The vernissage on Thursday is from 5 to 8 p.m.

Team Gefilte Fish Eye shoots 'Damned Love' in Tel Aviv in 2008 as part of that year's 48 Hour Film Project. This is the first year Ottawa's been included in the global competition.

Team Gefilte Fish Eye shoots ‘Damned Love’ in Tel Aviv in 2008 as part of that year’s 48 Hour Film Project. This is the first year Ottawa’s been included in the global competition.

48 Hour Film Project FREE!
This year marks the first time the international film competition, The 48 Hour Film Project, is coming to Ottawa. On Friday, July 5, participating filmmaking teams will draw genres from a hat, and assigned several common filmmaking elements — a prop, character, and a line of dialogue, which they must incorporate into their 4-7 minute-long film created over the span of 48 hours. The kickoff event at SAW Gallery will only be an hour — 6-7 p.m. — so Friday’s event will be like watching race teams assemble and then sprint from the starting line. Still, it is open to the public for spectators. But the main event will be on Saturday, July 19 when their films will be screened at the Mayfair Theatre from 1 to 4 p.m. Admission will be $20. Awards will be handed out later that evening at 7 p.m. Winners of the Ottawa competition will be shown at a larger event — Filmapalooza — where the top 10 films in that screening will be shown at next year’s Cannes. For the past 15 years, the project has been screening amateur and indie films from around the world and Ottawa is being included for the first time.

Glengarry Glen Ross
“Lie. Cheat. Steal. All in a day’s work.” Or how about, “A story for everyone who works for a living?” Either tagline could best sum up the famous David Mamet‘s famous play, Glengarry Glen Ross. Set in a 1983′s Chicago sales office, this dark comedy is about a group of ruthless and desperate salesmen who lie, cheat, and ruin each other’s lives in order to win a car — but ultimately their job. Considered once a modern take on the death of the American salesman, but also a semi-autobiographical account of Mamet’s own experiences, the play, directed by Geoff Gruson, runs at The Gladstone until Saturday, July 5, with nightly shows at 7:30 p.m., and a matinee on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $20. Of special note: after the performances on Friday, July 4, and Saturday, July 5, the theatre will be transformed into a night club, with the possibility of karoke, DJ, or live band. If you’ve watched the show, entrance to the after party is free; $10 for those who just want to party.

Hintonburg Brew Park (sort of FREE!)
It’s been hot and nothing cools down summer fever like a cold one — especially if it’s a local brew quaffed in a park — something we all do, secretly, but this Saturday, July 5 at the Hintonburg Brewery Market you can do it legally. On offer will be a selection of home-grown beers (too many to list here), and snacks from Absinthe and Murray Street restos. Free admission, and it takes place rain or shine. This is a family-friendly event, so bring some chairs, games, blankets, sun-screen, and — especially — a thirst, and come on down to the Hintonburg Park (corner of Fairmont Ave. and Duhamel St.) between noon and 8 p.m.

Viet Cong in Ottawa
Ottawa’s biggest music festival of the season is underway this weekend, which means most music venues around town are pretty quiet. But not every band/musician has been sucked into the Bluesfest vortex swirling around LeBreton Flats. On Sunday, July 6, the Viet Cong, a Calgarian band made up members from members from the now-defunct band, Women, as well as from Chad VanGaalen’s backing band (VanGaalen’s playing in Ottawa on Aug. 23!) will play an intimate show at Raw Sugar Cafe. Drawing from post-punk, 80′s new wave that, at times, hints at UK’s Joy Division, The Chameleons, or perhaps, more semi-recently and closer to home, Edmonton’s The Floor, and combine that with a lo-fi garage aesthetic and occasional drone, and it comes close to nailing down the foursome’s sound. In spite of only having available a few tracks so far, Viet Cong shows huge promise (a full-length is in the works), which makes this intimate opportunity to hear them early in their development — live — a unique opportunity. Show’s at 8:30 p.m., $10.

An Afternoon with Dan Aykroyd
For many, Dan Aykroyd is typically associated with his roles as either one half of the Blues Bros., or as Dr. Raymond Stantz in Ghostbusters, or maybe even his stint on early SNL (for me, it’s as an assassin in Gross Point Blank) — but rarely do people mention his name in connection with Driving Miss Daisy (1989) — Aykroyd played Daisy’s son, Boolie Werthan. The Ottawa Little Theatre is putting on a stage version of the film this summer (July 8 -26), and to kick things off, Aykroyd’s coming to the theatre on Sunday, July 6 for a sort of Inside The Actor’s Studio session — he’ll be on stage talking with CBC’s Alan Neal (All In A Day) about his role in that film, as well his other experiences as an actor. Only a handful of tickets remain, so act fast! An Afternoon with Dan Aykroyd starts at 2 p.m. Tickets are $60.


ARTFUL BLOGGER:  National Gallery unveils a giant faked photograph of Canadians storming Vimy Ridge



William Ivor Castle (Great Britain, 1877–1947), 29th Infantry Battalion advancing over “No man’s Land” through the German Barbed Wire and Heavy Fire during the Battle of Vimy Ridge, 1917, printed 2014, ink-jet print, 320 ◊ 610 cm. Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa (a001020).


The star attraction of a new photography exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada is a fake.

The photograph by William Ivor Castle shows Canadian soldiers storming Vimy Ridge in 1917. This is an event among the most important in our history. It was a battlefield victory in which Canada was suddenly perceived as having evolved from a dependent colony to a vigorous sovereign country.

Castle’s panorama, at 11 feet by 20 feet, was billed as the largest photograph in the world when it was first exhibited in Grafton Galleries in London in 1917 and then sent on tour to Canada. Crowds lined up on the street to get a peek. Then, the fake photo went into storage for almost 100 years.

At the time, the photograph was dubbed The Taking of Vimy Ridge, although the National Gallery now calls it 29th Infantry Battalion advancing over “No man’s land” through the German Barbed Wire and Heavy Fire during the Battle of Vimy Ridge, 1917. And the National Gallery’s print of this photo is slightly smaller than the original. 

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

Ottawa hip-hop producer, NDMA launches new EP, Panache, and plays this Saturday at Babylon's No Pants Dance Party

Ottawa hip-hop producer, NDMA, launches new EP, Panache, and plays this Saturday at Babylon’s No Pants Dance Party

We asked Ottawa producer and hip-hop artist Nilton de Menezes, aka NDMA, about his new smooth-rolling EP called Panache. The five-song disc is being released on Los Angeles, Calif., label Give N Go Sounds. It was mastered by Philip Shaw Bova (Feist, Bahamas, Socalled) and features a blend of hip-hop, electronic, and indie-pop music. Find the album on iTunes for now. A physical format will be available in mid-August when NDMA hosts a CD release party at the new Moscow Tea Room on Sussex Drive.

NDMA came to Ottawa eight years ago. The 22-year-old’s family emigrated from Luanda, Angola, to flee corruption. He went to Canterbury High School to study visual arts, then started a university program in international relations, but dropped out to work on music full-time. Hear NDMA this Saturday at Babylon at the No Pants Dance Party where he’ll play, accompanied by a violinist and a DJ.

SS:How does this EP differ from 2012′s EP, 505?

NDMA: This EP has a more mature and sophisticated sound compared to 505. I was trying to find who I was as an artist when I was doing 505. Not to say that I have fully found myself musically, but my production value is way, way better.

SS: Take us through some of the album tracks.


  • “Bring Us Down.” This song is the intro track for the project. It speaks to how you should never give up on your dreams or yourself. People say you shouldn’t give up on your dreams, but it’s something that they don’t practice.
  • “Get In.” That speaks to my attempt to get in the industry. Someone told me that it’s better to slowly get into someone’s heart and stay there longer.
  • “Investigate.” Oh, that’s where things start getting fun.
  • “Burn Slow.” Two summers ago, a friend of mine was leaving here. We became really close. Each day that passed, we both knew that her days in Canada were coming to an end. That’s where the idea of burn slow came from. I wish that time could slow down and let things that you enjoy most in life burn slow. This applies to family time, hanging out with your friends, or even enjoying a glass of scotch after a long day.


WEEKENDER: Six things to do on the weekend of June 26-29

HIGHS (cred Jessica Deeks)

Toronto’s Highs play — for free! — on Friday, June 27 at Waller Park as part of Fringe Fests’ free concert series


A Live High … for FREE!
Jazzfest is in full swing, Bluesfest is coming, Arboretum, Folkfest, and others are waiting in the wings — all, though, will make you pay for that live high. Which is why it’s so refreshing to be able to enjoy a music concert series that’s free! Albeit Fringe Fest’s traditional focus has been theatre, and remains so, this year they’ve included performances by local and national bands at Waller Park. (Calling the little patch of grass next to Arts Court a ‘park’ is a stretch, but I digress.) On Thursday, June 26, enjoy the lovely Crissi Cochrane at 9 p.m. She marries her Nova Scotian roots with the Motown soul of Detroit (having grown up in Motor City’s shadow on the Windsor side). Expect a meld of Amy Winehouse/Billie Holiday with Canadian indie and American jazz and blues. Following Cochrane is Ottawa’s female folk trio, Three Little Birds, who perform at 10 p.m. On Friday, June 27 at 10 p.m. watch the spirited, Toronto four piece band, Highs, play songs from their stellar self-titled, indie-folk 2013 EP. On Saturday, June 28, Silkken Laumann perform their atmospheric-tinged dance/house/electro-punk — also at 10 p.m.

Windsor’s Crissi Cochrane also plays — for free! — on Thursday, June 26 at Waller Park as part of Fringe Fests’ free concert series Photo: Kevin Kavanaugh


Edgy Gardens (FREE!)
If you’re strolling the grounds of the city’s Central Experimental Farm this weekend, or anytime this summer, don’t be surprised if you encounter a labyrinth, a mechanical spiral, and other art objects nestled (or sometimes very noticeably planted) in the surrounding gardens. These art installations are part of a summer-long exhibit called Beyond the Edge: Artists’ Gardens, which opens this Thursday, June 26 and runs until Sept. 27. The outdoor exhibition features works, scattered throughout the grounds’ 10 acres, by visual artists who use living plant material in their art, and which are intended to explore ideas about agriculture and horticulture, as well as to “engage our senses and imaginations” throughout the growing season.

Art Fakes FREE!
“What we professional liars hope to serve is truth. I’m afraid the pompous word for that is ‘art’ ” — Orson Welles. Notions of fake and real in art, but also in cinema and popular culture get examined in the context of F is For Fake, an exhibition currently showing at SAW Gallery. Curated by Jason St­–Laurent, the exhibit presents works that question authenticity, originality, legitimacy — even art that is an “outright forgery,” such as fakes and forgeries of works by Norval Morriseau, Picasso, and van Gogh. These “fakes” are intended as an investigation into the line between truth and fiction. In that vein, the exhibition borrows its title from the last film Welles made, F is For Fake, a 1974 movie that examines similar notions, and which is also being screened as part of the show — Thursday, June 26 at 8 p.m. The exhibition is on until August 16.

Community Cup (FREE!)
Caught that World Cup fever yet? Burning to actually play some football? Then head on down to Brewer Park (Old Ottawa South, just across from Carleton University) this Saturday, June 28 for the 10th annual Community Cup. Mostly, it’s a giant community football (soccer) tournament that gets underway at 8 a.m. and wraps up around 5 p.m. If you’re not on a team by now, get on one! Or volunteer. Or just enjoy the spectacle from the sidelines. Lots of non-football events throughout, including stuff for kids, food, music, and other sporting activities. Leave your hooliganism at home and come out for a day of live football sans world class, Ronaldo-style diving.

Dance Your Pants Off
I would like to extend to you an invitation to the NO pants party — dresses, undies, underoos, panties, kits, leggings… just no pants please, according to organizers of the 7th annual No Pants Dance Party, which takes place on Saturday, June 28 at Babylon Nightclub. Apparently pants get in the way of fun —interpret that as you wish. The event features “dancing” by Rockalily Burlesque Dance Troupe, with Toronto’s Red Herring, and music by DJ Lowpass and NDMA. Tickets are $10 in advance and doors open at 10 p.m. There’ll be “sick” prizes for “bestest pantsless outfits” and, er, a bake sale — that’s not weird at all… Oh, and no genital nudity.

Shuck off (sort of FREE!)
Life sucks. Especially when you’re tossing back one oyster after another in a bivalve orgy of awesomeness. Bytowne Oysterfest 2014 takes place in the market on Sunday, June 29. Hosted by The Whalesbone, the annual celebration of oysters includes shucking contests, craft brewers, music (Julian Taylor Band), and fun for kids. More details as they come — check out




ARTFUL BLOGGER:  New Elgin Street gallery will put a smile on Stephen Harper’s face


The new gallery at is a bright, airy space.

Ajagemo, located at 150 Elgin St., is a bright, airy space that is also suitable for musical performances. Pictured are Eleanor Bond’s “IV converting  the Powell River Mill to a Recreation and Retirement Centre” (background) and Kim Adams’ 3-D tabletop miniature town called Artists’ Colony.

Stephen Harper likes the Canada Council for the Arts. Since first being elected in 2008, the Conservative government has always favoured the Canada Council over other agencies. While museums and other cultural organizations have tended to experience cuts, the Canada Council’s budget has generally grown although its current parliamentary appropriation, frozen in 2012 for three years, is $181.2 million. Still, a freeze is better than a reduction.

The prime minister has never really said why he likes the Canada Council. Maybe because the agency is efficient and puts most of its money into the hands of real artists rather than public servants.

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