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The Weekender: Grown-up cartoons, hot air balloons, and four more long weekend events

 

"Twilight" is just one of the paintings by Michel Luc Bellemare that will be on view at Orange Gallery.

PIXIE DUST (FREE!)
An exhibit by artist Michel Luc Bellemare opens this Thursday as part of the 1st Thursdays Wellington West Art Walk. Bellemare, a young aboriginal artist working in Ottawa, offers a visually striking collection of large abstract paintings in the style of colour-realism. Vibrant and radiant, meditative and pleasing to the eye, Bellemare’s work actually stops you in your tracks — no mean feat if you’re doing the six-gallery crawl. Vernissage Sept. 2. 5-9 p.m. Show runs to Sept. 23. Orange Gallery, 233 Armstrong St. www.orangeartgallery.ca

GATINEAU HOT AIR BALLOON FESTIVAL
Look up — way up — for this aeronautical adventure that draws participants from around the world to show off the best in balloon designs. If you’re more of a feet-on-the-ground type of person, catch extreme sports demos, buskers, fireworks, a midway, and concert performances by Our Lady Peace and Hedley. Sept. 3 to 6. One day wristband: Sept. 3 $24, Sept. 4-6 $18. See website for full ticket info. La Baie Park, Gatineau, 819 243-2331. www.montgolfieresgatineau.com

THE GOOD LITTLE BUNNY WITH THE BIG BAD TEETH (FREE!)
Ottawa animator Jessica Borutski, who made headlines this summer with her Looney Tunes updates, is showing her new short animated film this weekend. The talented young artist loves her quirky creatures: in this, her second flick, deranged forest creatures animate to the electronic beats of Juno-award winner Lights. Sugary cereal snacks provide the perfect compliment to this grown-up cartoon party. Digital paintings by local illustrators Steve Daggitt and Crystal Wall Lancaster round out the show. Sept. 4. 7-10 p.m. La Petit Mort Gallery, 306 Cumberland St. www.lapetitemortgallery.com

LUMIÈRE FESTIVAL EVENING OF LIGHT (FREE!)
Magic is in the air at this outdoor celebration of light. Explore the lantern labyrinth, check out exciting live performances by fire weavers and Argentine tango dancers, and take part in a circus workshop. Encourage your youngsters to dress up in costume and make a stop at the “Transformation Tent” to add a little sparkle to their ensembles. As the sun goes down, glowing handcrafted lanterns light up the park. Sept. 4 (Begins at 5 p.m.). New Edinburgh Park (aka Stanley Park), 613-745-2742. www.lumiereottawa.com

OTTAWA INLINE SKATING FESTIVAL
Strap on your skates (inline, that is) and hit the pavement at this one-day fest that gets the whole family moving. There’s a 5K kids race, plus a 10K, 21K, and 42K. And if you’re feeling really hardcore, skate in every event for the Triple Crown. Sept. 5. $17-$102, fees vary based on age and event, see website for details. Rockcliffe Parkway. www.inlineottawa.com/festival

WHALE MUSIC
If you’re looking for a way to escape the heat, the rain, or just the hubbub of back-to-school anxiety, check out this classic film. Based on the Paul Quarrington novel of the same name, the main character is based largely on Beach Boy Brian Wilson — in his later years. Set somewhere on drizzly Vancouver Island, it’s a dark but hopeful movie with a moving theme and a great soundtrack, courtesy of The Rheostatics. Sept. 6 at 8:25 p.m. and Sept. 7 at 5 p.m. $10 non-members, $7 members, students, and seniors. Bytowne Cinema, 325 Rideau St. 613-789-FILM. www.bytowne.ca

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