WEEKENDER: Five things to do on the weekend of Nov. 27 to 30

BY MATT HARRISON

Test1

Test 1 (v.2), Sabrina Chamberland, 2014, inkjet prints on archival paper of digital photographs, layered in photoshop 88.9cm x 106.7cm

I've Been Waiting for You

I’ve Been Waiting for You, Roy Whiddon, 2014, photograph (digital pigment print) 30″ x 24″

All shapes and sizes FREE
Recognizing the significance the human form plays in the art-making process — whether it be the artist, their works, and the models used — the non-profit group, Figureworks, is hosting an impressive, juried art event that celebrates the human form at Saint Brigid’s Centre for the Arts.

The event is currently ongoing and continues until this Sunday, Nov. 30 at Saint Brigid’s Centre for the Arts. Times for viewing are Thursday and Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. For a taste of what you’ll see, check out some of the works online.
Saint Brigid’s Centre for the Arts, 310 St. Patrick St.

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WEEKENDER: Five things to do on the weekend of Nov. 20 to 23

BY MATT HARRISON

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A film still from Finnish film, Road North, showing this week at the 29th Annual European Film Festival

European Film Fest
Officially, the 29th Annual European Film Festival began last week. It slipped my mind, and if it slipped my mind, then perhaps it may have also slipped others’ — which is a tragedy, given the quality of the films on offer this month. And so, mea culpa. To atone, here’s what caught my eye in the festival’s second week: One Mile Away, a documentary by British filmmaker, Penny Woolcock, which chronicles the gang rivalry between Birmingham’s ‘the Johnson Crew’ and the ‘Burger Bar Boys’, and the extraordinary steps that two opposing gang members took to bring about reconciliation — it’s on Thursday, Nov. 20 at 9 p.m. How about a Finnish road movie? Tie pohjoiseen (Road North), by Mika Kaurisamaki, is about a father, reuniting with his son 35 years later, and the two heading north in a stolen car — Friday, Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. If you’re currently watching or planning on watching the TV series The Americans, you might also like Jack Strong, a true tale about a Polish double agent during the Cold War era who exhaustingly vies between the Soviets and the C.I.A. Directed by Poland’s Wladyslaw Paskiowski, it’s on Saturday, Nov. 22 at 7 p.m.

New to the festival this year is the ability to purchase tickets simply by clicking here in advance and then pick them up at the door. For more info, visit here.
The festival runs until Sunday, Nov. 30
The E.U. Film Festival is at the Library & Archives Canada building, 395 Wellington St.

Eft’d up is right
Ever imagined what a comedian might do with your real-life story? Find out during The Experimental Farm Theatre’s improv comedy event at Pressed Cafe on Thursday, Nov. 20. The formula is: audience’s true stories + comedian’s confessions + improv = hilarity. Or profound awkwardness. Or both. Featuring improv groups Urban Woodsmen and Birds of Prey, along with a host of others, the event gets underway at 7:30 p.m. Costs $5. More particulars on who, exactly, will be there, visit here.
Pressed is at 750 Gladstone Av.

Bourbon Bananza
Maker’s Mark, Jim Beam, Wild Turkey — I know all you lumbersexuals know what I’m talking about. Bourbon. Derived primarily from corn, the American whiskey, often aged in charred oak casks, now competes with top scotch brands for our imbibing dollars. And why not. It’s dee-licious. Especially if you like the taste of whiskey, but aren’t wowed by kinds that taste like it’s been sieved through moss. And cooks love it, because it has so much body and adds a degree of richness to food. To this end, some of Ottawa’s restos are participating in Bourbon Week (Friday, Nov. 21 to Thurs., Nov. 27). The week kicks off with an event at Two Six {Ate} on Friday, Nov. 21, where old school bourbon cocktails will get a makeover. On Saturday, Nov. 22 Union 613 is hosting Beyond the Bourbon, where samples of rare bourbons will be paired with tasty treats — there’s two times for this event: either at 3 p.m. or 8 p.m. Tickets are $32.
More events on Monday and throughout the remaining week — visit here for details.
Two Six {Ate} is at 268 Preston St.; Union 613 is at 315 Somerset St. W.

Joy — Where?
I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart. Where? Down in my heart? Where? Actually, down on Wellington Street to be exact, and it’s not me who’s got it (sadly — I blame winter), rather the Ottawa Valley Crafts & Collectibles Guild. They’re holding Joy, a juried (as in, not everyone who owns a glue gun gets in) craft market at the Library & Archives on Saturday, Nov. 22 and Sunday, Nov. 23. The market features 85 vendors. It’s slogan: “a unique melange of traditional, steampunk and geek — all served up with a cup of good cheer!” i.e. tea and other seasonal beverages. Oh and carollers. For a full list of vendors, visit the bottom of the page, here. Doors open at 9 a.m. and close at 4 p.m.
This year, the event is generating money for the Ottawa Senators Foundation, a charity that supports social recreation and education programs for kids. More on this foundation, visit here.
Joy will be at the Library & Archives Canada building at 395 Wellington St.

“I now regret it completely…”
Once one of the harshest critics of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), what environmentalist Mark Lynas now “regrets” is “having spent several years ripping up GM crops.” In 2013, Lynas reversed his stance and declared: “I am also sorry that I helped to start the anti-GM movement back in the mid 1990s, and that I thereby assisted in demonizing an important technological option which can be used to benefit the environment.” And yet, if you recall, GMO was — and still is to many — a dirty word that helped kick off the organic movement we see today in full swing. So are GMOs good or bad?
Confused? I am. Well, to muddy the waters further (though I doubt that’s the organizers of this event’s intent) St. Paul University is hosting Ottawa’s inaugural GMO Free event, featuring keynote speakers, panel discussions, Q&As with local experts — all on the side of freeing ourselves from GMO products. Lots of time for questions — like, why is one of the anti-GMO movement’s founders (Lynas) suddenly doing a 180?!?
The event is on Saturday, Nov. 22, and begins at 9 a.m. and runs until 5 p.m. More info, visit here.
St. Paul University is at 223 Main St.

 

 

 

 

 

WEEKENDER: Five things to do on the weekend of Nov. 13 to 16

BY MATT HARRISON
2609933_milli-vanilli-grammy-february-21

FAKERS GONNA FAKE
I guess you could blame it on the rain… or these two fakes: Fab Morvan and Rob Pilatus, aka Milli Vanilli, who really brought lip synching into the foray when it was discovered that they weren’t the ones singing on their 1989 record, Girl You Know It’s True. To say the least, the masses were aghast. Like Milli & Vanilli, lip syncing appeals to those of us without talented vocal chords. And on that note (pun) Babylon is hosting a lip synching battle to raise money for lung cancer. Contestants will have 2 minutes to wow audiences with their ability to fake it. Afterwards, a panel of judges — including China Doll — will hand down their verdict. Trophies, tunes by DJ Gerdzilla, and costumes will be part of this spectacle. Lipsync Battle for Life happens on Thursday, Nov. 13 at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $5.
Babylon is at 317 Bank St.

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WEEKENDER: Five things to do on the weekend of Nov. 6 to 9

BY MATT HARRISON

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Leslie Hossack, The Wall, Niederkirchner Strasse (detail). Her work is part of the 25 / Berlin exhibition at the Diefenbunker opening this Thursday, Nov. 6.


The Wall Came Tumbling Down

The events of this past’s summer/fall in Ukraine brought to mind a time when there was a definitive east-west divide — symbolized nowhere better than by the Berlin Wall. This iconic barrier came down on Nov. 9, 1989 — 25 years ago. And in remembrance of it and what it symbolized in the context of the Cold War era, the Diefenbunker — a Cold War relic itself — will be hosting 25/Berlin, a trifecta of exhibitions in partnership with the German Embassy: Dictatorship and Democracy in the Age of Extremes: Spotlights on the History of Europe in the Twentieth Century, which features 190 rare photographs, newspaper clippings, and political cartoons from European archives; German Canadian Graffiti Jam: The Bunker Reunion, which — along with Ottawa’s House of Paint— will host a “transatlantic graffiti jam” between Canadian and German graffiti artists; and The Wall, Niederkirchner Strasse, which features an art installation by Ottawa’s Leslie Hossack that simulates a walk along the Berlin Wall today. The exhibitions open on Thursday, Nov. 6 at the bunker; the graffiti jam takes place on Feb. 15, 2015. Admission included with museum entrance fee. More info, visit here.
Diefenbunker is at 3929 Carp Rd., Carp

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School of Photographic Art Open House (FREE!)
If you know not to try and eat a Kodak Brownie; if you know that a Rolloeiflex 120 isn’t an expensive watch; if you don’t get confused between a  Hasselblad and a Hasselhoff, then perhaps the School of Photographic Arts: Ottawa’s Open House is for you.

david-hasselhoff-as-michael-knight-in-knightrider-thumbs-upIn celebration of their 10th anniversary, the school’s open house on Friday Nov. 7 from 3 to 9 p.m. allows visitors to see recent works, to be photographed themselves and purchase a print ($5), and to take part in a Robyn McCallum raffle for this print.
SPAO is at 168 Dalhousie St.

Fairly-Traded Xmas Baking Tips
Halloween just ended, and while there’s still Remembrance Day, American Thanksgiving, and Black Friday/Buy Nothing Day ahead, I’ve already seen ads featuring Santa Claus! Personally, I think it’s far too soon to think about Christmas, but I realize that fighting it is pointless. And so, here’s a shout-out to the Foodie Festival on Friday (Nov. 7), at the Ottawa Mennonite Church, where you can begin your Christmas baking by learning — for FREE! — how to create the perfect swirl atop a gingerbread house, plus other assorted baking techniques. This cooking demonstration, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., is part of Ottawa’s 2014 Fair Trade Festival Sale, a fair trade event happening on Fridays and Saturdays during all of November. Visit here for the full schedule and times.
The Ottawa Mennonite Church is at 1830 Kilborn Ave.

What the Rich Read
Want to find out what Ottawa’s rich are reading? Check out the Rockcliffe Park Book Sale on Friday Nov. 7, Saturday Nov. 8, and Sunday Nov. 9 inside Queen Juliana Hall at the Rockcliffe Park School. This is the park’s 53rd annual sale, so they know what they’re doing. Expect thousands of books, CDs, DVDs, games, crafts, records, etc. Dress up as your favourite comic book character — not sure if this is intended just for kids or includes adults as well. Admission is free.  There will also be a café. More info here.
Rockcliffe Park Public School is at 350 Buena Vista Rd.

Get Your Pottery On
“He’s stuck, that’s what it is. He’s in between worlds. You know it happens sometimes that the spirit gets yanked out so fast that the essence still feels it has work to do here” — Ode Mae Brown, Ghost (1990)
Feelin’ frisky? Maybe this kind of frisky:

Get all Swayze at this weekend’s 260 Fingers pottery exhibition show/sale at the Glebe Community Centre on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (Nov. 7 to 9). Admission is free, the pottery is not. Twenty-six (that’s 260 fingers) renowned artists from across Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec are participating. It starts on Friday at 6 p.m.; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. More info and the list of artists, visit here. http://www.260fingers.ca/
Glebe Community Centre is at 690 Lyon St.

 

 

 

WEEKENDER: Lots to ghoul on Halloween Weekend

BY MATT HARRISON

Twin Peaks - Fire Walk With Me

A still image from the Twin Peak’s film Fire Walk With Me, courtesy of New Line Cinema

Twin Peaks Art Show FREE
It’s 25 years later. Dale Cooper is old, sitting inside the Black Lodge, confusedly watching a dancing midget and a backwards-speaking Laura Palmer.
After years of rumors, it was recently announced that Twin Peaks, which first aired in 1990, will return in 2016. For anyone counting, 25 years later is 2015 not 2016, but it’s close enough (poor Dale will be trapped in the Black Lodge for one more year).
Perhaps connected to this much-anticipated (by fans) news, there’s a Twin Peaks-themed art show this Thursday, Oct. 30 at Victoire — that’s the clothing shop on Wellington St. W. Fifteen local artists are participating in the show, plus expect cherry pie (“Where pies go when they die”) and coffee (“Black as midnight on a moonless night”) and the odd fan — I’m guessing — dressed up as their favourite character. It’s a free event, from 7 to 11 p.m. This is an event that is part of Support Local Month.
Victoire is at 1282 Wellington St. W.

1950s-60s Ottawa Films FREE
You’ve heard him on CBC’s Ottawa Morning doing film reviews; maybe you’ve even attended a Canadian Film Institute

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WEEKENDER: Five things to do on the weekend of Oct. 23 to 26

BY MATT HARRISON

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A screen still from Tru Love, feature film at this year’s InsideOut film festival, which begins Thursday, Oct. 23 until Sunday, Oct. 26.

Tru Love
Just as Capital Pride signed off this week, the 8th annual, fall edition of the LGBT Film Festival — InsideOut — gets underway. The four-day festival features a variety of long and short films, including docs as well. The festival, running from Thursday, Oct. 23 to Sunday, Oct. 26, and screening at the Bytowne Cinema and SAW Gallery, is a chance to view “the best and most diverse films by, for, and of interest to LGBT communities.” Gala night, Thursday, presents Tru Love, an award-winning film by directors Kate Johnston and Shauna MacDonald (who also stars in the film). It’s about a woman who falls for her friend’s mom, a relationship that is sabotaged by the mom’s daughter. Tru Love’s Ottawa premiere is on opening night at 9 p.m. Throughout the fest, expect screenings, artist talks, panel discussions, and parties. Tickets: all-access pass, $80 — and then there’s a slew of different prices for films/events. Best check online here. More about InsideOut visit their site.

Amy Johnson, fearless pilot who is among the women aviators being featured in the Spitfire Dance, a play being performed at the War Museum beginning on Thursday, Oct. 23.

Amy Johnson, one of the fearless aviators who is among the women being featured in the Spitfire Dance, a play being performed at the War Museum beginning on Thursday, Oct. 23.

“We began when the sky was clean and ready for the sun” — Beryl Markham
Amelia Earhart is perhaps the most well known of her fellow female aviators, but there were other pioneers, boldly flying the skies in a time when the perception is that generally men dominated aviation. Spitfire Dance, a play opening this week at the Canadian War Museum, introduces us to Earhart, and other courageous women of the World War II era: Beryl Markham, who was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic from east to west; Amy Johnson, who set numerous long-distance records during the 1930s and flew air transport in WW II; and Jackie Cochran, who was a talented racing pilot and contributed to the formation of the wartime Women’s Auxilary Army Corps and Women Airforce Service Pilots. Spitfire Dance is written and directed by Clint Ward, and opens on Thursday, Oct. 22 and runs until Sunday, Oct. 26. See here for diverse show times. Tickets: $31 adults — prices vary with age and combination with admission for the general museum. More info here.
Canadian War Museum is at 1 Vimy Dr.

Canada’s National Treasure
Before the snow flies, enjoy as much of this lovely weather (he says facetiously) as you can — preferably with a fork in one hand and a giant artery-clogging bowl of fries, curds, gravy, and some mystery-ingredient in the other. Poutine Fest takes place on Sparks Street beginning on Friday, Oct. 24 and running through to Sunday, Oct. 26. While admission is free, those gravy-slop bowls aren’t. Pay-what-you-eat as you graze from a variety of the city’s top poutine trucks/restos. There’s also a $30 pass, each day, that allows you to jump-the-queue to get your fix (comes with two free poutines, a toque, and envious, hateful stares from the other suckers waiting in line). Big D’s, Bonita’s Cantina, and Twisted Potato have gluten-free options. Games & prizes too. More info, visit here.

Warm Weather Brings Worms
Having been tricked into thinking it’s spring, swarms of insects — mostly ladybugs — have been appearing as of late. But the fall weather is bringing out another species this week: the bookworm. Unrelated to the warmer weather, theirs is an annual appearance, caused by the autumnal migration of celebrity authors to Ottawa. This week the Ottawa International Writer’s Festival kicks off a seven-day festival, packed with star-authors, readings, discussions, signings, and opportunities for schmoozing. Events that piqued my interest this weekend are: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload with Daniel J. Levitin (Friday, Oct. 24) and Escape from North Korea with Heather O’Neill, Christine Fischer Guy, and Monia Mazigh (Sat. Oct. 26). But that’s me, and there loads of events to choose from. For the full schedule, visit here. Festival passes are sold out. Individual event ticket prices vary. The festival is held at various locations throughout.

WEEKENDER: Five things to do on the weekend of Oct. 16 to 19

BY MATT HARRISON

DeadHearts

Film still from “Dead Hearts,” a film screening at this weekend’s Ottawa International Film Festival.

Ottawa International Film Festival
Only four years old, the Ottawa International Film Festival is definitely a new kid on the block by comparison to other, more star-studded film festivals in Canada. That said, the OIFF continues to impress with a well-curated selection of films from around the world. It opens with a gala on Thursday Oct. 16, and runs until Sunday, Oct. 19. Piquing my curiosity is the slasher film, Girlhouse (after all, it’s almost Halloween!) on Thursday, Oct. 16. And the behind-the-scenes doc — My Father and the Man in Black — about Johnny Cash as seen through the eyes of his Canadian manager, Saul Holiff, who committed suicide. His son and the doc’s director, Jonathan Holiff, piece together the untold story through letters and telephone recordings; it screens on Friday, Oct. 17. The short comedy, Dead Hearts, features a very young mortician (think ‘kid’) who will “give his heart away to find true love;” this film is billed as a “gothic bedtime tale”. It screens on Saturday, Oct. 18, and features “love, loss, kung-fu, taxidermy, and werewolves.” For the full schedule, visit the site. Prices are: individual screenings, $10; OIFF Gala (opening night), $50; or the see-everything pass, $95. All films screen at the Mayfair Theatre.
Mayfair Theatre, 1074 Bank St.

Poison!
It’s 1914 and war is in the air, spies are everywhere, and on a cool autumn evening in an old mansion, a group of socialites imbibe a new beverage unaware that cocktails can be… fatal! This is the setting for Murder with a Twist, a murder mystery being held on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (Oct. 16 to 18) at the Billings Estate, beginning at 7 p.m. each evening. The murder-mystery-comedy is put on by the Ottawa Storytellers and tickets are $15. For more info, visit here.
Billings Estate, 2100 Cabot St.

Art Battle
[Memory lane time] Back in the early 2000s, blah blah blah. But one memory from that millennial period is the brief spat of iPod battles that pitted ‘DJs’ against one another, each selection garnering either cheers or jeers from the crowds. In that vein, I see a parallel with the Art Battle format that happens semi-regularly. During the battle, artists are given 20 minutes to produce their best work, whilst patrons mill about observing the contest and then vote for the best pieces. I doubt the masters pumped out their best work in 20 minutes, but I’m sure the battle does produce some interesting composition despite the haste in which they are created. Voting is followed by a silent auction. The ‘battle’ is at Arts Court on Saturday, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 student/adv. tickets; $20 regular. More info here.
Arts Court, 2 Daly Ave.

Skeletons in Gatineau (FREE!)
Most people’s impression of The Museum of Nature is that what you see in their displays/exhibits is more or less the extent of their collection — au contraire mon frère (or soeur). Ten and a half million specimens of plants and animals are housed in a building the size of five hockey rinks along the edge of Gatineau Park. Known as the Museum of Nature’s Natural History Campus, this Gatineau building is opening its doors this Saturday, Oct. 18 for a rare glimpse into the facility and its massive collection. See how dinosaurs are prepared; get insight into moss and lichens; check out the Large Skeleton Room (including ones hidden in closets!); visit various labs, and peruse the Rare Book Library, which includes Sir John Franklin’s 1823 account of his first two expeditions to the Arctic. Museum scientists, curators, and staff will be on hand to answer questions. It’s free, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There’s also a BBQ — cash only. More info, visit here.
Museum of Nature’s Natural History Campus, 1740 Pink Rd., Gatineau, Quebec

Celebrity Chef/Gardener (FREE!)
Trussed up in a tweed jacket, sipping a pumpkin-spiced latte, taking in pedestrian cacophony with a care-free air that shouts autumnal bliss — if, while striding through the city in this seasonal rapture, you happen to stroll through the ByWard Market, don’t be surprised if you bump into celebrity chef Lynn Crawford, a wagon, and lots of harvest-y food stuffs. That’s because this is Harvest Weekend in the ByWard Market —Friday, Oct. 17 to Sunday, Oct. 19.There will be a street party Friday night from 7 to 10 p.m. featuring — naturally — food, live music, a sidewalk sale, and a historical slideshow. Saturday, starting at noon, there will be activities for kids, including wagon rides and an activity tent, as well as a Food & Drink show (1 to 6 p.m.) featuring Crawford who’ll be doing demos and signing books. Sunday, the Food & Drink show continues (1 to 5 p.m.), this time featuring CBC’s gardening guru Ed Lawrence. More wagon rides, book readings, and activities for kids.
Full schedule here.

WEEKENDER: Five things to do on Thanksgiving weekend

BY MATT HARRISON

Jaap Blonk

A still from YappiScope, a sound-poetry, multimedia performance by artist Jaap Blonk, happening on Thursday, Oct. 9 at Arts Court

YappiScope
I’ll be honest, I have no idea what’s happening in this image. What I can tell you is that the underwater artist above is a Dutch poet named Jaap Blonk, who is renowned for being one of the world’s leading practitioners of sound poetry — an artform where the phonetic aspects of speech are emphasized over meaning (the Futurists and Dadaists in the early 20th C. were among the first practitioners of this performance-based artform). On Thursday, Oct. 9 Blonk will present the Canadian premiere of YappiScope, his first complete production that includes visual projections, video, scores, interactive animation, live sound to silent film, along with other new multimedia work. The performance will be at Arts Court Library at 8 p.m.; cost is $11 to $14, available at the Arts Court box office.
Arts Court is at 2 Daly Av.

Gorilla Doctors
This past week, a report came out stating that the planet’s wildlife are declining at an alarming rate. That surely includes Mountain Gorillas, animals already on the endangered list — in fact, the last Mountain Gorillas are in the Virunga Mountains (virunga means volcanoes), which straddle Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. On Thursday, Oct. 9, the Museum of Nature is holding a special screening of a documentary entitled, Gorilla Doctors, which looks at the veterinarians — including one of the gorilla’s first champions, Dr. Mike Cranfield — who provide hands-on care in an effort to help save these critically endangered animals. In attendance will be Dr. Cranfield, who’ll lead a discussion after the screening. It happens at 7 p.m., costs $8 buy online here. The film will be aired on CBC’s The Nature of Things on Thursday, Oct. 16.
Canadian Museum of Nature is at 240 McLeod St.

Afternoon Cartoons FREE!
Mickey Mouse (and Minnie) made his debut in 1928’s Steamboat Willie. But before this animation classic — the first cartoon with synchronized sound — there was Max Fletcher and his Song Car-Tunes series: animated sing-a-long shorts that debuted in 1924. Fletcher was an animator pioneer, who later introduced the world to Betty Boop, Popeye, and even Superman. Coming on the heels of the annual Ottawa International Animation Festival, is a special night at Carleton University — Projecting the Archive, Classic Cartoons takes place on Thursday, Oct. 9 at the university, in particular in St. Patrick’s Building in the Carleton University Art Gallery http://cuag.carleton.ca/ 3 p.m. until 4 p.m. It’s an afternoon to explore rare and memorable selections from the Audio-Visual Resource Centre’s collection of 16 mm films, including Fletcher’s works, but also Disney’s.
Carleton University Art Gallery is at 1125 Colonel By Drive

No One Can Hear You Scream… Underground
In the bowels of the earth, in the dim light of a supposedly “abandoned” cold war bunker, scientists gathered for a top-secret experiment. That was 20 years ago. What happened is only just now being revealed — and only through the possibilities of time travel. If you dare, travel back in time and join an interactive adventure involving the undead (naturally, cuz what doesn’t these days) that takes place deep within the Cold War Museum’s labyrinthine passageways. This Saturday, Oct. 11, is the first installment of Incident at the Bunker. http://www.hauntedwalk.com/zombie.php The underground zombie adventure at the Diefenbunker occurs every Saturday hereafter until Nov. 1. The adventure takes place between 1 to 5 p.m., with various start times. Tickets are: adults, $18.75 and students, $16.75. Not really intended for kids under 12, or those prone to… fear. (Muahahaha!)
Diefenbunker is at 3929 Carp Rd., Carp

Thanksgiving on the Farm
Thanksgiving — unlike the Americans, it’s not about blowing the trumpet around the idea of fleeing persecution, perilous voyages, or surviving that first, cold winter. Rather, ours is simply a harvest celebration — and so, at this time of year, it makes perfect sense to find the nearest farmer, throw your hands around him or her, and thank them for feeding your gaping maw, year-round. A more family-friendly approach, however, might be to head over to the Canadian Agriculture and Food Museum for a weekend of special events: in their demonstration kitchen learn how to make cranberry sauce or what to do with all those leftovers; see how farms are harvesting more than just food (hint, it rhymes with schmenergy); make apple cider in a press, grind some oats (and enjoy some tasty treats), root around in sand for stored treasure, and chat with a cow as she gets her annual pedicure. There’s also a hay ride — plus all the other creatures and critters you can see throughout the year. Cost is the regular price of admission. Events take place from Saturday, Oct 11 through to, and including on Thanksgiving Day (Monday, Oct. 13), from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Canadian Agriculture and Food Museum is at 901 Prince of Wales Dr.

WEEKENDER: Six things to do on the weekend of Oct. 2 to 5

BY MATT HARRISON The Mostly Art, Art, Art… and Opera edition

German prisoners of war in CNE compound. - [between 1914 and 1916?]

New exhibit on WWI detainees — mostly German/Ukrainians — opens this week at the Canadian War Museum. Photo: German prisoners of war in CNE compound, Toronto [between 1914 and 1916?] City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1244, Item 867A

Enemy Within
Fear. The idea that there was an ‘enemy within’ led Canada to create internment camps during the First World War — mainly for Ukrainian and German communities. As part of the focus on the WWI’s centennial this year, a new archival photographic exhibit opens this week at the Canadian War Museum. Enemy Aliens — Internment in Canada 1914-1920. The exhibit explores who the approximately 8,500 prisoners were, what conditions were like, how the camps were run, and what the prisoners did daily. The exhibit opens on Thursday, Oct. 2, and runs until 2015.
Canadian War Museum, 1 Vimy  Pl.

1958 - Self-Portrait with Red Stripes - Private Collection2

Alma Duncan, Self-Portrait with Red Stripes, 1958, courtesy of D & E Lake Ltd. Fine Arts, photo: David Barbour

Ottawa Art Gallery FREE
Full disclosure — the new exhibit, The Life and Art of Alma Duncan (1917-2004), opening Thursday, Oct. 2 at the Ottawa Art Gallery is co-curated by my wife. Who is Alma? As Catherine Sinclair writes, the Ottawa-based artist “travelled the world recording the beauties of the land and the stories of her models, transcending the lines between modern interpreter and visual activist.” From painting to drawing, to puppetry and filmmaking (she worked for a time at the NFB), the exhibit presents an all-encompassing look at this fascinating artist, who made such a stamp on the Ottawa art scene, as well as in Canada. The vernissage starts at 5:30 p.m. (I’ll be there, of course.) The exhibit runs until 2015.
Ottawa Art Gallery, 2 Daly Ave.

Carleton University Art Gallery FREE
The second art exhibit at the Carleton University Art Gallery is actually fourfold — the first, Not a New World, Just an Old Trick, beckons viewers to enter a large-scale model of an imaginary building. The rough tiered structure “connotes an idea of the art gallery or museum,” and to that end, the artist, Samuel Roy-Bois, has selected 90 artworks from the gallery’s collection to complete the illusion. It opens alongside an exhibit by Raymond BoisjolyInterlocutions — whose video projections create commentary around Indigenous literary traditions. His exhibit accompanies a selection of Northwest Coast graphic art from the MacDonald Collection. Inuit printmaking is also featured in Norman Vorano’s exhibition: Inuit Prints — Japanese Inspiration, which examines that islands’ influence on the development of printmaking in Cape Dorset. All four continue to show until Dec. 2014.
CUAG is at Carleton University, 1125 Colonel By Drive

Peking Opera
Want to experience ‘total theatre’? This is what Peking Opera is referred to since it is a “complete synthesis of, and harmonization of, singing, acting, recitation and dancing.” This form of theatre — recognized, by the way, as an UNESCO intangible cultural heritage — also allows for a certain degree of personalization: the artist is free to adapt basic conventions to suit their own personal style/artistic talent. On Saturday, Oct. 4 there will be a matinee performance of three celebrated Peking Opera excerpts (including one by the renowned Madame Sun Mingzu, who’ll be performing Princess Shuangyang) at the University of Ottawa. The cost of this unique presentation is $15 adv., $20 at the door. Purchase adv. tickets here. The performance begins at 3 p.m.
Academic Hall of the Theatre Department, 135 Séraphin Marion Private

Home Invasion! FREE
People are always complaining that art — especially contemporary art — is too incomprehensible; didactic panels are often little help either, usually muddying the waters further with obscure names like “Untitled No. 5”. Unravel the mysteries; decode the enigma; solve the riddle at this year’s annual Chelsea Wakefield Studio Tour, where you can visit 22 artists in their own environment and converse with them mono e mono about their art. This is the last weekend of the studio tour, which takes place on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 4 and 5 respectively. Times for visiting are between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. For a route map, visit here. http://www.tourcw.com/

Support Local (NOT FREE, but Discounted!)
October is Support Local month (didntchaknow?) — an Apt. 613 annual event, which — just as it sounds — was created to encourage Ottawans to buy local. The event features a bunch of stores to visit where locally made goods can be purchased/consumed, usually at a discount. On offer are limited editions or stuff made specifically for the event: Ben Jensen T-shirts, screen prints, craft brew coasters, special cocktails, and more. For the full list, visit here. http://apt613.ca/supportlocal/month-long-events/

WEEKENDER: Six things to do on the weekend of Sept. 25 to 28

BY MATT HARRISON

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Owen Pallett plays at the NAC Studio on Saturday, Sept. 27

One World Film Festival
This past weekend and into this week, people rallied and are rallying in droves to bring renewed attention to the approaching global crisis — climate change. It’s timely, then, that the One World Film Festival, Ottawa’s longest-running annual documentary film festival is following up this week’s sense of urgency with a plethora of films examining not just environmental concerns, but also addressing social justice and human rights issues. Beginning in the evening on Thursday, Sept. 25, the three-day festival presents five films, some of which include discussions, introductions, and panel discussions with directors and other key figures.
As for the films: Above All Else examines landowners and activists in East Texas who’ve attempted to defend their land and their rights from the XL Keystone Pipeline; Virunga looks at the threats posed to one of Africa’s oldest national parks and mountain guerrilla sanctuary; Songs from the Forest chronicles a man and his son’s journey from the jungles of Africa to the concrete jungles of New York; Watchers of the Sky interweaves four stories that converge on Raphael Lemkin, the man who created the term “genocide”; and On The Side of the Road re-examines the events of 1948 in relation to Palestinian refugees.
More on schedules and ticket prices, visit here. The screenings all take place at the Library and Archives Canada.
Library and Archives Canada is at 395 Wellington St.

Owen Pallett
Fighting Fantasy — not just one of the most successful video game series ever, but it was, for a time, the moniker for an extremely talented Canadian musician. Since winning the 2006 Polaris Prize (he was also a nominee this past year) Owen Pallett has ditched the name in favour of the one his mom gave him at birth. As just plain old Pallet, he’ll be showcasing much of his latest album, In Conflict, at the National Arts Centre on Saturday, Sept. 27, with guest Lydia Answorth. About the new album, Pallett has said: “Depression, addiction, gender trouble, and the creative state are presented as positive, loveable, empathetic ways of being. Not preferable, per se, but all as equal, valid positions that we experience, which make us human.” These themes are presented in combination with music that represents a classic-nod to pop, but with the experimentalism and innovation we’ve come to expect from the artist. Tickets are $33. The show’s in the NAC Studio and it begins at 8 p.m. More info, visit here.
NAC is at 53 Elgin St.

Love Parade FREE!
E.L.E. or Everybody Love Everybody — while the name of this event does conjure all sorts of sordid imaginings, a free music fest in support of those with Cancer is not one of them. Misstep aside, the festival’s lineup is good and it’s obvious that the organizer’s hearts are in the right place, since donations are being encouraged, which go towards Candlelighters Cancer Children’s Support Programs of Ottawa. And hey, we do all need to love and be loved, so…
The mostly all-day event (from 3 p.m. until probably midnight) on Saturday, Sept. 26 at the University of Ottawa includes such local up & coming talents as NDMA, Tall Trees, ZooLegacy, and others. Expect  some unique musical collaborations as well. Check out the times and lineup here.
The event is at 603 Cumberland St., UofO campus

Napkins & Tableclothes
Thanksgiving is fast approaching; then there’s Christmas, quickly followed by New Year’s — I realize I’m telling you something you already know, but the point is, that’s three major events  where having a set of napkins — yes, napkins and a stunning tablecloth for that matter — are essential. Home Decor 101 is a workshop event being held on Saturday, Sept. 27 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at EcoEquitable to help you prepare for said events. Bring your table’s measurements and you’ll be guided through the process on how to create your own tablecloth — from selecting the right fabrics, to creating that professional finishing for your tablecloth and napkins. You should have a basic level of sewing competency. It’s $50 (that includes the cost of fabric). EcoEquitable provides a bridge to those in need, especially immigrant women, while greening the community. More info, visit here.
EcoEquitable is at 404 McArthur Ave. in Vanier

Culture Days FREE!
Backstage Pass — no need to debase yourself to obtain one, this weekend’s province-wide/city-wide celebration, called Culture Days, offers a free peek into what goes on behind the scenes at the National Arts Centre. Visit the NAC on Sunday, September 28 for a full-day of bilingual family fun with tons of activities — from peering into the backstages, dressing rooms, and corridors to checking out some dance performances, photography, printmaking, theatre, dance — even circus! — workshops. There will be music and puppet activities for kids as well (Mezzanine/Panaorama Room) and an opportunity to watch the orchestra rehearse.
Most of the activities take place no earlier than noon, and run until 4 p.m., though check here for specifics.
NAC is at 53 Elgin St.

The Tempest
“What seest thou else, in the dark backward and abysm of time?” — Prospero, The Tempest
What seest thou? How about puppets. How about puppets performing one of Shakespeare’s notable plays, The Tempest? Rag and Bone Puppet Theatre continues the start of their 2014-15 season this Sunday, Sept. 28 with a family-fun opportunity to experience the bard’s magical masterpiece, which involves a shipwreck, a monster, a princess, a fairy, and a wizard. Music, laughs, and definitely some felt — the puppetry happens at the Shenkman Arts Centre at 1:30 p.m. and also at 3:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 or four for $32. More info, visit here.
The Shenkman Arts Centre is at 245 Centrum Blvd, Orleans