WEEKENDER: 7 things to do in Ottawa for your last August weekend (Aug. 27-30)


08-27-Moonface credit Tero Ahonen

Spencer Krug. Photo by Tero Ahonen

Frog Eyes, Wolf Parade, Fifths of Seven — these are just a few of the music projects songwriter and keyboardist Spencer Krug has been involved with over his career. He’s an amazingly prolific musician who has been credited on almost two dozen releases since 2003. So it’s safe to say he knows a few things about making good music.

His latest project, Moonface, is a (mostly) solo endeavour. In several of his albums, he relies heavily on the piano as he waxes lonesome about everything from the collapse of a relationship to disillusionment with a once-loved city. He also collaborated with Finnish band Siinai to create Heartbreaking Bravery, an indie rock-tinged album with a brooding, melancholic atmosphere.

He performs at Pressed on Thursday, Aug. 27. Tickets from $13. See Facebook event page for  details.
Pressed, 750 Gladstone Ave., 613-680-9294, pressed-ottawa.com


The Norman Conquests
In 1973, playwright Alan Ayckbourn set himself an ambitious task: to write a trilogy of plays wherein the events in each happen simultaneously. And so, The Norman Conquests was born.

The play follows the character of Norman as he attempts, on three separate occasions, to seduce his wife, Ruth; her sister, Annie; and their sister-in-law, Sarah. The setting is a country house belonging to Ruth and Annie’s invalid mother, with whom Annie lives and for whom she cares. The action takes place over a single weekend as all three women react to Norman’s charms.

The trilogy begins on Friday, Aug. 28 at The Gladstone. It runs until Saturday, Oct. 10. The plays can be viewed independently, but if you want to see all three, consider purchasing a package. Tickets start at $18. See website for more info.
The Gladstone, 910 Gladstone Ave., 613-233-4523, thegladstone.ca


Ottawa Craft Beer Festival
The National Capital Region has seen an explosion in craft brewing in recent years, with breweries such as Beau’s All-Natural Brewing Company, Kichesippi Beer Co., and Bicycle Craft Brewery popping up in the area.

For its fourth year, the Ottawa Craft Beer Festival is bringing in 40 craft breweries, international beers, delicious food from local eateries, and live music. It’s also running brewmaster seminars, holding a 5K run (or walk!), introducing the winners of the National Capital Home Brew Competition, and more.

The brews start pouring on Friday, Aug. 28 and the festival continues until Sunday, Aug. 30. Admission starts at $15. Please note that the event is restricted to ages 19+. See website for ticket prices.
Aberdeen Pavilion, Lansdowne Park, 1015 Bank St., ottawacraftbeerfestival.ca


CFL Fans Fight Cancer teams up with RiderGirl Productions to raise some money for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation. Friday, Aug. 28 and Saturday, Aug. 29 join fellow CFL and theatre fans –  not only will there be a show (of which $1/ticket sold will go to the foundation), there will be a Tailgate Party (where more funds will be raised) – which is arguably the best part of football. The pre-show will have a cash bar as well as hot dogs and sausages to purchase. Tailgate Party at 6:30 p.m., show time 7:30 p.m., and a post-game party to follow the show.

However, this one-woman show (two-time Rideau Award nominee Colleen Sutton) offers fair competition to the typical tailgate.

“A prairie girl is seduced into sports fandom and discovers the rules don’t just apply to the game. Colleen Sutton throws herself into multiple characters as she fights for first downs and flags begin to fly. Loaded with laughs, it’s a fast-paced, physical and trash-talking march down the field that will haul your heart into the game.”

Come in your CFL gear and colours! If you intend to bring your kidlets, keep in mind that there will be some swearing – this is football after all. Tickets start at $26 (tailgate included in ticket cost).
Arts Court, 2 Daly Ave., 613-765-5555, artscourt.ca/events/ridergirl


You had me at fried dough.

You had me at fried dough.

Palestinian Festival Ottawa
Did you know the Palestinian region, the area located between the east shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, was one of the earliest in the world to see human habitation, agricultural communities and civilization?

As I’ve been saying it all summer long, I will say it again: one of the best parts of summer in Ottawa is the plethora of cultural festivals. Let us welcome Ottawa’s Palestinian Festival, returning for the second time to City Hall’s Marion Dewar Plaza!

Running from Friday, Aug. 28 to Sunday, Aug. 30, take part in this free event and learn about Palestine’s language and people, take part in the dance and music, and taste all of the food. Follow the festival on Facebook to keep up-to-date. Family encouraged! Event runs from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Marion Dewar Park, Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Ave. W., palestinianfestivalottawa.com



Montreal band Yamantaka // Sonic Titan – the look will fit right in at Zaphods

Yamantaka // Sonic Titan
Montreal band Yamantaka // Sonic Titan was born when drummer Alaska B and vocalist Ruby Kato Attwood decided to bridge their two cultures through music (Alaska is of Chinese-Irish descent, while Attwood is of Japanese-Scottish descent). They playfully dubbed the resulting sound Noh-wave, after the 14th century Japanese theatre art whose defining characteristic is the use of masks.

Their music is often referred to as prog-rock, but the term doesn’t adequately describe their sound. They bring together eastern and western music styles, and stir the pot further with hints of metal, punk, grunge, and psychedelic.

They perform at Zaphod Beeblebrox on Saturday, Aug. 29. Tickets are $12. See Facebook event page for more info.
Zaphod Beeblebrox, 27 York St., 613-562-1010, zaphods.ca



Harvest Table 2013

Harvest Table 2015 – Savour Ottawa
Harvest Table has grown over the last four years, in attendance and food. For the fifth annual event, courtesy of Savour Ottawa, it will be no different. Held Sunday, Aug. 30 from noon to 2 p.m. in the Horticulture Building at Lansdowne Park, beside the Ottawa Farmers’ Market (a fitting location), come celebrate the local harvest with a multi-course, gourmet luncheon. Harvest Table sees some of the city’s finest chefs partner with local farmers to create fresh, seasonal dishes. Enjoy a family-style feast sharing the company of producers, chefs and other guests.

Tickets are only sold in advance, and it always sells out so don’t delay! Regular tickets are $75, or get the VIP treatment – “Cream of the Crop” – for $90. The extra $15 will get you a guided tour of the Ottawa Farmers’ Market with C’est Bon Cooking and appetizers and cocktails to start the afternoon in style. Purchase online here.

Check out some of the featured local restaurants to get your mouth watering in advance: The Albion Rooms
, le café at the National Arts Centre
, Courtyard Restaurant, 
Fairmont Château Laurier, Thyme and Again,  Creative Catering
, The Red Apron.
Horticulture Building, Lansdowne Park, 1015 Bank St., 613 699 6850 ext. 10, savourottawa.ca/events.php

THIS CITY: Pride Week in the capital


City hall has raised the Pride flag and the celebrations have officially begun!


$5 stubbies from Dominion City Brews at Clover Food & Drink

We stopped by Clover food | drink today to take in some of the festivities ($5 beer from Dominion City + ice cream truffles from Moo Shu, with a special rainbow fruit loops pop).

Most activities will be taking place on and around Banks St., make sure to check out the detailed events page for locations and times to see how you can get involved this week. Much will be covered, from serious topics such as a “Confidence, Consent, and Communication” talk to the light-hearted including a show at the NAC, a family BBQ, and all else in between.

Don’t miss Sunday Aug. 23, the final day of Pride looks to be very promising with the signature event: a parade ending at the beer garden located at Bank & Gilmour.

WEEKENDER: Six things to do in Ottawa Aug. 13-16



GreekFest 2014 – the Zorba dancers’ performance.

Greece holds a romantic place in my heart. The community, family, food, people, and the country itself are beautiful. I remember my first visit to GreekFest – just old enough to go out on my own, dressed up with my girlfriends, enjoying a little piece of Greece. The Zorba show, Greek food, jewelry, clothing, art, family, culture, and, of course, checking out the dancers.

This year will be no different for me as I intend to join the many other Ottawans who will take in the festival opening Thursday, Aug. 13 to Sunday, Aug. 23. Take advantage of the free shuttle to avoid parking around Prince of Whales. See the website for the event schedule, there is something going on every day, but rumour has always had it that the closing ceremony is not to be missed! See you there, I’ll be at the Loukoumades tent. Opa!
1315 Prince of Wales Dr., ottawagreekfest.com


TD South Asian Fest

All sorts of treats avaialble at South Asian Fest. Photo by Amna Hakim Photography

All sorts of treats avaialble at South Asian Fest. Photo by Amna Hakim Photography

If there was ever doubt that there is a variety of culture in Ottawa, this Thursday also marks the opening ceremony for TD South Asia Fest, the largest South Asian gathering in Ottawa.

On Aug. 13, 2015, the festival will open with an art exhibition followed by a boat cruise on Friday. Saturday will be a family friendly free outdoor event held at City Hall. There will be live performances from local artists, an opportunity to try a variety of South Asian cuisine, a kid zone, henna, clothing and jewelry, and an after party on Saturday at Club Discoteka on Dalhousie.
Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Ave. W., 613-291-8624, southasianfest.net


Calabogie Blues and Ribfest
Guitarist and singer Keb’ Mo’ is frequently hailed as one of the last living links to Delta blues, a musical genre that emerged in rural Mississippi in the early 20th century. He’s just one of many performers slated to take the stage at Calabogie Blues and Ribfest this weekend.

Others include Shemekia Copeland, an electric blues vocalist and the daughter of the late blues artist, Johnny Copeland; Steve Strongman, a blues guitarist from Kitchener; and Jack de Keyzer, a two-time Juno Award-winning singer-songwriter.

Meanwhile, a host of barbecues from Canada and the United States are on site to grill up juicy ribs and compete for prizes, including Best Ribs, Best Chicken, and Consumers’ Choice.

The festival gets started on Friday, Aug. 14 and continues until Sunday, Aug. 16. Camping for tents and RVs is available on site. See website for more info. Tickets from $25.
Calabogie Peaks Resort, 30 Barrett Chute Rd., Calabogie, 1-800-669-4861, calabogieblues.com.


2015 Student Jewellery Competition Finalists

Aurélie Guillaume, Madame au chien rose. Brooch, with enamel on copper, cloisonné fine silver wire, powder coated copper, fresh water pearls, enamel paint, steel, and micro glass beads, 9 x 17 x 1.5 cm. Courtesy of L.A. Pai Gallery.

Aurélie Guillaume, Madame au chien rose. Brooch, with enamel on copper, cloisonné fine silver wire, powder coated copper, fresh water pearls, enamel paint, steel, and micro glass beads, 9 x 17 x 1.5 cm. Courtesy of L.A. Pai Gallery.

The art of cloisonné — a painstaking technique by which coloured glass, gemstones, or enamel are sectioned into elaborate designs using thin strips of wire — has been around since the time of the Egyptian pharaohs. Back then, cloisonné was used to make trinkets such as rings and buttons, but over the centuries, it began to appear in larger objects. The Chinese, for example, used it to beautify everything from bowls to vases to pots.

Art jeweller and NSCAD student Aurélie Guillaume takes this ancient technique and does something quite modern with it in her intricate, whimsical brooches of unusual characters. Beginning on Saturday, Aug. 15, L.A. Pai displays her work, along with that of five other jewellery students, in the 2015 Student Jewellery Competition Finalists exhibition.

The six finalists will be at the gallery from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Aug. 15, and the award will be presented to the winner at 3 p.m.

The exhibition runs until September 4. Admission is free. See website for more info. L.A. Pai Gallery, 13 Murray St., 613-241-2767, lapaigallery.com.


Amos the Transparent


Amos the Transparent

Making a name for oneself as an artist can be an uphill battle. Being constantly on the road and playing gig after gig with no guarantee it will pay off can take a mental and physical toll. This is what Jonathan Chandler, frontman for Ottawa indie rock band Amos the Transparent, endured before he found himself ready to give up on a career in music altogether.

Instead, he used the experience as material for the band’s latest album, This Cold Escape. The concept album travels the landscape of indie musicianship, tackling everything from youthful dreams of fame to the fragile balance of public and private life.

The band performs at the Black Sheep Inn on Saturday, Aug. 15. Tickets are from $12.
The Black Sheep Inn, 753 Riverside Dr., Wakefield, 819-459-3228, theblacksheepinn.com.



Lumière’s lantern labyrinth

Lumière Festival
The “Festival of Lights” has origins dating back to 1643 in Lyon, France, when the city became plague stricken. The ruling municipality devoted a tribute to Mary, mother of Jesus, to rid them of the plague and, in thanks, a festival is held on December 8 of each year (this also ties in to the reasoning behind Christmas lights). But variations of this event take place all over the world, and obviously, at different times of the year.

This weekend, starting Saturday, Aug. 15 at 5 p.m. Ottawa will hold its own Lumière Festival in New Edinburgh Park.

Whether coming with friends, family, or on your own, it will be a special, one-of-a-kind experience. Everything will be entirely lit by lanterns, including a labyrinth and performances. Artists will be performing for donation; so don’t forget to bring some spare change in addition to your lantern. Costumes are also welcome.

Lights that are brought to the park need to be battery operated flash-lights or glow-sticks only. Please do not bring any candles or open flames to the park.

“The Lumière Festival is presented by the New Edinburgh Community & Arts Centre. Through lantern-making workshops and community outreach initiatives, Lumière encourages people to come together and share their own creations and view the creations of others in a celebration of light and community.”
New Edinburgh Park, 193 Stanley Ave., 613-745-2742, lumiereottawa.ca

WEEKENDER: Six things to do on the weekend of Aug. 6 to Aug. 9


Distraction — the truth and the media
They say a picture is worth a thousand words — but artist Lilly Koltun wants us all to stop and think very hard about what some pictures are telling us.

In her exhibition Distraction, which opens on Thursday, Aug. 6 at Studio Sixty Six, Koltun appropriates photos and video of recent and past tragedies to question whether the truth is really being told by the media. What techniques does the media use to influence public opinion? And by looking at these images, how are we involved in creating public passivity towards violence?

The exhibition continues until August 17. See website for more info.
Studio Sixty Six, 66 Muriel St., Unit 202, 613-800-1641, studiosixtysix.ca.

Popcorn and cotton candy, always. Get yours at the RA centre this weekend.

Shrine Circus
“Under the big top” is a phrase most are familiar with. Where the acrobats and the clowns collect and the line between man and animal is blurred. And where there is, undoubtedly, lots of popcorn and cotton candy.

The circus is coming to town from Friday, Aug. 7 to Sunday, August 9 in the parking lot of the RA Centre. And they are bringing everyone – the acrobats, the clowns, and the animals. There is no need to fret over the treatment of the animals either, this particular circus has the Zerbini family in charge of their elephants and they care so deeply about the gentle giants that they also run an elephant sanctuary: Two Tails. The Zerbini Family has been in the act for over 250 years since they started in Paris in the 1700s. Ten generations of Zerbinis have travelled the world sharing their talents with circus audiences.

Check the website for the schedule, performances are held multiple times a day. $30 for general, $40 for VIP seating, $50 for ringside.
RA Centre, 2451 Riverside Dr., shrine-circus.com

Festival of India
One of my favourite things about Ottawa is the multitude of festivals that take place over the summer, celebrating so many different nationalities and cultures. It is an opportunity to learn, admire, respect, have fun, and eat delicious, delicious food.

This week starting on Friday, Aug. 7 is the Festival of India, taking place in front of City Hall. It will bring you through a variety of events: dance and music performances featuring classical Indian music, Bollywood, and more; yoga workshops and classes; food – the eating of and the learning of how to make from different regions in India.

A day pass costs $8.85 + HST, or you can get a 3 day pass to last all weekend for $17.70 + HST. Kids 12 and under are free.
Marion Dewar Plaza, 110 Laurier Avenue West, festivalofindiaottawa.org

Bob Marley once said, “My music will go on forever.” And more than 30 years after his death, we’re hard pressed to find fault with that statement. Reggae has flourished in Jamaica and beyond, spawning subgenres of its own and influencing artists of all stripes across the world.

Come see Gyptian at Mooney's Bay for JAMDAY

Come see musician, Gyptian at Mooney’s Bay for JAMDAY

Reggae is just one aspect of JAMDAY, a giant bash at Mooney’s Bay Park that celebrates Jamaica’s contributions to the Canadian mosaic. Grab some authentic Jamaican food and enjoy performances by notable reggae artists Luciano, Gyptian, and Fabian Marley, who brands himself as Bob’s son (although a DNA test has yet to prove his claim). If you have the kids in tow, there are plenty of games and activities to keep them occupied at the children’s village.

The festival itself is on Saturday, Aug. 8, but you may  want to check out the flag raising ceremony at City Hall at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 6.

Tickets are $20 in advance, $30 at the gate. See website for more info.
Mooney’s Bay Park, 2960 Riverside Dr., jamday.ca.

The Long Island Medium
The concept of the séance has been around for centuries, but in the 1920s, it really became all the rage. Even Canada’s former prime minister, William Lyon Mackenzie King, got in on the action — through mediums, he supposedly spoke with his dead mother, his beloved dogs, and Leonardo Da Vinci (according to his journals, anyway).

Teresa Caputo will be at the CTC Saturday.

Theresa Caputo will be at the CTC Saturday.

The desire to connect with a deceased loved one is an understandable sentiment, especially in cases where a goodbye wasn’t possible. That’s where Theresa Caputo comes in — she’s best known for her TLC television show Long Island Medium and she claims the ability to speak to the dead. In her live appearances, she attempts to deliver messages from spirits and bring closure to audience members.

Caputo reaches beyond the veil at the Canadian Tire Centre on Saturday, Aug. 8. Tickets start at $45 and can be purchased online.
Canadian Tire Centre, 1000 Palladium Dr., 613-599-0100, canadiantirecentre.com.

No fork? No problem. Ottawa hosts its second annual Taco-Fest this Saturday, August 8 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Shaw Centre. You can look forward to your typical taco – hard or soft shell? You decide – as well as some twists on the traditional. There will be Ottawa faves like Petit Peru and Mambo, as well as some lesser-knowns to the taco scene such as Gongfu Bao Cart making a special steamed bun version. Worried about satisfying your sweet tooth? Among other options, Léché Desserts is bringing donuts.

There will be music pumping throughout the night to keep you energized. This event is only for those who are the age of majority (19+) so make sure to bring your ID. It is a cash only event – there will be ATMs on site.

Tickets are on sale for $10 if prepurchased online and will be sold at the door starting at 7 p.m. for $15. Once inside, food is priced between $2 and $5.

Wondering what to wear? The dress code according to the Facebook page: “Casual – Look good and feel comfortable!” (Everyone looks good in sweatpants, right?)

Gluten free, vegetarian, and even vegan options available.

By the way, is it tah-co or taw-co?
Shaw Centre, 55 Colonel By Dr.

WEEKENDER UPDATE: Two more things to do this August-long – Ottawans helping Ottawans


Can you name three things that you are grateful for? What about an experience in the last 24 hours that made you happy?

It takes 21 days to build a habit, I’m sure many of us have tried this before: eat healthier, workout more often, read everyday – all valiant and notable habit-building choices. But what about building your happiness? The questions above are the beginning to making your life a little brighter.

Manal Nemr, life coach, nutritionist Amy Longard, and yogi Kate Durie have started HappinessHabits613. This is an initiative to create a happier Ottawa and they will be kickstarting their program with a free event at The HUB on August 1st from 2-4 p.m.


Manal Nemr, Amy Longard, and Kate Durie at HUB Ottawa doing some epic shit.

If you can’t make it out to the event, join the Facebook group and participate in the 21-day challenge with your fellow Ottawans. You can expect to receive the down low on free events and check-ins throughout the 21-day adventure. Just some of the fun things you’ll get to participate in include Brown Bag Lunch n Learns at the HUB and Yoga & Meditation class at Pure Yoga Ottawa.

HappinessHabits613 has already teamed up with HUB Ottawa, Urban Juice Press, Yelp Ottawa, Pure Yoga Ottawa, EPIC Fitness, Sage Wellness, Lululemon, and Orange Theory Fitness – why not join the movement?
@HappinessHabits613, #HappinessHabits613

HPH Fundraiser for RB’s co-owner Alex Néron


Alex and Marta at Railbender studio in 2014. Photo by the loveOttawa project

Railbender has become a favourite, not only in it’s own neighbourhood of Hintonburg, but around Ottawa. This isn’t only due to the great location, beautiful space, and talented artists, it’s also because of the people behind the art, the genuinely fun, kind and caring folk who work there. And now, co-owner Alex Néron needs our help.  He has recently been diagnosed with colon cancer and is currently undergoing treatment. An initiative has been started to raise money for medical and living expenses not covered by OHIP.

Join the Railbender crew and all his supporters Saturday, August 1 at 10 p.m. at the Hintonburg Public House for a party – dancing to be encouraged by DJ Sweet Cheeks.

With support from Beyond The Pale (who donated a keg, 100% of the sales of this will go to the cause), a live auction and raffle with items from Victoire, PLAY Food & Wine, HPH, Beau’s, Zazaza, Wilf & Adas, and much more (check out the Facebook Page here)! 

If you’d like to donate to the raffle or auction, get in touch with HPH. And if you can’t make it to the party, loveOttawa has created loveRailbender where you can e-transfer funds directly to Alex at loveRailbender@love-ottawa.com.
Hintonburg Public House, 
1020 wellington St. W., 613-421-5087, hintonburgpublichouse.ca

WEEKENDER: Six things (plus one) to do on the weekend of July 30 to Aug. 3


Buskerfest photo

Busker’s performing at Ottawa’s 2014 festival

The Ottawa International Busker Festival
Street performances are no new source of entertainment. Busking, coming from the Spanish word “buscar”, dates back throughout ancient history and has been done all over the world by almost every culture. From England to France to Japan and North America, many of the same talents were performed hundreds of years ago as they are today.

Fast forward to 2015 and you can check out some of the international acts right here on Sparks Street with stages set up between Elgin and Lyon. Performers are coming from coast-to-coast; check out Silver Elvis from Toronto or the Circus Firemen from Australia. Crowds of over 225,000 will visit one of Canada’s oldest and biggest busker festivals.

Show times are between 11 a.m. and 11 p.m. starting Thursday, July 30 and running through the long weekend. Check out the website for the schedule and don’t forget to vote for your favourite performer.

It’s free for all (but remember to bring your gratuities); save for an adult-only portion taking place Sunday, August 2 at the Marriott Hotel, 100 Kent St where our international buskers will be collaborating with some of Ottawa’s top burlesque acts! Tickets are $20 with only a limited quantity available. And don’t miss the grand finale on Monday, August 3, 6 p.m.
Sparks St., ottawabuskerfestival.com

Capital Ribfest
Smell that? It’s the tantalizing aroma of ribs — lots of ribs! — slathered with barbecue sauce and smoking on an outdoor grill. Brought to you by Capital Ribfest, this meaty smorgasbord features a half dozen ribbers and grillers from Canada and the United States who, over the course of the long weekend, are cooking up a feast of beef ribs, pork ribs, chicken, and pulled pork sandwiches. You can also treat yourself to corn on the cob, salads, pizza, fries, doughnuts, ice cream, and a handful of gluten-free and vegetarian treats.

Up on stage, entertainment includes old-time jazz band the Boxcar Boys, local indie rockers Amos the Transparent, country rock duo Sons Command, and much more.

The festival is on at City Hall’s Festival Plaza from Thursday, July 30 until Monday, Aug. 3. Admission is free, but you pay for what you eat. The event is cash-only, with an ATM on site. See website for more info.
Festival Plaza, City Hall, 110 Laurier Ave. W., capitalribfest.ca.


Union Duke set to perform at the Black Sheep Inn Friday, July 31

Union Duke
Union Duke’s second studio album, Cash & Carry, is full of songs that wouldn’t be out of place at a campfire sing-along — which isn’t too surprising, given that it was recorded at a cabin in the Ontario wilderness.

The bluegrass/folk/country quintet has been playing together since they were 13 years old. Between their rollicking foot-stompers and only slightly slower paced reflections on love, it’s clear they’ve used that time well to perfect their rich vocal harmonies and master their finger picking skills. They perform at the Black Sheep Inn on Friday, July 31. Tickets start at $10.
The Black Sheep Inn, 753 Riverside Dr., Wakefield, 819-459-3228, theblacksheepinn.com.

I’m not Jewish but my mother is
If the title of this play has any insight to the type of humour we can expect, I’m thinking irony. Gladstone owner, Steve Martin (for the foreseeable future anyway, as he has just listed the historic building for sale) wrote and features in this comedy with Rebekah Shirey and Barbara Seabright-Moore. Premiering Wednesday, July 28 and running through to August 8, Martin, playing Christopher, has a hot date and a (Jewish) mother who is getting in the way. Tickets are $30 and as it is general admission, be sure to arrive well before the curtain rise to have time to grab yourself a drink and a good seat.
The Gladstone, 910 Gladstone Ave., 613-233-4523, thegladstone.ca

Full Moon Yoga – Free
Do you like to do yoga? Or are you one of those people that says you like to do yoga but never actually gets around to it (me)? Well, clear your schedule this Friday, July 31, 9 p.m. because it is free! With the full moon, and a blue moon at that, Rama Lotus will be hosting an event for all levels at Lansdowne outdoors, weather permitting, and indoors if necessary.
TD Place, 1015 Bank St., 613-234-7974, ottawayoga.com (phone number and website for Rama Lotus)

Street Eats
“Creating Food Events With You In Mind.”

I sincerely felt that TW Events had me in mind when they created Street Eats. On Saturday, August 1 from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., head to the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum to indulge in such big name foodie brands as Ad Mare, Brew Bar, Mill Street, Beaus, and more. Street Eats is also giving back to the community by giving a scholarship fund to one lucky Algonquin student.

Tickets are $20 for entry, and food and beer tickets are on special if you purchase online in advance: $15 for 20 tickets or $20 for 20 at the door.

Your ticket will also get you admission to the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum, an opportunity to win giveaways, enjoy live music by The Lionyls, participate in beer and food challenges, and be a part of the Street Eats video.
Canadian Aviation and Space Museum, 11 Aviation Pky., twevents.ca/streeteats/

Ottawa’s Hidden Gems
A placid lake in the midst of urban chaos, a boardwalk winding through greenery on the banks of the Rideau River, a solitary pine surrounded by stunning autumn marshes — these are the aspects of Ottawa that are rarely seen, but deserve a little love.

In Cube Gallery’s Hidden Gems, a group of six painters capture the beauty of Ottawa’s nooks and crannies, from Lemieux Island in the Ottawa River to Patterson Creek in the historic Glebe. The vernissage is on Sunday, Aug. 2. The exhibition continues until Sunday, Aug. 30. Admission is free. Visit the website for more info.
Cube Gallery, 1285 Wellington St. W., 613-728-2111, cubegallery.ca.

WEEKENDER: Six things to do on the weekend of July 23 to 26



Image by Georges Jacotey

Ways of Something
“When the camera reproduces a painting, it destroys the uniqueness of its image. As a result its meaning changes. Or, more exactly, its meaning multiplies, fragments into many meanings.” — John Berger, 1972, Ways of Seeing 

More than four decades later, Berger’s observations — taken from his iconic four-part BBC mini-series, Ways of Seeing — is being reexamined by Canadian and other international artists: 110 of them, to be exact. Culled together by Toronto-based artist Lorna Mills, her mammoth art project, Ways of Something, will present video, 3D renderings, animated gifs, live web cams, and digitally manipulated visuals in the context of the 21st century (hence the Lana Del Rey collage), along with Berger’s original narrative and voiceover, in an effort to ask the question: is Berger’s ground-breaking 20th century presentation still relevant in the 21st century? Find out this Thursday, July 23 at SAW Video from 6pm to 11pm. Admission is free. For more information, visit website.
SAW Video is at 67 Nicholas St. 

The Creation of the World and Other Business
We all know the story: God created Adam and Eve, who ate the forbidden fruit offered by Lucifer, only to be ejected from the Garden of Eden as punishment for their transgression. But how did things get to this point? 

Read the rest of this story »

DAYTRIPPER: Caving in Vals-des-Monts


This article originally appeared in the Summer 2015 print edition of
Ottawa Magazine


Monkey for a Day: Visit Arbraska Laflèche Park for aerial adventures — in Val-des-Monts

To Play
For a day of adventure close to town, head to Arbraska Laflèche Park, just north of Cantley in Val-des-Monts. Play in an aerial park that includes wobbly suspension bridges, lianas (vines), monkey bridges (rope bridges), swings, and long, long zip lines.


What Lies Beneath! Visit Arbraska Laflèche Park for some spectacular spelunking

Had enough of swinging? Head underground to squeeze through tiny passages and glimpse majestic underground caves. This one’s not for claustrophobics!

To Rest
From Laflèche Park, head west for 20 minutes toward Wakefield to La Grange, a converted barn that offers four rustic, stylish bedrooms with access to a common kitchen, sitting room, large garden, and sun-filled yoga studio.


The sun-filled yoga studio of La Grange — Wakefield


La Grange’s converted barn — Wakefield

New this year: an organic vegetable garden that produces fresh-picked goodies for breakfast.

To Eat
Also in Wakefield, The Village House offers superb local, seasonal food. In summer, enjoy your dinner on a tiny terrace overlooking the Gatineau River. Favourites include honey-roasted beets, beef short ribs, and local Le Coprin mushrooms.

To Distract
If your muscles are sore or your nerves jangly after a day spent in the treetops and underground caves, head a short distance south (15 minutes) to Amerispa Cantley. A small, contemporary Nordic spa, the baths offer the perfect place to relax, enjoy a massage, or simply lounge in a hot tub surrounded by nature.


WEEKENDER: Six things to do on the weekend of July 16 to 19



5 / 12 Neville Smith (Ottawa, Canada), Title: Pandora’s Box Pandora’s Box, Bump and Grind Revue 1978, 36-7/8 x 24-5/8 inches. Screenprint, Signed, Limited Edition

Bedtime Stories
“Here goes nothing” — words a woman utters as she peaks under her husband’s jammies whilst in bed. Bedtime Stories, which opened this week at Ottawa Little Theatre, explores six separate tales revolving around the bed, a mattress — even a chaise longue. The comedy, by Norm Foster, plays nightly at 7:30 p.m. until August 1. For more info, including ticket prices, visit here.
Ottawa Little Theatre is at 400 King Edward Ave.

Let Us Entertain You
Still reeling from the War of 1812, the powers that be over in England wanted a new, more secure, supply route between Montreal and Toronto. In 1826, construction began on the Rideau Canal. Hundreds died building it, and Ottawa (known in those days as the rough and tumble Bytown) grew up around it.

This is just one part of the tapestry that makes up Ottawa’s rich history. Ottawa StoryTellers traces the capital’s evolution from the days of street brawls between the Irish and French Canadians to the more docile times of diplomacy and politics. Performances run from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 16 at the Bytown Museum as part of its Let Us Entertain You series. Each performance covers a different topic and runs for 10 minutes. Admission is free. More info, visit here.
The Bytown Museum is at 1 Canal Lane (beside the Chateau Laurier)


Neville Smith (Ottawa, Canada), Title: Exhibition Saw Gallery 1972, 27-1/2 x 45 inches. Screenprint

Neville Smith
He’s worked with renowned Canadian artist, Gerald Trottier; he spent time at Crawley Films as an animator (famous for the ‘75 academy-award winning doc, The Man Who Skied Down Everest); he worked on design for Expo ’70 in Osaka Japan; he founded his own group with fellow Canadians — Norman Takeuchi and Morris Danylewich; and he has subsequently won numerous accolades for his own work — Neville Smith returns to Ottawa for a showing of his art at La Petite Mort, which will launch the exhibit with a vernissage on Friday, July 17, from 7 to 10 p.m.

Smith will be in attendance — as will his striking illustrative work, which spans his career. Pieces will also be for sale. The exhibit is up until July 23. More info, visit here.
La Petite Mort is on 306 Cumberland St.

Behind Closed Doors FREE
Body of Evidence — not the unwatchable piece of 80’s celluloid that starred Madonna (remember the “hot wax and champagne scene”?). Rather (and thankfully) this is the title of Gallery 101’s summer art exhibit. Both, ironically, deal with criminality — Body of Evidence stole my innocence and ruined forever my respect for Willem Dafoe; Behind Closed Doors: Body of Evidence looks at the artist as a criminal. Specifically, Natascha Niederstrass, the artist behind the exhibit, wonders about the artists’ research process and their way to oscillate between the acceptable rules and limits of art without transgressing them. Er, what now? It’s a piece based on one of Marcel Duchamp’s work with added components that suggests that the late French artist was involved in the murder of the “Black Dahlia.” Intrigued? Check it out — the vernissage is this Saturday, July 18. The exhibit is on until August 15. More info, visit here.
Gallery 101 is at 51 B Young St.

rachel-sermanni-credit Ian Wallman

Rachel Sermanni, plays at the Blacksheep Inn in Wakefield on Saturday

Rachel Sermanni
Rachel grew up in a small town in the Scottish Highlands. Surrounded by music, her father taught her to play the penny whistle when she was young. She eventually graduated to the guitar, and, inspired by the Highlands’ magical, mountainous terrain, she also began to write her own songs.

Now, at the tender age of 23, Rachel Sermanni has two folk-noir albums to show for her years of hard work — Under Mountains, a dreamy release full of fairytale imagery, and Tied to the Moon, an earthier, grungier collection she wrote while she was living in Nova Scotia. Check out this video for “The Fog.”

Rachel performs at the Black Sheep Inn on Saturday, July 18 at 8:30 p.m. Tickets start at $10. More info, visit here.
The Black Sheep Inn is at 753 Riverside Dr.

Ice Cream Festival
Until well into the 1800s, ice cream was a treat enjoyed only by the very wealthy who could afford to keep food cold. But in the mid 19th century, a Swiss entrepreneur named Carlo Gatti came to London to sell ice cream on street corners for a penny — and the rest, as they say, is history.

During the Ice Cream Festival at the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, you can try your hand at making this tasty treat yourself. It runs from 9.30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, July 19. Stop by to get the scoop on old-fashioned ice cream making, learn about the development of milkshakes and the soda shop, see how farmers separate cream from milk, and much more. Festival is included with museum admission ($10; $8 for students and seniors; $7 for children aged three to 12; free for children under three).
The Museum is at 901 Prince of Wales Dr.



WEEKENDER: Five things to do on the weekend of July 11 and 12



Death on wheels — the sport of Roller Derby, on display this Saturday in front of City Hall. Photo: Terrence McNally, courtesy of Flickr

Derby Day at City Hall
When two deaths occurred at Madison Square Garden in New York City at a six-day roller derby competition, it marked an ominous start to a relatively new sport — one which would wax and wane in popularity for more than a century. Those deaths also demonstrated how demanding this sport can be, requiring speed, endurance, and sheer athleticism in order to compete — something both the Capital City Derby Dolls and Rideau Valley Roller Girls know all too well.

That athleticism will be on display this Saturday, July 11 when the two teams compete in a fun demonstration of the sport at City Hall. They, along with four other teams, will compete in a series of short games with a full-contact co-ed game concluding the day. It’s free, and will run from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Food trucks will be on-hand for snacking. More info, visit here.
Marion Dewar Plaza is at 110 Laurier Ave.

Spins & Needles 10th Anniversary
The glue gun’s hot, the pints are pulled, the needle is threaded — just as the other needle is about to drop — Spins & Needles is set to celebrate their 10th anniversary (geez, can it really be that long ago?) this Saturday, July 11.

If memory serves me correctly, I took my future wife to a pub on Sparks Street in the dead of winter in 2005 for what was a unique twist on “going out.” Melanie Yugo and Jason Pelletier, the initial creators, offered up a chance to hear eclectic beats and drink and craft; a sort of post-rave experience for burn-outs. Some sewed, some glued buttons, some cut shapes with scissors — I think I came home that night with fridge magnets. Whatever it was, it was fun.

Ten years on, and Spins & Needles is celebrating a milestone with a party at SAW Gallery, which includes: DJs Jason Skilz, Kurt Yates, Calkuta and Memetic will be spinning; there’ll be a special anniversary DIY project kit featuring one of Spins & Needles’ favourite DIY art/craft/design projects; selected local artists, designers, and makers will be hosting interactive graphic art stalls where you can drop by and participate in additional projects; plus more fun including illustrative sketches, zines, silkscreening, and linocut stamps. Entrance is $15. More for beer. Need to know more, visit here.
SAW Gallery is at 67 Nicholas St.

Classical music gets a makeover with the Wolfgang Sessions, a collaboration between the National Arts Centre Orchestra and Mercury Lounge that aims to infuse the genre with a bit of youthful exuberance. Accompanied by DJs and with visuals by video projection artists, the orchestra performs pieces by innovative young composers.


The NACO performs Missy Mazzoli’s Lies You Can Believe In on Saturday as part of the Wolfgang sessions.  Photo by Marylene Mey

On Saturday, July 11, catch this season’s third and final Wolfgang session, where the orchestra performs Lies You Can Believe In by Missy Mazzoli, whom the New York Times lauded as a “consistently inventive and surprising composer”, as well as Sarah Kirkland Snider’s wistful Daughter of the Waves, Tansy Davies’ Loure, Marie-Pierre Brasset’s Dyea, and Jocelyn Morlock’s Vespertine. The show takes place at Mercury Lounge. Tickets start at $10 and are available through the National Arts Centre.
Mercury Lounge is at 56 ByWard Market Square

DJ Skratch Bastid

Halifax-born DJ and record producer Skratch Bastid hosts a BBQ this Saturday, July 11 at TD Place

Skratch Bastid’s BBQ
Beats and barbecue — they’re such simple things, but truly, what more do you need to pull off the perfect summer party? Halifax-born DJ and record producer Skratch Bastid grills up some goodness with Skratch Bastid’s BBQ, a massive open-air shindig that brings a bunch of DJs and EDM artists to the stage — including Green Lantern, Thugli, Poirier, Bear Witness, DJ Magnificent, Acro, and Iggy Smalls. The party gets started at TD Place on Saturday, July 11. Tickets start at $10. More info, visit here. Check out his latest mix:
TD Place is at 1015 Bank St.

Mad Hatter’s Tea Party

“The March Hare took the watch and looked at it gloomily: then he dipped it into his cup of tea and looked at it again: but he could think of nothing better to say than his first remark, ‘It was the best butter, you know” — Alice in Wonderland

Insanity. Sheer madness. And hats. Colourful, fanciful, outlandish, weird, and whacky. And tea. Lots of it. There should also be food and fun — the makings of a Mad Hatter’s tea party. Come out to this year’s Alice in Wonderland-themed party on Sunday, July 12 at Windsor Park from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. All ages welcome, simply bring your favourite ‘hat’, a picnic blanket, and a penchant for silliness — tea, cups, and activities will be provided. It’s free. More info, visit here.
Windsor Park is just off of Riverdale and Belmont Avenues, east, near the Rideau River in Old Ottawa South