WEEKENDER: Five things to do on the weekend of June 6-8

By MATT HARRISON

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World’s Smallest Mother, Ohio, 1976. Photo by Randal Levenson.
Part of a new exhibit of his work at La Petite Mort from June 6 to June 29

Killing Good Will
Philanthropy, or just being “that nice guy” isn’t always easy — especially when you try and give away your fortune to those in need, only to be thwarted in your efforts by your elitist wife, a hooker, your shrink, and a hit man — all who have other ideas about where that money should go. Hilarity ensues in this new dark comedy, The Burden of Self Awareness, from playwright George F. Walker, and director Arthur Milner. It’s playing until June 22 at the GCTC. Performances are weekly from Tuesday to Friday at 8 p.m., and on Saturdays at 4 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Sunday matinee performances start at 2 p.m. Cost of admission varies. See website for details. http://www.gctc.ca/plays/burden-self-awareness

GCTC is at 1233 Wellingston St. W.

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Burden of Self Awareness. Photo by GCTC’s Andrew Alexander.

 

Monster Vortex FREE!
It’s storm season — only this spring, in addition to rain, high winds and whatnot, we can also expect jagged teeth, fangs, hair, and claws. It’s what artist Tyson Bodnarchuk calls a “La Tempette Des Monstres” or a “Monster Storm” — and it’s almost upon us. On Friday, June 6 at 7 p.m., the Canadian artist, whose works have been exhibited at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts as part of the En Masse crew, will be showing new, beastly works at IdeaSpace. His work, influenced by a motley crew of monster lovers that includes Jim Henson and Maurice Sendak, can be seen here. http://creature-features.tumblr.com/ . Not sure how long this exhibit is on until — so best check it out sooner rather than later.

IdeaSpace is at 131 Bank St., fourth floor.

Science of Shakespeare FREE!
Happy birthday, Bard! Shakespeare turns 450 this year, and in connection with this landmark, journalist and author, Dan Falks, examines whether the new scientific ideas of Shakespeare’s time influenced his writings — in spite of the prevalence of magic and superstition at the time. For example, in Romeo & Juliet, the Bard may have considered the notion of the “atom,” which was first put forward by Roman philosopher, Lucretius, in referring to the size of Queen Mab — “in shape no bigger than an agate stone,” Mercutio says, “drawn with a team of little atomi / Over men’s noses as they lie asleep.” This and many of Falks’ other ideas from his book, The Science of Shakespeare, will be discussed during a special lecture by the author at the Museum of Science and Technology on Friday, June 6 at 7 p.m.
The Museum of Science and Technology is at 1867 St. Laurent Blvd.

In Search of Monkey Girl FREE!
The “man monkey” was introduced to North American audiences more than 150 years ago. This “freak of nature” was actually William Henry Johnson, an African-American little person with a genetic deformity who spoke a made-up language created by the legendary entertainer, P.T. Barnum. Johnson was part of Barnum’s travelling show, which was popular throughout the U.S. and, in some form or another, has remained so, even today. Fascinated by the “spectacle of the road,” American photographer, Randal Levenson, spent 10 years travelling with sideshow performers, this time in search of monkey girl — a performer he photographed in Gatineau, Quebec. These photographs are on display in the exhibit, In Search of the Monkey Girl, at La Petite Mort from Friday, June 6 until June 19. There will be a vernissage at the gallery on that Friday where Levenson will be present for the opening. It starts at 7 p.m. and goes until 10 p.m. Levensen will be back the following evening — Saturday, June 7 — to talk about his work — at 5 p.m.
La Petite Mort is at 306 Cumberland St.

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Count Nicholas’ Gorilla Show, Gooding Amusements, Maumee, Ohio, 1974.
Photo by Randal Levenson

 

Small Press Fair FREE!
Twenty years ago, the Small Press Book Fair held its first event at the National Archives of Canada. Cut to 2014 and the fair continues to draw those looking for such local literary and pseudo-literary offerings as poetry, novels, graphic novels, cookbooks, posters, t-shirts, magazines, zines — even scraps of paper. This year’s Fair is being held at the Jack Purcell Community Centre (you know, that guy who’s famed for handing out badminton rackets to boys and girls — wink, wink) on Saturday, June 7, in Room 203 — from noon until 5 p.m.
Jack Purcell Community Centre is at 320 Jack Purcell Lane, just off of Elgin St.

WEEKENDER: Six things to do on the weekend of May 29 to June 1

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Roller Derby Saved My Soul
Friday, May 30 at Arts Court Theatre
Photo credit: Richard Gilmore / Performer: Nancy Kenny

RAW Returns
RAW Natural Born Artists will be holding their second arts party in Ottawa on Thursday, May 29 — this time at Saint Brigid’s Centre for the Arts. What is RAW you ask? No, it’s not a dietary movement. Based in L.A., but with satellites in various cities throughout North America, including Ottawa, the company selects local artists, fashion designers, performers, musicians, DJs, models — even hair stylists, and showcases them and their work in the spirit of fun and promotion. It’s cocktails and cocktail attire. $15 in advance, doors open at 7:30 p.m. Visit here for the full lineup.
Saint Brigid’s is at 310 Patrick St.

Roller Derby Salvation
Rumor has it that members from Ottawa’s roller derby leagues are looking for fresh meat to recruit for their bloodsport — and you could be that meat! These terrors of the track will be at a one-day-only showing of a roller derby-themed Fringe play entitled, Roller Derby Saved My Soul. The play is about a girl who, with her sister’s help, is coaxed from her comic book geek cocoon to reemerge as a more confident person — all thanks to roller derby. As mentioned, roller girls will be in attendance, not only on the hunt, but also to give demonstrations of the sport. Food and booze can be had… and even enjoyed during the show! It’s all happening on Friday, May 30 at Arts Court Theatre. Admission — from $25. Show/event is from 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Arts Court Theatre is at 2 Daly Ave.

Parklife
It’s a nirvana of sorts for area beer lovers — Festibiere is an annual three-day event where barley and hops aficionados can sling back tasty regional brews in a park setting with tens of thousands of like-minded connoisseurs. Workshops, cooking demonstrations, food, artists, musicians, and family-entertainment are also big draws. The third annual Gatineau Beer Festival takes place from Friday, May 30 to Sunday, June 1 at Jacques-Cartier Park, just across the river from Ottawa. Admission is $30 for three days or $15 per day. Hours: Friday, 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday, noon to 11 p.m., and Sunday, noon until 5 p.m. Children ages 17 or under are free.
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Twenty years ago — in the same year that Kurt Cobain of Nirvana died — Kelp Records was born; an indie record label founded by Fredericton, New Brunswick native, Jon Bartlett, which has been massively influential in driving Ottawa’s music scene. Over the course of 20 years, the label has produced a swath of great albums by such homegrown artists as The Acorn, Andy Swan, and Jim Bryson, among others. In celebration of this milestone, the label is throwing a party on Saturday, May 31 at St. Alban’s Church. The lineup of performers includes label stalwarts: Bryson, Acorn, Andrew Vincent, Swan, The Recoilers, and others. Tickets are $15 in advance. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. Also, check out the label’s site for special anniversary releases, including Swan’s classic Ottawa record — 100 copies, only, are being pressed for sale on Friday, May 30.
St. Alban’s Church is at 454 King Edward Ave.

Bonne Fête Shenkman (FREE!)
More anniversary celebrations this Saturday, May 31Shenkman Arts Centre in the east end celebrates five years, with a packed day of music, activities, food, exhibitions, and performances of all kinds. This is definitely a family-event, with a plethora of fun for kids and adults, which are being offered in English and some in French. Highlights include: Juno nominee Amanda Rheaume (3:30 – 4:30 p.m.), a selection of short animation films for kids presented by Ottawa International Animation Festival (all day), an artisan market (all day), St. Joseph Iron Chef Competition (11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.), cupcakes, craft demonstrations and activity workshops, a beer garden, food trucks, art exhibitions… need I write more? Doors open at 9 a.m., anniversary runs all day until 5 p.m. Best part — it’s free!
Shenkman Arts Centre is at 245 Centrum Boulevard, Orleans

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Minnesoter
Music for the masses, but still keeping it on the indie side of things — that’s Atmosphere’s m.o. The renowned, well respected, and hardworking Minnesota hip hop duo has been producing albums for the past 17 years — including their latest, Southsiders, released this May on artist-owned record label, Rhymesayers, which is home to labelmates MF Doom and Aesop Rock. On tour in support of the album, Anthony “Ant” Davis brings live instrumentation to accompany “Slug” Daley’s honest, weighty, but at times whimsical lyrics, which speak to the rapper’s mortality, his identity as post-family man, and what he’s been doing for almost two decades — all delivered with a sense of vibrancy. Atmosphere headlines a show at Ritual on Sunday, June 1. Opening will be Prof, and Dem Atlas. Tickets $25. Doors open at 8 p.m.
Ritual’s at 137 Besserer St.

WEEKENDER: Six things to do on the week of May 22 to 27

By MATT HARRISON

A Julia butterfly hangs from a leaf at Niagara Parks’ Butterfly Conservatory in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Photo: Pamela Beale Cookstown, Ontario Winner of Up Close category in Canadian Geographic's 2012 Photography contest — works shown at Canadian Nature Museum

A Julia butterfly hangs from a leaf at Niagara Parks’ Butterfly Conservatory in Niagara Falls, Ontario.
Photo: Pamela Beale
Cookstown, Ontario Winner of Up Close category in Canadian Geographic’s 2013 Photography contest — works shown at Canadian Nature Museum

Alien Canadiana
A grizzly drinks from mountain runoff water; a Great Grey Owl hunts for voles; a 70 metre-tall stone and clay formation towers in the Saskatchewan Valley — images such as these are not only breathtaking and fascinating, but also seemingly alien; many of us may never experience Canadian wildlife or landscapes in a similar way as the photographers who captured these images have. Opening this past week, their photographic works are on display at the Canadian Nature Museum until September 1. Canadian Geographic presents this exhibition, and the works shown are the winners of their 2013 photography contest. Entrance into the exhibition is included with regular admission. Canadian Nature Museum is at 240 McLeod St.

The Frantic Marble Munching Game
While the city gears-up for this year’s electronic gaming conference over at the NAC (Ottawa International Gaming Conference, see below), others may take a more cardboard approach by building roads and cities on the island of Catan, or perhaps taking a money-hungry stroll down Boardwalk at Ottawa’s newest place to play board games: The Loft Board Game Lounge, just above the Lunenburg Pub and Bar in the Rideau area. The Lounge boasts an impressive library of more than 700 games! Balderdash you say? Check out their library online  — a “stay & play” fee is $5, which is tacked onto your munchies bill: pizza, salads, apps, coffees, and more can be had. Plus, staff will teach you how to play the games. This Thursday, May 22 is the Lounge’s launch. Hours are Sunday to Thursday, 12 p.m. to 12 a.m.; Friday and Saturday, 12 p.m. to 2 a.m. See you there — I’ll be the pissant on the Iron Throne laying waste to Westeros. The Loft Board Game Lounge is 14 Waller. 613-695-2975.

Habitat Here (FREE)
On some level, all three artists featured in Central Art Garage’s new exhibition, Habitat Here, invoke, comment on, or feature elements of geography — be it drawing upon their own environs, the Canadian landscape, or spaces in between — whether real or imagined. Habitat Here brings together works by Frank Shebageget, Lorraine Gilbert, and Amy Thompson. There is a vernissage on Friday, May 23, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. The show runs until the end of July. Central Art Garage is a new-ish gallery (almost a year old), slightly inset from the main road, located in half of what once was an actual garage — 66B Lebreton St.

Toronto singer-songwriter Tamara Lindeman, aka, The Weather Station, will be playing at You've Changed Records 5-year anniversary fete at St. Alban's Church

Toronto singer-songwriter Tamara Lindeman, aka, The Weather Station, will be playing at You’ve Changed Records 5-year anniversary fete at St. Alban’s Church

You’ve Changed Records
A handful of Canada’s most talented songwriters will be part of the five-year anniversary of an increasingly influential, but still small, Canadian record label. You’ve Changed Records, founded by The Constantines’ Steven Lambke (Baby Eagle/Constantines) and Daniel Romano, the label’s put out a string of stellar albums by such musicians as The Constantines, Marine Dreams, and The Weather Station — the latter which will be playing at their anniversary party at St. Albans Church this Friday, May 23. Joining Toronto singer-songwriter Tamara Lindeman (Weather Station) will be Shotgun Jimmie, Baby Eagle, Richard Laviolette, and Marine Dreams. $12 tickets. This event is being hosted by the Aboretum Festival, which happens, once again, on August 18-23. Though art, performances, and culinary activities are all part of this curated-fest, music continues to be its biggest draw and the organizers released the lineup this week, which features: Constantines, Kevin Drew (Broken Social Scene), Chad VanGaalen, Julie Doiron and the Wooden Stars, among other musicians, including a host of Ottawa ones. For the full lineup, visit the fest’s official site. Advance festival passes are on sale until June 3: $40.

Fiery Fringe Fete
Ottawa’s Fringe Fest is only one month away — June 19-29 — and, in perhaps a misguided, but spicy annual fund-raising event for the upcoming outsider theatre festival, the Great Canadian Theatre Company is once again hosting its Great Curry Cook-off on Monday, May 26. Ten or more of the city’s “top chefs” will be serving up meat, vegetarian, and vegan curries at the GCTC. Expect Thai creations and tandoor concoctions. It’s an all-you-can-eat, potentially gaseous affair, so bring an appetite and, well, some Gas-X. Proceeds go in support of Fringe Fest. Tickets are $25. Bon appetite. GCTC is at 1233 Wellington St. W.

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E.T. Extra-Terrestrial, a massive flop for Atari in 1982 — it’s designer will be the keynote speaker at this year’s Ottawa International Game Conference

E.T. Unearthed
Atari 2600’s 1982 game, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, has the notoriety of being The Worst Game Ever; it’s designer, Howard Scott Warshaw — who was behind other such notable, early gaming successes as Yar’s Revenge and Raiders of the Lost Art —has the infamy of being the Maker of the Worst Game ever, since he designed the ill-famed game. In order to deal with the total flop, the game’s cartridges were buried in a giant heap somewhere in the New Mexico dessert, only to be unearthed, years later, by present day software giants; this is the stuff of a new documentary:

Warshaw is this year’s keynote speaker at the 3rd annual Ottawa International Game Conference, which happens from Sunday, May 25 to Tuesday, May 27, at the National Arts Centre. Focusing on business, game development, and the indie side of things, this year’s conference will feature ground-breaking games, competitions, speakers, workshops, and more — it’s definitely thee party to be at for gamers, programmers, artists, designers, and others in the gaming world. From $216 — although one day passes are cheaper. See OIGC’s website for more info. NAC is at 53 Elgin St.

WEEKENDER: Five things to do in Ottawa on the weekend of May 15-17

By MATT HARRISON

The Last Unicorn, remastered, screens in Ottawa, with author Peter S. Beagle speaking and signing books

The Last Unicorn remastered screens in theatres in Ottawa as part of a tour featuring author Peter S. Beagle — May 15 & May 17

Last Unicorn Remastered
For some, it never got better than the 80s decade and, in particular, its strange fascination with unicorns: Legend, My Little Pony, She-ra, and, of course, The Last Unicorn — the latter a particularly special moment, perhaps up there with the death of Mr. Hooper and the advent of Super Nintendo. The 1982 animated fantasy film, featuring the all-star cast of voices — Alan Arkin, Jeff Bridges, and Mia Farrow — is a quest by the last unicorn to discover what happened to its kin. This timeless classic’s author, Peter S. Beagle, is currently on a screening tour. At select theatres, fans will be able to watch the newly remastered film and afterwards join the author for a Q&A session and book-signing. There will be two screenings/events in Ottawa: Thursday, May 15 at 7 p.m. at Cineplex Cinemas, and on Saturday, May 17 at 4 p.m. at SilverCity Gloucester Cinemas. Price for event is same as admission to a regular film. Cineplex Cinemas is at 3090 Carling Ave., and SilverCity is at 2385 City Park Drive.

Stamp Thriller
Mauritius, the name of a West African island (and once home to the now-extinct Dodo bird), is perhaps an apt title — and metaphor — for a play about a naive young woman who, alone, desperately fights off three unscrupulous stamp collectors, as well as her own sister, from getting at her priceless collection. No man, er woman, is an island — but this funny, sharp, and beguiling play, by Theresa Rebeck (SmashLaw & OrderNYPD Blues) may prove that being an island is the best bet. This is the last weekend to catch Mauritius: — Thursday, May 14Friday, May 16, and Saturday, May 17 at 7: 30 p.m. at Ottawa Little Theatre. Tickets from $25. Ottawa Little Theatre is at 400 King Edward Ave.

Knight’s Tour
Lucy Moran: “Mr. Martell, Andy moved his knight without doing the little hook thing.”Deputy Andy Brennan: “You don’t have to do the little hook thing; that’s optional.”
Pete Martell: Andy, uh… the knight has to do the ‘little hook thing.’ ”
DAB: “Every time?”
PM: “It’s a privilege! No one else gets to make that move”
— and just as the Twin Peaks‘ sheriff department’s staff discovered, the knight’s little hook move in chess is indeed unique and a privilege; the same is true for hearing Wooden Horseman live. Taking his name from that particular chess piece, the Horseman, aka Steven Beddall, is a Toronto musician with roots in Ottawa who sounds a bit like Luke Doucet or even a young, less croony Neil Young, and who plays wonderful blues tinged, alt-country. He’ll be leading a cast of musicians for his live show at Pressed cafe this Saturday, May 17, along with Vancouver’s Real Ponchos, and Ottawa’s Jack Pine. $10. Pressed is at 750 Gladstone Ave.

Wooden Horseman plays at Pressed Cafe on Saturday, May 17

Wooden Horseman plays at Pressed Cafe on Saturday, May 17

Musical Frankenstein
As any scientist knows, experiments can go either way — maybe you get some surprisingly good results, or maybe you create a thing so hideous that the outcry against your abomination reaches the high heavens. Regardless, this weekend the annual Ottawa Rock Lottery aims to play God by randomly assembling 25 Ottawa musicians — from across genres — into five new bands. Each group will then have 24 hours to create a 20-30 minute set, which will be played at Babylon on Saturday, May 17. The sixth annual Rock Lottery will be hosted by CBC’s Amanda Putz; it costs $10, $9 with donation, doors open at 8 p.m. Babylon is at 317 Bank St.

Block Party (FREE!)
Summer festival season is nigh. In Ottawa, it began last weekend with Tulipfest — this weekend, Chinatown Remixed kicks off a month-long celebration of arts and culture in the Somerset West /Chinatown neighbourhood with a day-long vernissage on Saturday, May 17. Performances, art, and activities will be happening from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. throughout Somerset — the day’s events culminating in an evening party in the parking lots of Shanghai Restaurant and ZenKitchen, where music, food, and other performances will take place: former ZenKitchen chef, Caroline Ishi will hold a live food performance, and there will be music by The Girls Rock Band Camp, Loon Choir, and Brooklyn’s Smoota. Highjinx will also hold a night market that evening. The festival, which features more than 40 artists, workshops for kids, free concerts, and other eclectic activities, runs until June 17. 

 

WEEKENDER: Six things to do in Ottawa on the weekend of May 8 to 10

By MATTHEW HARRISON

Pins & Stripes — a prohibition era-themed fashion event, featuring designers, boutiques, models, art, food, and entertainment — Saturday, May 10

Pins & Stripes — a prohibition era-themed fashion event — Saturday, May 10
(Photo, Freshh Anderson; Model, Amal; Clothing, Marcelle Bénédicte)

Palestinian traces (FREE!)
Visually stunning, evocative, heart-breaking, and most definitely thought-provoking — perhaps even controversial — Rehab Nazzal’s exhibit, Invisible, presents traces of video and audio recordings, found footage, and photography; all of which are fragments of her Palestinian homeland; a people and a place struggling to remain unforgotten amidst the ongoing conflict with Israel. In her exhibit, the smallest moment of captured memory becomes “precious.” A vernissage for the exhibit at the Karsh-Masson Gallery will be held on Thursday May 8 at 7:30 p.m. The exhibit runs until June 22. Karsh-Masson Gallery is at 110 Laurier Ave. (City Hall).

Shades of house
Chicago, Detroit, New York, glitch, ghetto, funk or deep — all of house music’s varying shades fall under one roof this Friday, May 9 at the Mercury Lounge with special guest, German-born, L.A.-based DJ, producer, and radio host Lars Behrenroth. Joining resident Lance Baptiste, Behrenroth brings the sounds from his Deeper Shades Recordings label to the Lounge for a unique night-out. $10 advance, doors open at 10 p.m. Mercury Lounge is at 56 Byward Market.

Gatsby, gangsters, garters
“I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties, there isn’t any privacy” —Taking a cue from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, but perhaps Boardwalk Empire also, the fourth Pins & Stripes fashion-event aims to delight, entertain, and “strengthen the local fashion community” with a prohibition era-themed (only with drinks!) soiree at Saint-Brigid’s Centre for the Arts on Saturday, May 10. The show, hosted by local fashion maven Marcelle Benedicte, includes art, entertainment, dancing, and snacks. Cost? A donation to Solidarité Jeunesse, an organization providing opportunities for volunteering abroad in the aim of promoting global peace and understanding. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Brigid’s Centre for the Arts is at 10 Patrick St.

Electro-cleaning (FREE!)
Before tossing that computer stack being used as a side table in your home office; before swearing to the gods to finally rid yourself of that dot-matrix printer; and before taking a sledgehammer to that embarrassingly-large TV set — do the landfill and those with hearing problems a favour by dumping unwanted electronic gear off at the Canadian Hearing Society’s (CHS) Electronic Recycling Event this Saturday, May 10 at 2197 Riverside Drive, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Computers, TVs, telephones, stereos — all of it will be accepted, collected, and recycled, with valuable base metals being sold and proceeds donated to the CHS. Can’t make the May 10th event? — Drop off gear at CHS Ottawa on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the days leading up to event.

Search for Hidden Art (FREE!)
Secret staircases and hidden doors — it’s this kind of Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew trope that, on some small level, fuels this weekend’s mystery-art-adventure. On Saturday, May 10, the latest edition of Research In Art’s “Art In Odd Spaces” will guide art-seekers into attics, basements, lavatories, and up staircases in the search for hidden art. As a testament to the kind of Drew-like danger you’ll be facing, organizers are asking participants to sign waivers — that kind of risk alone makes this art-adventure tempting! Although free, participants must register in advance: researchinart.ria@gmail.com. Since the art is located in homes around the city, you’ll either need your own transportation or sign up for their shuttle service. Refreshments will served at the end of the trip, where participants will be able to get one last look at Never Forever, an exhibition up since April 6 that features works by seven artists — Gail Bourgeois, Karen Jordon, Deborah Margo, Christine Nobel, Susie Osler, Rene Price, and Bozica Radjenovic.

Wakefield Writes
Acclaimed Canadian novelists Frances Itani (Deafening, Requiem), Trevor Ferguson (City of Ice), Tim Wynne-Jones (Odd’s End) will be in Wakefield this weekend — they are the literary stars of the village’s annual Writer’s Fest, which is being held on Saturday, May 9 and Sunday, May 10. They, along with a host of superb local writers, will be leading a program that includes workshops, a CBC-led tête-à-tête, a brunch, and a literary pub-crawl, among other activities. Some of the events are free — the author’s brunch, the tête-à-tête, and the workshops vary in price. Events will be at various locations and at different times throughout the village. Wakefield’s about 30 minutes from Ottawa.

WEEKENDER: Six things to do in Ottawa on the weekend of May 2-4

BY MATT HARRISON

Ottawa's Peptides

Ottawa’s Peptides: New album and upcoming Ottawa show

In this edition of the Weekender: Corpus, Baths, Jane’s Walk, Peptides, Hervana, Farmer’s Markets

Holocaust Fiction
The atrocities of the Second World War — in particular the Holocaust — are, as of late, being subjected to Historical Revisionism — that is according to local playwright, Darrah Teitel. She believes this is happening due to the emergence of new, fictional narratives. The problem? “New narratives were emerging that favoured the perspectives of 
perpetrators over victims,” she explains (i.e. The Reader). This is the foundation for her award-winning play, Corpus, in which she examines both her attraction to Holocaust fiction, but also the dangers — and she does it, ironically, through fiction: the play looks at a imagined relationship between the wife of a Nazi officer and a Polish Jewish prisoner in Auschwitz. Directed by Bronwyn Steinberg and put on by Counterpoint Players, it will be showing from Thursday, May 1 (preview) to Saturday, May 10 at Arts Court Theatre. Times vary. Tickets from $15.

Corpus, an award-winning play by Darrah Teitel, opening in Ottawa this weekend

Corpus, an award-winning play by Darrah Teitel, opening in Ottawa this weekend at Arts Court Theatre

Chillwaves’ Baths
Bathe in twitchy beats, spritely, twinkling piano melodies, ambient soundscapes, Baleric-sounding samples, and Will Wiesenfeld’s vocals that are reminiscent of Blur/Gorilla’s Damon Albarn. Baths draws comparisons to other such chillwave/creepwave acts as Toro Y Moi and Shlohmo. He plays Ritual Nightclub on Friday, May 2, touring his third album Obsidian, which garnered huge marks from critics. Opening act is Young Fathers. Tickets are $14. Doors open at 9 p.m. Ritual is 137 Besserer St.

Jane’s Walk (FREE!)
What’s the significance of that old building? Just ask Jane. The little park that seems forgotten? Ask Jane. There was a swimming hole here once? Ask Jane. If you’re curious about the history of an Ottawa neighbourhood, Jane’s volunteers will be on hand this weekend to guide you around many of the city’s ‘hoods. Held across cities in North America since 2007 (originally to commemorate the death of Toronto’s Jane Jacob’s), this year’s Jane’s Walk features a weekend of tours — some in French, others in English — with the purpose of getting to know your city, meeting neighbours, and learning about the urban landscape. A few that piqued this writer’s curiosity are: Urban Foraging, Foodies Walk in Centretown, Places of Significance to Homeless People, and Untold Ottawa — but there are many others. Check out the full schedules on their website for locations, themes, and times. Walks take place on Saturday, May 3 and Sunday, May 4.

Peptides?
What is love? Perhaps a “pre-apocalyptic fete” featuring the wild, on-stage antics of Ottawa’s nine-member art-group, The Peptides, who will, no doubt, be lost in an aural orgy of celebration having just released their third album, Love Question Mark. In recognition of the album — which runs the gamut from electro-synth to emotive ballads — the band will be playing at show on Saturday, May 3 at St. Albans Church, 454 King Edward St. Tickets are $15 advance; doors open at 7:30 p.m.

Come As You Are
I usually don’t get worked up about cover bands (covers are one thing, but a whole set?) but this one caught my attention — it smelled, in fact, much like teen spirit. (I know, all apologies) Hervana is an all-female Nirvana cover band from Toronto and they’re playing at Pressed on Saturday, May 3. Maybe it’s the 20th anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death, or St. Vincent’s tribute cover of Lithium with Dave and Krist in New York in April for the band’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame that has me curious about Hervana’s take on an all-male band’s material, but I’d be senseless to miss this show. Hervana’s playing with Decathlete and Elgin Skye. Tickets are $8; doors open at 8 p.m. Pressed is at 750 Gladstone.

Mad for Markets
Yee-haw! It’s the end of winter and the start of market season. Sunday, May 4, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. marks the opening of Ottawa’s first Farmer’s Market at Brewer Park, with markets opening up in at various other locations across the city in subsequent weeks. This second season of the market at Brewer Park in Old Ottawa South (just across from Carleton University) is the largest in Ottawa — over 100 vendors, featuring locally-grown produce, meats, eggs, and a plethora of baked goods, preserves, and desserts. What’s in season: despite the late start, you may find asparagus, mushrooms, maple syrup, and beans. On Saturday, May 10, the market opens at Orlean’s Centrum Plaza. On Saturday, May 17, Westboro’s market opens at Bryon Park.

WEEKENDER: Six things to do in Ottawa on the weekend of April 25—27

By MATT HARRISON

Ottawa-Weekender-April-25

Ottawa weekender: The Planet Smashers play Mavericks on April 25 supporting their latest album Mixed Messages

In this edition of the Weekender: The Planet Smashers, Nature Nocturne, Ottawa Brewery Market, and three more things to do in Ottawa this weekend

Ska’s Smashers
Along with the many other 90s sub-genre music revivals recently, it was only a matter of time before ska saw a bit of a return. Enter Montreal’s The Planet Smashers. The band’s national and international success lasted well into the late 90s, until a series of events resulted in a break-up of sorts. Two core members remained, however, who brought on additional members, and toured and produced a number of albums, including the latest: Mixed Messages was released in early April. The new album has spawned a spate of shows, including a stop in Ottawa on Friday, April 25 at Mavericks. They’re playing with The Scally Cap Brats, The Cardboard Crowns, and Suits n’ Toques. Doors open at 8 p.m., $17. Mavericks is located at 221 Rideau St.

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WEEKENDER: Seven things to do in Ottawa on the weekend of April 18—21

By CINDY OLBERG

The Love, Handmade. wedding show is happening at Memorial Hall in New Edinburgh on Saturday, April 19

The Love, Handmade. Wedding Show takes place at Memorial Hall in New Edinburgh on Saturday, April 19

In this edition of the Weekender: An undground hunt, swapping vinyl, forbidden love, and four more things to do in Ottawa this weekend.

Vinyl Swap (FREE!)
Do you have a lot of records in your collection that you don’t listen to anymore? This Friday, April 18, bring them to Record Swap Day (er, well, the event is in the evening) at Raw Sugar Café and trade them with other music lovers. After the exchanges are made, a bunch of local DJs (including DJ Adam Saikaley of the band Silkken Laumann and former producer of Tempo on CBC) will be spinning records of their own for your listening pleasure. The Swap takes place from 7 to 10 p.m. Raw Sugar Café is located at 692 Somerset W.

Easter Egg Hunts…
Spring has sprung at the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum. From Friday, April 18 to Monday, April 21 kids will be able to meet newborn animals, help make Easter bread, and take part in the Signs of Spring Easter Egg Hunts — farm activities are scheduled for various times throughout the day. The Canada Agriculture and Food Museum is located at 901 Prince of Whales Dr.

…Underground
If you’ll be in the west end on Saturday, April 19, try looking for eggs underground at the Diefenbunker, Canada’s Cold War Museum — the hunt is from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Diefenbunker, Canada’s Cold War Museum is located at 3929 Carp Rd. in Carp.

Handmade Wedding
Bummed that the Wed by Hand wedding show isn’t happening this year? Well, Meaghan Brunetti, owner of The Handmade Bride, is organizing a brand new indie wedding show on Saturday, April 19 that’ll have just about everything you’ll need for your upcoming wedding. Shop for handmade, eco-friendly designs with a vintage feel, and take in one of the many workshops happening throughout the day. Love, Handmade. Wedding Show takes place at Memorial Hall (across the street from The Handmade Bride) from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance. Memorial Hall is located at 39 Dufferin Rd.

On Stage Diary
The Diary of Anne Frank tells the true story about a 13- year-old who is forced to go into hiding with her family during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. Based on the book, the play has received countless acclaims since its first staging, including the 1956 Pulitzer Prize. Tim Picotte directs the performance at The Gladstone. The play will be running until Saturday, April 19. From $18. The Gladstone is located at 910 Gladstone Ave.

Madama Butterfly, the world-famous opera about love and tragedy will be at the NAC April 19-26 (photo: On Stage Ottawa)

Madama Butterfly, the world-famous opera about love and tragedy, will be at the National Arts Centre April 19-26 (Photo: On Stage Ottawa)

Love & Tragedy
Madama Butterfly, one of the most famous operas of all time, tells the story about a young Japanese woman, known as Madama Butterfly, who marries an American naval officer and is then shunned by her family for choosing to abandon her ancestral religion. The opera, playing at the National Arts Centre, is put on by Opera Lyra OttawaMadama Butterfly is on from April 19 until April 26 at the National Arts Centre. From $25. 53 Elgin St.

Beautiful Shapes
The Abstractionists, currently showing at Studio Sixty Six, showcases the first group of paintings in their New Painters series. In describing the four artists — Ali Kramers, Cindy Merksy, Darren Kooyman, and Karyn Watson — curators Carrie Colton and Manar Abotouk write: “Their subjects are the real beauty of the circle, square, and triangle, and the subtlety and plasticity of sheer colour and surface. Their work offers the freest play of creativity and imagination.” The show is on until May 8. Studio Sixty Six is located at 66 Muriel St., unit 202.

WEEKENDER: Six things to do in Ottawa on the weekend of April 10—13

The Orange Art Gallery has moved into the City Centre building.

Check out the Orange Art Gallery’s new space and celebrate their fourth anniversary this Thursday

Orange alert (FREE!)
The Orange Art Gallery has moved! Celebrating their new space — and their fourth anniversary — the gallery is hosting a reception on Thursday, April 10 from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Check out new works by Orange’s own artists, and stick around for performances by Velvet Underground cover band, No Kinds of Love, and rap artist, The Joynt. Orange Art Gallery is now located at 290 City Centre Ave.

Touring Proof
The Toronto-based alt-country/folk band, Sunparlour Players, is playing The Black Sheep Inn armed with their brand new album The Living Proof (they’re playing two days after launching the record). This double-bill includes rock and roots quartet, Harlan Pepper, who hail from Hamilton. The show is on Thursday, April 10 at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance. The Black Sheep Inn is at 753 Riverside Dr. in Wakefield. Beware potholes along that stretch!

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WEEKENDER: Eight things to do in Ottawa on the weekend of April 3—6

By CINDY OLBERG

Ottawa-Weekender-April-4

Complexe des genres is a gripping ballet production at the National Arts Centre from April 3 to 5 (Photo: Marie Philibert-Dubois)

In this edition of the Weekender: Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Complexe des genres, Fibre Fling 3, and five more things to do in Ottawa this weekend.

Rock Musical
Hedwig and the Angry Inch is an award-winning Off-Broadway musical that deals with themes of identity, individuality, and rock n’ roll. Follow rock goddess Hedwig Schmidt on her quest for the “Origin of Love” in this fun and unforgettable musical presented by Vanity Project Productions. The show runs from April 3 to 5 at The Gladstone. From $25. The Gladstone is located at 910 Gladstone Ave.

Vulnerability and Desire
Montreal choreographer Virginie Brunelle explores the strengths and shortcomings of the human experience in her ballet Complexe des genres. With a cast of six men and women, the performance covers themes of desire and vulnerability that so often go hand in hand with the search for love.The performance contains mature themes and nudity. Complexe des genres is on from April 3 to 5 at the National Arts Centre. From $30. The NAC is located at 53 Elgin St.

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