WEEKENDER: A few things to do on the weekend of April 23 to 26 (and beyond!)

BY MATT HARRISON

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Photo: Courtesy of the Canadian Museum of Nature


Modern Wonder of the World
Stories — and tragedy — surround the history, and construction, of the modern-day wonder of the world, the Panama Canal. A film Ottawans will be able to relate to — given our own tragic history concerning the thousand or so that perished building the Rideau Canal — the film, Historias del Canal (Panama Canal Stories), presents a “sweeping historical drama” — it’s a gripping opener at this years’ 19th annual Latin American Film Fest.

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A still from Historias del Canal (Panama Canal Stories), the opening film at this year’s 19th annual Latin Film Festival

The festival — held at Carleton University and presented by the Canadian Film Institute — will screen 19 films from South America over the course of two weeks, beginning this Saturday evening on April 25 at 7 p.m. The next day, make sure to check out the coming-of-age comedy, Rocanrol ’68 (Rock and Roll ’68) — Sunday, April 26 at 4 p.m.

Details on the films, times, costs, etc. can be found here.

Carleton University, River Building Theatre, is at 1125 Colonel By Drive

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Qajak being built at the Canadian Museum of Nature. Photo: Courtesy of the Canadian Museum of Nature

Nature Nocturne / Q is for Qajaq
With Spring in full-gear, admittedly the thought of anything cold, snow, or ice-related is like a knife in the eye. That said, the Canadian Museum of Nature has some ‘cool’ activities planned in this vein — including being able to stop by from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 23, Friday, April 24, and Saturday, April 25, and watch a four-man team construct a qajaq, that it is an Inuit kayak, which is part of ‘Q is for Qajaq’, a collaborative project to help inspire a renaissance of qajaq-building and paddling in Canada’s Arctic. (Cost of regular admission.)

But if qajaq-building doesn’t scream par-tay, then check out this month’s edition of Nature Nocturne — a Friday (April 24) night party, where the museum throws its doors open to music (DJ Rise Ashen + DJ Ron Lavoie), throat singing, drinks and more. Tickets are $25. Starts at 8 p.m. More info, visit here.

The Canadian Museum of Nature is at 240 McLeod St.

The ‘Other’ Folk Fest
Two festivals; divergent paths — that’s the story, of sorts, regarding the addition of springtime’s newest folk festival, the Ottawa Grassroots Festival, which takes place this week (Thursday, April 23 to Sunday, April 26).

This indoor festival should not be confused with falls’ longer-running, larger, outdoor Folk Festival (September 16-20). Nor, would the instigator behind this latest folk fest incarnation — Bob Nesbitt — necessarily court such a comparison. After all, Grassroots was created, in part, out of a need to eschew the commercialization many see taking place in the re-branded Cityfolk Festival. And so, here we are. One city, two folk fests — albeit Grassroots is much smaller, shorter, and bills itself as closer to folk’s roots — sort of like Bob Dylan before he plugged in.

Stef Paquette and Eric Dubeau open the fest on Thursday evening, with Old Man Luedecke headlining on Friday, followed by Connie Kaldor on Saturday. Lots of other musicians, workshops, and activities, full details here.

Ottawa Grassroots Festival is at Montgomery Legion Hall, 330 Kent St.

71o0NoBGX6L._SL1500_JFK, the ‘Smiths’ & a Glimpse Inside the Teenage Brain
By the time you get this, the Spring edition of Ottawa Writer’s Fest will be in full swing. At this point, most will have already scored tickets, planned which events to attend, bought the books, etc. For others, it may have snuck up on you — and for you folks, here’s a speed-read version:

With events from now until June, this weekend’s highlights include:

  • Thursday, April 23 Hear Andrew Cohen, author of Two Days in June: John F. Kennedy and the 48 Hours That Made History, speak about the famed President. Plus songwriters Craig Finn, Elliott Brood, Rose Cousins, Bonjay, Iskew, and The Split.andrewcohen-twodaysinjune
  • Friday, April 24 The Smiths! Not the band, rather authors Russell Smith, Neil Smith, and (later that evening) Michael V. Smith, as well as Giller Prize winner Sean Michaels and GG recipient Raziel Reid. Plus music by Mike Dubue and Glenn Nutio.
  • Saturday, April 25 Mark Bourrie doesn’t shy away from speaking about about the gagging of Canadian media in his recent book, Kill the Messengers: Stephen Harper’s Assault on Your Right to Know.
  • Sunday, April 26 You know you don’t want to look inside, but you’re dying to regardless of what horrors lurk there — author Dr. Frances E. Jensen delivers her book The Teenage Brain.

Full details on these and many others, here.

 

WEEKENDER: Five things to do on the weekend of April 17 to 19

BY KYLA CLARKE

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Steven Page, stripped down

Canadian musical icon Steven Page performs at the National Arts Centre this Friday, April 17, with a little help from his friend, Craig Northey (of The Odds). We all remember Steven Page as the witty former frontman of the Barenaked Ladies, and now that he’s forging his own path as a solo artist, he’s doing things a little bit differently. Collaborating with Northey on guitar and vocals, Page will also perform solo material from his album Page One and, never to disappoint his unyielding fans, there will be plenty of Barenaked Ladies hits too. Tickets start at $57 and can be purchased at www.nac-cna.ca.
The National Arts Centre is located at 53 Elgin Street.

Twilight stars’ ‘best movie yet’

cloud-of-sils-mariaIndie movie buffs might want to check out Clouds of Sils Maria, which debuts this Friday, April 17 at the Bytowne Cinema. It’s the story of a successful actress who agrees to take part in the revival of the play that made her famous 20 years prior. She must now face an uncomfortable reflection of herself, playing the role of an older character instead of the young temptress she once portrayed. A layered, character-driven film, Clouds of Sils Maria stars Juliette Binoche, Kristen Stewart, and Chloe Grace Moretz. The film is said to be Stewart’s best work yet – though, at this point, anything is better than Twilight. The film runs at the Bytowne Cinema until Thursday, April 23. For ticket info and showtimes, visit www.bytowne.ca.
The Bytowne Cinema is located at 325 Rideau Street.

Wax on, wax off

Also on Friday, April 17th, The Raw Sugar Café hosts Record “Swap” Day. It’s completely FREE – all you have to do is show up in your best bartering shoes with a bag of cherished vinyls – that you’ve deemed ready to pass on to the next worthy listener. With a DJ on the ones and twos, it’s time to swap your trash for someone else’s treasure. Don’t have any vinyls to trade? Don’t sweat it – there will be free giveaways and good food too, so anyone can show up and still have a good time. 8 p.m. to 1 p.m.
The Raw Sugar Café is located at 692 Somerset Street West.

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Record “Swap” Day is a pre-emptive celebration for International Record Store Day on Saturday, April 18th. Local record shops across town will be participating in the yearly event (such as Compact Music, Vertigo Records, The Record Centre, and many more), which supports the resurgence of vinyl in the hearts and hands of music fans. Not only can you find cool discounts on countless records, there will also be exclusive special releases just for the day. Over a hundred artists, from A-Ha to the Wu-Tang Clan, will release special edition vinyls or first releases on Record Store Day.
Check out the full list of artist releases, along with a list of participating stores, recordstoreday.com.

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 … Plus wearable vintage

If all the vintage vinyl wasn’t enough, maybe a little vintage fashion will satiate your hungry hipster pocketbook. On Sunday, April 19th, the Ottawa Vintage Clothing Show sets up shop in the Shaw Centre for Canada’s largest vintage clothing event. $10 gets you in the door for a day of hunting for clothing, handbags, accessories, and designer goods, from the ‘20s all the way to the ‘80s. Groovy.
The Shaw Centre (formerly the Ottawa Convention Centre) is located at 55 Colonel By Drive. 

WEEKENDER: Five things to do on the weekend of April 9 – 12

BY KYLA CLARKE

The ballet Alice's Adventures in Wonderland takes the NAC stage this Thursday

The ballet Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland takes the NAC stage this Thursday

Adventures in Wonderland

Ballet fans will delight in this weekend-long run of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Starting Thursday, April 9 and showing until Sunday, April 12, British choreographer Christopher Wheeldon brings the classic Carroll novel to life in an inventive new way. With entertaining choreography, vivid costumes, and surreal production, the show is sure to entertain even those who aren’t so schooled in dance. Just don’t get trapped down the rabbit hole.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland will show at the National Arts Centre, 53 Elgin Street. Tickets start at $25 and can be purchased here.

 EFT-Up Improv

The Experiment Farm Theatre, an Ottawa improv comedy collective, presents their monthly show at Pressed Café this Thursday, April 9th. The troupe performs long-form comedic storytelling – and it’s all entirely made up on the spot. Standup comedian Greg Houston will open the show. Doors are at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are (only) $5. Think you’ve got some comedic chops yourself? EFT-Up also offers improv workshops for the bold and bright.

Pressed Café is located at 750 Gladstone. For more information, click here.

Feeling crafty?

Try something new this weekend with Spins & Needles’ silkscreening workshop. Hosted at Possible Worlds (a nifty little project space and shop in Chinatown) on the afternoon of Saturday, April 11th, Silkscreening 101 teaches participants how to create original handmade gifts, merchandise for a new business, or spoil themselves with the fruits of their creativity. If all goes well, take it to the next level with Silkscreening 201.

Possible Worlds is at 708G Somerset Street. Tickets are $145. For more information click here.

Music for Social Justice

Erin Saoirse Adair performs at the Blacksheep Inn this weekend. Photo by Jonathan Lorange

Erin Saoirse Adair performs at the Blacksheep Inn this weekend. Photo by Jonathan Lorange

The Blacksheep Inn hosts Erin Saoirse Adair’s new single and video release party this Saturday, April 11th. The new track, “I Want Drugs” discusses the urge to turn to drugs or alcohol as a means to escape. Erin’s lyrics, accompanied by piano or acoustic guitar, typically cover social justice issues, such as violence against women and mental health. Her music is catchy, entertaining, and, at times, cringeworthy – not because it’s bad, but because it’s so uncomfortably honest. Tickets are $10 and the show starts at 3:00 p.m.

The Blacksheep Inn is located at 753 Riverside Drive, Wakefield, QC. For more information or to buy tickets, visit www.theblacksheepinn.com

Dark Heart Brings Light to NAC

Valery Gore hits the NAC Fourth Stage this Saturday. Photo: Valery Gore

Valery Gore hits the NAC Fourth Stage this Saturday. Photo: Valery Gore

Valery Gore hits the NAC Fourth Stage this Saturday, April 11th in support of her highly acclaimed third album, Idols in the Dark Heart. Like many others in current Canadian music, Gore experiments with electronic elements in her newest project. But she remains a standout, blending synth and bass with her signature throaty vocals and layered harmonies, and her lyrics intricately recount love, loss, and doubt as she comes of age. Tickets are $20 and the show starts at 7:30 p.m.

The National Arts Centre is at 53 Elgin Street. Tickets are available here.

WEEKENDER: Five things to do on the weekend of April 2 – 6

BY KYLA CLARKE

An image from Mark Strandquist's collection "Windows in Prison"

An image from Mark Strandquist’s collection “Windows from Prison”

“If you could have a window in your cell, what place from your past would it look out to?”

A new photo exhibit opens this weekend at La Petite Mort Gallery and the content is very moving, not only for the images, but also for the text associated with each photo. Artist Mark Strandquist’s latest project bridges the distance between average individuals and incarcerated persons, in a way that incites photography as a means for social change.

The question above was posed to participating inmates from Washington, D.C., and students from George Mason University and Duke Ellington High School fulfilled the photo requests and mailed them back to the prisons. “Windows from Prison” is a photography project that creates a more humanistic approach to the discussion of issues with mass incarceration.

On Thursday, April 2, the artist Mark Strandquist will host a FREE public artist talk about his work, followed by a workshop for at-risk youth.
On Friday, April 3, the exhibit officially opens at La Petite Mort Gallery and will run until April 26.

The public artist talk will be at University of Ottawa, 100 Laurier Building, Room 219 at 1:30 p.m. The exhibit opens at La Petite Mort Gallery,  306 Cumberland Street.

Turn Down for Brunch!

It’s going to be a busy weekend at Hintonburg Public House.

First of all, there’s gonna be brunch – four days of it. They’ll be serving everything from French toast to hamburgers from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. from Friday, April 3 through Monday, April 6. I’m already full and I’ve only been reading the menu.

On Saturday, April 4, they’ll be hosting the Bring on Spring Craft Show. Your favourite local vendors will be selling their handmade jewelry, art, home décor items, and more. Featured vendors include Top Shelf Preserves, My Vintage Retreat, and Darling Yes.

On Sunday, April 5, HPH hosts their monthly trivia night. Sign up as an individual or bring a team and show your friends who’s smartest. It’s only $5 and the next day is a holiday, so you know what that means: local craft beer, and lots of it.

Hintonburg Public House is at 1020 Wellington St West. Check out their website for more details.

Love, Handmade

Love_Handmade_026On Saturday, April 4, The Handmade Bride is hosting an alternative wedding show, featuring thirty local vendors and the unique opportunity to actually meet some of them. If stressed out brides can pry themselves away from Pinterest for a few hours, they may find everything they’ve been pinning online for their bohemian dream wedding – all in one place. Plus – the first 100 couples through the door will get swag bags full of wedding goodies. The Handmade Bride boasts delicate, vintage-inspired dresses from Canadian designers, or their own brand of dresses which can be custom-designed to suit any bride’s body and wedding theme.

The Love, Handmade Wedding Show is at Memorial Hall in New Edinburgh from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door.

Spring Pop-Up

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Strut Jewelry’s spring/summer collection features shells collected from all around the world.

Still feeling spendy? Strut your stuff over to Flock Boutique for Strut Jewelry’s pop-up shop this Saturday, April 4. Designer Alyssa Spaxman will be in-store to unveil her new collection, including handpicked shells acquired from her travels in Ecuador, Brazil, Thailand, and Nicaragua. Travelers (and those who wish they could) will love the spring/summer collection, which symbolizes the spirit of wanderlust and love of freedom.

Flock Boutique is located at 1275 Wellington St. West.

Easter at the Farm

This little bunny is looking forward to spring

This little bunny is looking forward to spring

Kids and kids-at-heart can enjoy some fun on the farm this weekend at the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum as they’ll be hosting an assortment of Easter activities. Visitors will get the chance to meet newly hatched chicks and ducklings, baby rabbits and lambs, and the kiddies can participate in an Easter egg hunt. There will also be a the chance to take part in some egg-citing egg-xperiments, lessons in the hatching process, Easter trivia, and probably a few more bad puns too.

The Easter activities go on all weekend, from Friday, April 3 to Monday, April 6 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The entry is included with museum admission: $10 for adults, children 3-12 are $7, children under 3 are free.

The Canada Agriculture and Food Museum is located at 901 Prince of Wales Drive.

WEEKENDER: Four things to do on the weekend of March 27 – 29

BY KYLA CLARKE

Winchester Warm hopes to heat up this city this weekend at Doldrums Music Festival

Winchester Warm heats up this city this weekend at Doldrums Music Festival

Pop Art Poetry
Kicking off this week, VERSeFest is a weeklong showcase of written- and spoken-word poetry (running until to Monday, March 30), brought to you by a number of poetry groups within the city. There will be a variety of events throughout the downtown core all week, but here are the must-sees for the weekend:

Komi Olaf will perform his spoken word poetry and live art this weekend at VERSeFest

Komi Olaf will perform his spoken word poetry and live art this weekend at VERSeFest

On Friday, March 27, Urban Legends presents four spoken-word poetry performers, including Nigerian-born Komi Olaf. I’ve seen him before and his show is really cool. He speaks of culture, adversity, and natural beauty — in verse — all the while live painting a portrait that reflects the content of his poetry. Olaf may not be a pop star, but he does it all whilst donning a Britney Spears-style headset microphone. The best part? The painting is available for purchase at the end.

On Saturday, March 28, Capital Slam presents a spinoff of their regular show, featuring three female slam poets — all of whom are nationally recognized for their writing and slam skills. Juno award-winning Lillian Allen will perform her innovative style of slam, called “dub poetry,” which can best be described as a blend of rap, hip hop, and spoken word poetry.
Both events are at 9pm at Knox Presbyterian Church, 120 Lisgar Street. For more information about VERSeFest events this week, or to buy tickets, go to www.versefest.ca

Time for spring to get sprung
Music lovers seeking respite from this seemingly endless winter: rejoice. Doldrums Music Festival, established four years ago as a hopeful push for spring, comes to us like an antidote to the cold. For two nights, local bands will “make your feet move, windows sweat, and winter realize it’s time to move on.” On Friday, March 27 at Pressed Café, Winchester Warm headlines the four-act evening with powerful and emotive indie-folk. On Saturday, March 28 at Club SAW, four more bands take the stage, with punk rockers Big Dick headlining. Their big single is called “Disappointment,” but I won’t be let down if they don’t last as long as winter has.
Pressed Café is located at 750 Gladstone. Club SAW is located at 67 Nicholas Street. Tickets are $8 for one show or $15 for both and are available at Vertigo or The Record Centre.

Game On
Have you ever wanted to create your own video game but never thought you could? On, Friday, March 27, the chance is yours. HUB Ottawa and RedBrick Rooster Creative are hosting a full-day video game workshop for all levels, led by artist and game developer Kara Stone. You’ll have to bring your own laptop, but all software is provided to create your own pixel art. Because if Kim Kardashian can do it, anyone can. Right?
HUB Ottawa is located at 71 Bank Street. Tickets are $45 for the public, or $30 for HUB members. To buy tickets, click here.

A Funeral Like No Other

Take Me Back to Jefferson runs all month at the NAC.

Take Me Back to Jefferson runs all month at the NAC.

Starting tonight, March 25, and running into the weekend, Take Me Back to Jefferson hits the stage at the National Arts Centre. The play, based on the famous Faulkner novel As I Lay Dying, tells the darkly humorous story of one family’s journey to bury their matriarch. The family’s battle against flood, fire, and personal chaos on a 40-mile funeral procession across the state of Mississippi is portrayed by a versatile ensemble cast. Also on Saturday, March 28 at 12:45 p.m., theatre buffs can enjoy a FREE talk by two special guests offering their perspectives on the piece, as part of the NAC’s Points of View series.
Tickets start at $25. Showtimes and ticket info can be found at www.nac-cna.ca. The National Arts Centre is at 53 Elgin Street.

WEEKENDER: Five things to do on the weekend of March 19 – 22

By KYLA CLARKE

Swedish film director Ruben Östlund.

Swedish film director Ruben Östlund.


Comedy and Carbs
On one hand, comedy is good. On the other hand, poutine is good. Now put your hands together. Live Ottawa Laughs, the Byward Market’s best kept secret, is a regular Thursday event that buys you all-you-can-eat poutine for $10, and a FREE standup show to entertain you while you stuff your face. The show starts at 8:30, but get there early – word’s been getting out, and the place fills up fast.
Patty Boland’s is at 101 Clarence Street. Email comedyottawa@gmail.com if you’d like to make reservations.

Swedish Movie Marathon
In partnership with Carleton University and the Swedish Embassy in Canada, the Canadian Film Institute brings us In Case of No Emergency: The Films of Ruben Östlund. The presentation, part of a three-month touring retrospective, features four Östlund films over the course of two Saturdays – this weekend they’ll be showing Play and Turist (Force Majeure). Tickets are $13 for each film, or $20 for a nightly double-bill, and free for Carleton students.
Carleton University is at 1125 Colonel By Drive. Tickets can be purchased here.

The Grooves of the Gallows – FREE
Adam Saikaley hosts a mix of 60s and 70s funk, soul, and jazz in a blast from the past at Mugshot’s FREE Jazz Night this Saturday, March 21. Since losing steam at the end of last year, Mugshots is re-emerging under new management as one of the best spots in town. The quirky bar, located inside the haunted jail hostel in downtown Ottawa, hosts guests DJs and live acts year round. If we’re lucky, the weather will warm up enough to take in the music underneath the creepy old gallows in the courtyard.
Mugshots can be found in the HI Ottawa Jail Hostel at 75 Nicholas Street.

The outdoor courtyard at Mugshots.

The outdoor courtyard at Mugshots.

Stumble the streets of NOLA
With Mardi Gras now a distant – and possibly blurry – memory, it’s your last chance for awhile to take in the New Orleans culture from home. This partner exhibit – The Streets of NOLA – from Val Roy and Gordon Wright conveys the true emotions and soul of the French Quarter and the people who live there. Wrapping up on Sunday, March 22, you can check out the display on the walls of the Atomic Rooster (and grab a beer or catch an open mic while you’re there!)
The Atomic Rooster can be found at 303 Bank Street.

Brotherly Love … or lack thereof
The Great Canadian Theatre Company continues its run of Best Brothers, a bittersweet comedy of love and family. Brothers Hamilton and Kyle lose their mother in a “comically gruesome” accident and must come together to handle the aftermath, all the while putting their own sibling rivalry behind them. Directed by Eric Coates and written by Daniel MacIvor, Best Brothers will run until Sunday, March 29.
The Great Canadian Theatre Company is at 1233 Wellington Street W. Showtimes are available here.

WEEKENDER: Five things to do on the weekend of March 13 to 15

BY KYLA CLARKE

(I am the new intern at Ottawa Magazine, wrapping up a Professional Writing diploma from Algonquin College. Got something to share? Reach out on Twitter @kylafclarke)

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The Once makes their way from St. John’s, Newfoundland to perform at the NAC this Friday night

The Rock’s Folk Invasion
This Friday, March 13, The Once will grace music lovers with their enchanting vocals and delicate harmonies at the National Arts Centre. In promotion of their fourth album, Departures, the St. John’s, Newfoundland folk trio is sure to delight audiences with the intricate acoustic arrangements supporting their tales of travel and coming home.

Inspired by everyone from Cohen to Queen, The Once’s style is reminiscent of Alison Krauss and First Aid Kit. Opening the event is Sarah MacDougall, a Swedish-Canadian songstress whose hauntingly unique vocals are sure to captivate listeners with songs from her new LP Grand Canyon. The show starts at 7:30 pm; tickets are $29.
The National Arts Centre is located at 53 Elgin St.

D’Arcy McGee’s Final Steps … At A Pub?

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Thomas D’Arcy McGee in the late 1800s

Get prepped for next week’s St. Patrick’s Day by celebrating St. “Practice” Day – the old-fashioned way — this Friday, March 13 with a haunted walk honouring the life of Thomas D’Arcy McGee, an Irish Canadian and one of our nation’s founding fathers. Travel back in time as you experience the eerie details of his untimely assassination right where it all happened — on Ottawa’s very own Sparks Street. Following the walk, the party moves to D’Arcy McGee’s Irish Pub, where the real St. Patty’s practicing begins. Tickets are $30 for the tour and party or $15 for the party only. More info, visit here.
D’Arcy McGee’s Irish Pub is located at 44 Sparks St.

Goodness, gracious, great bowls of fire!
This weekend, you can give back by filling up. The Ottawa Guild of Potters hosts their 10th annual “Great Bowls of Fire” fundraiser in support of the Ottawa Food Bank on Saturday, March 14. Your $45 ticket includes a handmade bowl (that you get to take home), soup and bread courtesy of some of Ottawa’s finest restaurants and bakeries – all set to the tunes of a local band. The fundraiser takes place from 5:00 to 8:30 p.m. at the Glebe Community Centre.
Glebe Community Centre is at 175 Third Ave.

 

Solo Girlboy

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Obaaberima wraps an eleven day run this weekend

Obaaberima, meaning “girlboy”, tells the story of one young man’s confusing coming of age, moving from Ghana and growing up in Canada. Stuck between “gay and straight, black and white, Africa and North America,” creator Tawiah M’Carthy shares the complexities of his world through storytelling, dance, and music. The one-man show, running at the National Arts Centre since Tuesday, March 3, wraps up on Saturday, March 14. That means this weekend is your last chance to check out the ‘Outstanding Production’ winner. Tickets for either the 2 p.m. matinee or 8 p.m. shows start at $46 and are available here.
The National Arts Centre is at 53 Elgin St.

When Art is All That Remains

Photo by Philip David Ross

Photo by Philip David Ross

“Throughout recorded history armed conflicts have destroyed innocent lives” — Philip David Ross describes his newest exhibit, All That Remains, as a symbol of chaos and destruction, imagined through arrangements of pulped fruit and shards of pottery. Ross, a public servant-turned photography student, expresses his anger towards the suffering of innocent civilians through his work and has named each piece after a city destroyed by war. All That Remains displays until Wednesday, May 6 at Exposure Gallery, located upstairs from Thyme and Again, in the heart of Wellington Village.
Exposure Gallery is located on the second floor at 1255 Wellington West

WEEKENDER: Five things to do on the weekend of February 26 to 28

BY MATT HARRISON

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A still from Megan Turnbull’s Evolucity (2010), a mixed media animation

Ottawa Isn’t a Boring City — Shows Artist

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Artist, and former resident of Ottawa, Megan Turnbull … sprouting antlers

For years — nah decades — Ottawa has suffered (unfairly) the ignominious distinction of being a place without much culture, without style, and lacking in creativity and originality. We all know it’s not true, but it’s always nice when an someone makes a film that backs up what we’ve always known.

Artist Megan Turnbull created a film in 2013 called OttaWander, which looks at the city’s thriving arts and culture scene (as it was a few years ago) and those driving it. Having lived here for a time, Turnbull was uniquely positioned to comment on the scene — a scene in which she was, no doubt, a part of during her time here. Want to see her “humourous” and “enthusiastic” view of the city? Come out to Café Ex — the Canadian Film Institute’s guest artist series.

OttaWander and several of her short, experimental, “rule-breaking” films will begin screening at 7 p.m. on Thursday, February 26 at Club SAW. Turnbull will be in attendance to speak about her films. The event is pay-what-you-can; seating is limited, so come early. More on Turnbull in a Q&A that Ottawa Magazine did in 2013 when she released OttaWander.

Café Ex is at Club SAW, which is at 67 Nicholas St.

Canada’s Best Novelist
Think you’re a writer? Think you’ve got the chops to be a writer? Just interested in writing — better — period? Acclaimed Hudson author, Trevor Ferguson, is in town this weekend to discuss The Art of Writing — an event being held at the Good Companions Seniors’ Centre. Described as Canada’s best novelist, Ferguson — the author of Onyx John (1985), City of Ice (1999), and the more recent The River Burns (2014) — began his writing career as a taxi driver by night, writer by day. So yeah, he’s been where you probably are. The event is on Thursday, Feb. 26 at 6:30 p.m. Cost is $10. The event is being hosted by the Ottawa Writer’s Circle.

Good Companions Seniors’ Centre is at 670 Albert St.

Barking Up A New(ish) Tree…
With a decidedly funk-driven, disco-vibe that seamlessly shifts midway to rock-psychedelia, The Golden Dogs’ new track, Decided, has the potential to be one of their biggest singles.

Whether or not it will eclipse 2006’s ear-worm, Construction Worker, will remain to be seen. It is, however, a good start to the band’s fourth album (sort of) appropriately titled 3½, that — as one critic has described — sees the band in a sort of “transition”. Not quite there yet, but definitely moving somewhere. Part of that “transition” may also have something to do with the loss of their drummer — on this record, Jessica Grassia steps into that role.

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The Toronto foursome, which includes husband/wife element, will be debuting their new album at House of Targ on Friday, Feb. 27. Never seen The Dogs play before? Expect a wild live show — something they’ve become known for since 2001. Come early for some pierogies and Mortal Combat, stay for the show at 10 p.m. Five bucks before 9 p.m.; $7 after 10 p.m. Opening band is Ottawa’s Ornaments.

House of Targ is at 1077 Bank St.

It’s No Ice Capades
Promising “no sparkles, no stereotypes, and no fuzzy costumes” Montreal’s Le Patin Libre, a five-strong Montreal dance collective, merges street dance with skating, reinventing what we’ve come to expect from traditional figure-skating.

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Le Patin Libre’s urban-dance ice show

“Skating is a magical way to move human bodies — and we can dance like crazy on that ice,” says founder Alexandre Hamel. The show, titled Vertical Influences, takes place on Friday, Feb. 27 and Saturday, Feb. 28 at the Minto Skating Centre. Tickets can be purchased via the National Arts Centre — starting from $30. More info, here.

The Minto Skating Centre is at 2571 Lancaster Rd.

Fresh Meat
No, not at wholesale prices from the trunk of some wise guy’s Coupe de ville. This weekend’s event is named as such because it tosses actors from two performing companies — Karina Milech & Patrick Kelly and Megan Carty, Fiona Sauder and Nicola Atkinson (Bad Hats Theatre Co.) into a shared studio space for three days to come up with something watchable. Er, at least that’s the hope. Find out on Saturday, Feb. 28 at Arts Court Studio. It’s pay-what-you-can, and it begins at 8 p.m. More info, visit here.

Arts Court Studio is at 2 Daly Ave.

WEEKENDER: Five things to do from Feb. 12 to 15

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Still from Dys, a horror film by Canadian horror film director, Maude Michaud, which screens this Friday the 13th at Carleton University

BY MATT HARRISON

An actor, a nun, and a recluse walk into a…
Kitchen. In Cape Breton. For the first time in years. Not quite a joke, but hilarity does ensue in Marion Bridge, a play from the Governor General’s Award-winning, Canadian playwright Daniel MacIvor (The Best Brothers, Never Swim Alone, How it Works, Cul-de-Sac). Opening this week at The Gladstone Theatre, Marion Bridge presents a play that — as advertised — has “nothing to do with women’s relationships with men.” It runs until Feb. 21. No shows on Monday. Evening shows start at 7:30 p.m. Saturday & Sunday matinees. Tickets $24. More info, visit here.
The Gladstone Theatre is on 910 Gladstone Ave.

Global Divestment Day — Feb. 12 FREE!
More than 200 members of McGill University’s faculty signed and presented a petition to the university’s board of governors on Monday calling for the institution to divest its endowment fund of fossil fuel companies — a move coming on the heels of other universities (Standford, Cambridge, University of British Columbia) who’ve either chosen/been pressured to divest of potentially unethical investments, such as nuclear weapons, arms manufacturers, sweatshop labour, and fossil fuels. The idea is that by divesting of these particular investments, it will encourage change in behaviour or policy. (Check out the story here.) But it’s not just up to universities. Find out how individuals have dealt with this issue at a World Cafe Discussion event, which is happening on Thursday, Feb. 12 at the West End Well co-op from 5 to 7 p.m. Hosted by OREC (Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-op), the discussion will focus on ways people are re-investing for a “brighter future.” As noted, it is free — but you do have to register, here.
The West End Well Co-op is at 969 Wellington St. W.

New Winter Hockey Classic FREE!
Valentines Day is a day for love… of Hockey! The Plouffe Park Winter Classic — new this year! — is happening during Valentines Day (so you’ve still got the night free for at classy dinner) at the rink in the park behind Plant Recreation Centre, which is at the corner of Preston and Somerset. “Steve Canadian” will sing Oh Canada and the Good Old Hockey Game, after which the puck drops and four local teams — Odawa Athletic Club, Braden All Stars, OG Capitals, and the Asian Sensation — will compete for the “Caribou Cup.” There will also be Bridgehead coffee and hot chocolate for spectators. So, come out from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. and watch the good ol’ game played right — outside, in bone chilling temperatures. More info, visit here.
Plouffe Park is behind Plant Recreation Centre

Friday the 13th — Women in Horror FREE!
“An estranged couple forced into isolation…” This is the tagline for Dys (a play on the nature of a couple’s relationship, but which also foreshadows the hell that ensues) a film by Quebec horror film director, Maude Michaud, about a couple that, well, is forced to spend some time alone — and with their dark secrets. It’s screening on Friday, Feb. 13th as part of a an event about raising awareness about changing roles in the film industry — in particular the focus of Canadian women in the very male-dominated genre of horror (think Craven, Carpenter, Hitchcock, Raimi, Romero, etc. — they’re mostly dudes). The event is free; no registration required. It’s being held at St. Patrick’s building at Carleton University and starts at 7 p.m. More info, visit here.
Carleton University is at 1125 Colonel By Drive

11124636916_f2f196a8d6_bAnimalia Antics
What happens when one little rabbit has insomnia? How about when the porcupines drop by, unannounced, for tea? Prickly situation that one. Or when the Weasels get hitched? Find out by taking a trip to the animal village of Felicity Falls on Sunday, Feb. 15. Presented by Rag & Bone Puppet Theatre company, this family-friendly puppet show takes place at the Shenkman Arts Centre. Two shows, the first is at 1:30 p.m.; the other is at 3:30 p.m. Organizers recommend it for ages 4-11. Tickets are $10 or four for $32. More info, visit here.
The Shenkman Arts Centre is at 245 Centrum Blvd.

 

WEEKENDER: Four things to do on the weekend of Feb. 6 to 8

BY MATT HARRISON

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OAG’s On The Rocks
Fun facts about — Hokkaido, Japan’s wintery, northern island (this is leading somewhere, I promise): the island’s original inhabitants are called Ainu; it has a number of volcanoes, some active; the 1972 Olympics were held there; the Seikan Tunnel is a 53km railway line that extends 100m below the seabed, connecting Hokkaido with Honshu; and that silvery-can of Sapporo you’ve quaffed down at some Asian-fusion resto? That’s named after the island’s capital city. There, now you’re set for the Ottawa Art Gallery’s On The Rocks Hokkaido-themed Winterlude party on Friday, Feb. 6. Unlike in past years, this one’s being held at City Hall. It features performances by Oto-Wa Taiko Japanese Drumming Group, Ryoko Itabashi, shamisen player, and music by Anonimo. Plus traditional games, sake and Hokkaido home cooking samples, as well as door prizes. More info, or to purchase tickets, visit here.
City Hall is at 110 Laurier Ave.

It’s the Beat
“Give me a mic and a beat/And I’ll be straight/It’s the beat
You know it’s one for the treble/Two for the bass/It’s the beat” — It’s the Beat, Simian Mobile Disco

Thought by some to make you go crazy, lose your inhibitions, and cause you to ‘sin’, today, few would agree with this assessment of ‘the beat.’ Instead, as organizers of the Origins of Beat will point out, the beat has played an important role in the development and progression of Canadian music — from its earliest roots in Canada, to jazz, blues, soul, and — eventually — house music. Be part of the Origin of Beat showcase, featuring DJs, groups, and individual artists, who will be focusing mainly on Afro, Caribbean, Latin, and Urban music, and demonstrate how these genres have come to be influenced by ‘the beat.’ It’s $10 and it happens on Saturday, February 7 at Maxwells. More info, visit here.
Maxwells is at 340 Elgin St.

Baltic/Nordic Film Fest
A teacher who crosses the line? Sadly, it’s the stuff of daily headlines. But as The Lesson shows, in spite of best intentions, a teacher’s relationship with their students can sometimes be complicated. Known in Latvia as Izlaiduma gads, the film is the first of several to be shown as part of this weekend’s annual Bright Lights: The Baltic-Nordic Film Festival. Hosted by the Canadian Film Institute, the festival’s first film, The Lesson, will be shown on Friday, Feb 6 at 7 p.m. at Carleton University’s River Building Theatre.
A mother’s constant disapproval is the source of her daughter’s seemingly inability to realize her promising potential as an actress — I am Yours screens on Saturday, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m., followed by a look at Sweden’s legendary filmmaker, Ingmar Bergman (The Seventh Seal, The Virgin Spring, Fanny & Alexander) through the eyes of other cinematic legends (Woody Allen, Wes Craven, De Niro) — Trespassing Bergman is at 9 p.m.

A girl’s remarkable 6,000 km trek from a Cold War Russian gulag back home to Lithuania is chronicled in The Excursionist — it shows at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Feb 8.
More info, and to purchase tickets, visit here.
Carleton University is at 1125 Colonel By Drive

Wakefield International Film Festival
More film comin’ at yeah — but you have to drive to Wakefield to see it. Secret trials, an Israeli secret service agent who protects a Hamas leader, a blind piano prodigy who suffers from stage fright — just a few of the subjects explored this year at the Wakefield International Film Festival. Opening night takes place on Saturday, Feb. 7 with U.K.’s Next Goal Wins, a doc about how a maverick Dutch soccer coach transformed the worst team on the planet — the American Samoa, who’ve only scored twice in 17 years and never won a game. (Sound familiar? Let’s get this coach to help out our Canadian Men’s team.) That’s at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 7.

And at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 8. Also this weekend is Sol, a Canadian film by directors Marie-Hélène CousineauSusan Avingaq, about Solomon Uyarasuk, an Inuit acrobat, musician, and poet who died in an RCMP holding cell under suspicious circumstances. It screens on Saturday, Feb. 7 at 7:30 p.m., and on Sunday, Feb. 8 at 4 p.m.

Along with riveting, must-see films, directors will also be present to discuss their documentaries. Opportunities for further discussion and a chance to mingle, share some libations, and eat nibblies will take place following films. For cinephiles who are also gourmands, the festival offers the Bouffe-4-Buffs, which pairs film with discounts to many of the village’s restos. More info here.

WIFF continues to show films and feature guest directors every Saturday and Sunday until March 1. More info on the festival, passes, directions, etc., visit here.