WEEKENDER: NYE edition & beyond

BY MATT HARRISON

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It’s (great) being Scottish! (FREE!)
“We’re the lowest of the low … The most wretched, miserable, servile, pathetic trash that was ever sh*t into civilization. Some hate the English. I don’t. They’re just wankers. We, on the other hand, are COLONIZED by wankers. Can’t even find a decent culture to be colonized BY….” — Mark Renton, Trainspotting

Contrary to Ewan McGregor’s character in Trainspotting, this week in particular is a great time to be Scottish. That’s because it’s Hogmanay (the Scottish equivalent to NYE), which is being celebrated at the Aberdeen Pavilion at Lansdowne Park on NYE. The event is free, and features family-friendly Scottish activities, including traditional dancing, a highland pipes band, scotch tasting (o-kay, that’s not family friendly), skating, and fireworks. There will even be a 7 p.m. countdown for the little ’uns. The party will continue into the evening with Canada’s own Glass Tiger performing — er, Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone). It’s free. Starts at 6 p.m.
Aberdeen Pavilion is at 1015 Bank St.

NERF, Werewolves & LEGO
I’m sure that by now, you’ve already made NYE plans… but if haven’t, how about geek it up with NERF weapons, werewolves, and LEGO?

Monopolatte a games café in Chinatown, is staying open late on NYE and will have NERF weapons (not sure how they’ll be used), 106 litres of LEGO, and will they’ll be hosting a werewolf game. There will also be a sprawling Carcassonne game (expansions in play), among other board games. Bubbly at midnight to those 19+. Tickets are $20. Starts at 7:30 p.m.
Monopolatte is at 640 Somerset St.

BYOA??? (FREE!)
If you’ve ever been invited to a party anywhere, you likely know what BYOB or a variation of, means. But I’ll bet you haven’t been to a BYOA party. What’s the “A” stand for? Ape (No, but that would make for one helluva party)? Aunt? (Depending on who she is, this could also make for a great party). But, no.

The “A” is for art — and Research In Art (RIA), an on-going project by Petra Halkes and Rene Price, want you to bring art to an exhibition on Thursday, January 1. There will be a space set up for display of the artworks, refreshments ready to be served, an artist statement prepared — all that’s needed is for YOU to bring your artwork (or someone else’s) on the theme of Growing Up Human — the idea is to show works that create a glimpse of the world that a newborn child has been born into on January 1, 2015. Photos, a drawing, a painting, a poem, a sound — all welcome. It’s a free event, happening from 1 to 5 p.m. It’s not clear where, exactly, the salon will be held — likely the founder’s home. So for more info, email: researchinart.ria@gmail.com.

Stuck working New Year’s Eve? (FREE!)
Missed out on NYE because you had to work? No biggie. Come celebrate the New Year at the 1st annual “I Worked NYE Party” at the Hintonburg Public House on Thursday, January 1. No cover, just cheap shots and some bubbly at midnight to toast Auld Lang Syne. Starts at 9 p.m.
The Hintonburg Public House is at 1020 Wellington St. W.

Dirty, Filthy, Nasty… (FREE!)
Indeed, the “temperatures up (can you feel it)” and the art party is about to “erupt” though probably not how Christina Aguilera imagined. On Saturday, January 3, at Venus Envy, celebrate their 14th anniversary by attending the 2nd annual Filthy, Dirty Art Party. The party will also be a fundraiser for Venus Envy’s bursary, which goes to help individuals looking to study in areas dealing with anti-oppression, sex positivity, and community building.

The night will include a bar, food, music, and erotic art — media, paintings, photos, textiles, sculptures, the whole nasty enchilada. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.; show starts at 8 p.m.
Venus Envy, 226 Bank St.

 

 

 

WEEKENDER: Four things to do on this Christmas Break

BY MATT HARRISON

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Eric Patrick Godfrey in “First Winter”, an NFB film, 1982. Directed by John Smith.

Pangalactic-eggnog? (FREE!)
Zaphod’s owner, Eugene Haslom understands what it’s like to have nowhere to go on Christmas Day. On one Christmas in the 1980s, Haslom was living alone, in squalor-like conditions in an apartment — which is a depressing way to spend the holiday day. So he decided, “since it was (his) club, (he) could open up Zaphod’s and just have some quiet drinks and listen to some tunes by (himself)self. Loud!” But then, something magical happened:
“There was a knock on the front door. A regular customer dropped by. I let him in. Then another came. And another. And it wasn’t just people who were alone that came. Friends who had already eaten Christmas dinner came to offer best wishes. Friends brought out-of-town friends, and relatives. And people started calling more friends. I didn’t feel so alone anymore. And soon, we had a party happening.”
And so, not only did an angel get its wings every time the DJ dropped a kick-ass beat, but it also sparked off a tradition of the club being open on Christmas Day. And so, if you’re feeling alone, or just plain squirrely from too much family, or looking for a way to hang out with friends, then head on down to Zaphod’s. Doors open at 10 p.m. Free admission.
Zaphod’s is at 27 York St.

A Pioneer Winter
For a harsh look at what winter might have been like in the early 1800s in the Ottawa Valley, check out the National Film Boards’ 1981 classic, First Winter, about two children, who’s father is away logging, and their mother dies of sickness leaving them to survive the winter, alone. It’s brutal to say the least.
For a more positive view, however, of how early settlers dealt with winter, take the family on boxing day or thereafter to the Agriculture Museum to experience a Winter Frolic on the Farm: get ready to do some hands-on work such as milking, pumping water, and wool carding (the process of brushing wool fibres to create a continuous web that can be laid out flat into batts, rolled into rovings, or split into spinning rolls). Afterwards, escape the cold by heading into the humble, cozy pioneer homestead. Relax by a fire and make an old-fashioned craft to take home, while a guide talks about the tools, props, and artifacts on. There are even costumes to wear.
The Pioneer experience is on from Boxing Day ‘till Jan. 4, during museum hours. It’s part of the price of regular admission. More info, visit here.
Agriculture Museum is at 861 Prince of Wales Dr.

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GIANT Arctic Floor Map at Nature Museum. Photo: Jessica Finn/Canadian Geographic

Arctic Walkabout
I know what you’re thinking, that sounds absurd — absurdly cold that is. Unless by walking across the Arctic you mean a giant, gym-size interactive floor map of the North — a new installation at the Museum of Nature. Launching on Boxing Day, the map is intended to not only help kids understand the geography of the North, but the map’s activities also teach them about the region’s natural diversity: plants, animals, fossils and minerals — real specimens can also be examined. It will be part of the Museum’s Holiday programming from Boxing Day until Jan. 4. NOTE: the map is ONLY available in afternoons. More info about the museum, visit here.
The Museum is at 240 McLeod St.

Wise Ladies
Just the other day, a friend/former colleague wondered (as many have) if printed material still had a place in this digital era — well, The Sages seem to think so. A collection of mostly (if, all) women artists, creating in a variety of mediums, are launching their zine on Sunday, December 28 at Raw Sugar Café. The zine will feature work by Danica Olders, Shaya Ishaq, Olivia Johnston, Magida El-Kassis, Meaghan Isaacs, and DJ Lamb Rabbit. The event will include drinks, music (by Lamb Rabbit), and a free copy of the zine. Starts at 7 p.m. and goes until 10 p.m.
Raw Sugar is at 692 Somerset St. W. 



WEEKENDER: Five things to do on the weekend of Dec. 18 to 21

BY KELLY O’BRIEN

FreezingFreezing                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

A new take on the 2013 hit musical Frozen, Freezing tells the story of the vivacious Queen Gerda and her two daughters, Princess Adele and Princess Hanna. The Royal Family must work together to save the Snow Globe Kingdom from the evil Hans, who wants to rid the world of winter forever; but they won’t succeed without the audience. Boo the bad guy, root for the hero, and get a warm hug from the cuddly Beavertail, all while helping to save the kingdom. This lively musical opens Thursday, December 18 at the Gladstone Theatre. Tickets from $42. For more info, visit here.                                                                               The Gladstone Theatre is at 910 Gladstone Ave.

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27the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario James Barlteman

Raisin Wine

A tale described by the Globe and Mail as “both generous and wise, from one of our most distinguished elders,” Raisin Wine tells the story of James Bartleman’s childhood in post-war Muskoka. Bartleman takes readers beyond the area’s picturesque lakes and cottages in this humorous and heartwarming story of young boy with big dreams and an even bigger imagination. The Ottawa Storytellers take Raisin Wine from the page to the stage Thursday, December 18 at the National Arts Centre. Tickets are $22 for adults and $18 for seniors.  For more info, visit here.                                                                                                                                 The National Arts Centre is at 53 Elgin Street.

Christmas Slipper Concert

No formal attire necessary for this concert! Formerly known as the Orpheus Choral Group, Voices in Harmony invites audiences to don their most comfortable pair of slippers for the group’s laid-back Christmas Concert at Woodroffe United Church. Hear all your holiday favourites, including “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and “Silent Night,” Saturday, December 20, as well as a special surprise for children. Pass the hat admission ($10 donation recommended). For more info, visit here.                                                                                                                                                                                                            Woodroffe United Church is at 207 Woodroffe Ave.

The Dragon of Wantley

This beloved Victorian panto, reworked for the 21st century, finds Squire Benjamin in a heap of trouble with Sir Walter de Warthog, the pompous mayor of Wantley: he will be forced to leave his home unless he finds a way to pay his council tax. But the fairy Mauxalinda has released a dangerous dragon on the village, and Squire Benjamin is the only one who can save them. The play, chock full of laughter and fun, will be performed by the East End Theatre company at the Shenkman Arts Centre Thursday, December 18, until Saturday, December 20.  Tickets are $14.50 for children and $17 for adults. For more info, visit here.                                                                                                                                                                                                    Shenkman Centre is at 245 Centrum Blvd., Orleans.

shortestdayThe Shortest Day of the Year (FREE)

The Winter solstice marks the shortest day and longest night of the year, and had been celebrated around the world with festivals and feasts for centuries.  To celebrate the beginning of the end of winter’s darkness, the National Gallery of Canada and the Canadian Film Institute are inviting the public to join them for screenings of family-friendly short films in the Gallery’s auditorium. Take in classics such as “The Cat Came Back,” and “The Sweater,” as well as the Academy Award winner “The Danish Poet,” and hang around before or after for the Artissimo workshops on Sunday, December 21. For more info, visit here.                                                                                                                                           The National Gallery of Canada is at 380 Sussex Dr.

 

WEEKENDER: Five things to do on the weekend of Dec. 11 to 14

BY MATT HARRISON & KELLY O’BRIEN

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The “Ivy” in this weekend’s production of Holly & Ivy will be played by 10-year-old Sydney MacLellan. Photo: Jeff Nolan

Holly & Ivy
One of the lesser known, but endearing Christmas stories is a tale about wishing: a little orphan girl, Ivy, wishes for parents; a little doll, Holly, wishes to be loved by a little girl; a childless couple wishes for a little girl — all three get their wish in Rumer Godden’s classic tale. First published in Ladies Home Journal in 1958, Holly & Ivy is brought to the stage by Rag & Bone Puppet Theatre Company. Toys, puppets, carols, and a real live girl will be on stage from Thursday, December 11, until Saturday, December 13 at Shenkman Arts Centre for this timeless production. For more info, visit here.
Shenkman Arts Centre is at 245 Centrum Blvd.

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WEEKENDER: Five things to do on the weekend of Dec. 4 to 7

BY MATT HARRISON

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Ottawa State of Mind
“I’ma up at Brooklyn, now I’m down in Tribeca, Right next to De Niro, but I’ll be hood forever, I’m the new Sinatra, and since I made it here, I can make it anywhere, they love me everywhere” — Empire State of Mind, JayZ

The “everywhere” includes Ottawa, as Babylon gets set to host Can’t Knock The Hustle, a JayZ Tribute night on Thursday, Dec. 4 — it’s all JayZ, all night; hosted by Phil Ireland backed up by DJ Acro. Cover is $4. Doors open at 11 p.m.
Babylon is at 317 Bank St.

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

BY MATT HARRISON

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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
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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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