Articles Tagged ‘festivals’

WEB EXCLUSIVE: Chatting with Rolf Klausener, the man behind The Acorn, Silkken Laumann, and the Arboretum Festival

Rolf Klausener is someone who lets creativity guide him through life. Not only is he lead singer and principal songwriter of one of Ottawa’s strongest indie music exports of the last decade, The Acorn, but he’s also a unique personality that embodies the transformation of Ottawa’s arts and culture scene over the years. For the better part of a decade, Klausener has gone through the highs and lows of being a local musician — including at times questioning whether Ottawa is the right place for an artist to be.

But Klausener has stuck around O-town. And with the band going through a transition phase in the last few years, he’s taken the opportunity to explore his creative desires in different ways. Here, Klausener chats with Matias Muñoz about his other projects — including the Arboretum music, arts, and food festival, and his new musical venture Silkken Laumann — as well as how the city’s arts and culture scene has transformed over the past decade.

Rolf Klausener of The Acorn plays around on a ukulele in his studio in Centretown. Photo by Pat Bolduc.

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WEEKENDER: From an assortment of Christmas concerts to a Canadian take on The Nutcracker, holiday activities abound!

ONE WORLD AWESOME ARTS FESTIVAL (FREE!)
Prepare to be amazed! One World Arts is presenting this fun-filled evening of animations, slam poetry, theatre skits, dancing, and much more. Founded in 1972, this volunteer-based charitable organization aims to engage citizens of all ages and spread awareness of world issues through art and media. The Awesome Arts Youth program included 10 weeks of workshops and culminates in this festival, where young artists can show off their talents to the public. Emceed by well-known slam poet Jamaal Rogers, the program also includes performances from internationally-renowned beat-boxer Julia Dales and Triple A, the dynamic drumming group Baobab Youth PerformersYvon Soglo and his amazing hip hop dancers and more. Thursday, December 13, 6 p.m. Viscount Alexander Public School, 55 Mann Ave., www.oneworldarts.ca.

MIRACLE ON 34TH ST.
Who knows, maybe that big white bearded fellow in the mall really is Mr. Claus. The Gladstone Theatre and Plosive Productions present the classic heartwarming holiday tale Miracle on 34th St. Keeping with the Gladstone Holiday Radio Show tradition, this new adaptation features singing, dancing, storytelling, and characters that will enchant show-goers all season long. The performance includes some of Ottawa’s favourite actors, such as Katie Bunting, Tom Charleboix, and Steve Martin, as well as young newcomers Kelty O’Brien and Ben Blacklock. Friday, December 14, to Sunday, December 23. Times/prices vary, see website for details. The Gladstone, 910 Gladstone Ave., www.thegladstone.ca.

Ballet Jörgen presents its annual showing of The Nutcracker with a Canadian twist. Photo by Pradeep Bhatia.

BALLET JÖRGEN PRESENTS THE NUTCRACKER, A CANADIAN TRADITION
For 25 years, Ballet Jörgen Canada has gained national and international recognition for its repertoire of original works and astounding choreography. Once again, the company is stopping in Ottawa to perform the classic tale The Nutcracker – with a Canadian twist. Set to Tchaikovsky’s epic score and including sets inspired by Group of Seven paintings, along with other Canadiana touches, this show creates a truly magical atmosphere. Saturday, December 15, Monday, December 17, and Tuesday, December 18. $40-$50. Shows play at Centrepointe Theatre and Shenkman Theatre, depending on the day. www.centrepointetheatre.com.

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WEEKENDER: December kicks off with a screening of Home Alone outdoors, the Ottawa Tea Festival, and five other festive events

THE HURON CAROLE
Twenty years ago, actor and philanthropist Tom Jackson brought artists together to spread awareness and garner support for those in need – and the Huron Carole was born. Join Jackson and friends when this nationwide tour – which raises funds for food banks – comes to Ottawa. The event is a project of the Christmas and Winter Relief Association and includes songs and stories of peace and optimism from popular Canadian artists such as Sarah Slean, Del Barber, and Susan Aglukark. Thursday, November 29, 9 p.m. $60, VIP $110. Shenkman Arts Centre, 245 Centrum Blvd., www.huroncarole.ca.

Close to 1,000 minerals, rocks, and gems, most from the museum’s collections, are displayed in the Canadian Museum of Nature’s newly expanded Vale Earth Gallery. Photo by Martin Lipman, Canadian Museum of Nature.

VALE EARTH GALLERY RE-OPENING
Geology nerds, take note! After three months of improvements, the Vale Earth Gallery at the Canadian Museum of Nature is opening to the public once again. The gallery serves up a fascinating experience for young and old, bringing visitors on a journey through the earth’s geological formation, its shaping over billions of years, and demonstrating how geology and mineralogy are important in our daily lives. Some activities on the bill include building a volcano, causing an earthquake, exploring a limestone cave with a dripping waterfall, and making different kinds of rock by simulating geological forces. Now that’s what we call a rock star (ha ha!). Friday, November 30. $12, seniors $10, kids $8, infants (under two) free. Canadian Museum of Nature, 240 McLeod St., www.nature.ca.

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WEEKENDER: Electric Fields is back, Ottawa Fashion Week kicks off, and Auntie Loo’s has a birthday bash

Audio and visuals come together for Electric Fields, an electronic arts and music fest.

ELECTRIC FIELDS
In the mood for something different this weekend? Check out Electric Fields, the cutting-edge electronic music and art festival that boasts a variety of audio-visual performances. In its fifth edition, the festival aims to bring new ideas and artwork to the Ottawa area. The festival will feature a series of presentations and conversations exploring the relationship between sound and space, along with VJ performances, installations of sound art, and a Mini-Maker Faire that celebrates arts, crafts, engineering, food, music, sustainability, and science. The heart of the conference involves discussions led by local and international artists and researchers. Wednesday, October 10, to Sunday, October 14. Most events free, some events $10-$15. See website for locations, www.electricfields.ca.

ONE WORLD FILM FESTIVAL
The 23rd annual One World Film Festival opens this Thursday with the Canadian premiere of U.S. filmmaker Windy Borman’s Eyes of Thailand. One World’s goal is to engage in a dialogue about human rights and the environment. Audiences have the opportunity to view 14 new thought-provoking documentaries from around the globe, meet international and Canadian directors attending the festival, and participate in Q&As with guest speakers after the showings. The theme this year is “Uncommon Journeys,” and films tell stories of people going beyond personal and societal boundaries. See website for full schedule. Thursday, October 11, to Sunday, October 14. Festival pass $40, individual ticekts $12. Library and Archives Auditorium, 395 Wellington St., www.oneworldarts.ca.

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WEEKENDER: Nuit Blanche is finally here, Animation Fest brings in the best, and Color Vibe’s 5K is one of a kind

The lively animation of Smith & Foulkes will be one of the highlights at this year's Ottawa International Animation Festival. Photo by Smith & Foulkes.

OTTAWA INTERNATIONAL ANIMATION FESTIVAL
The Ottawa International Animation Festival presents the world’s most cutting-edge, quirky, and important animation, and transforms Ottawa into the centre of the animation universe (if we do say so ourselves). As the largest event of its kind in North America, OIAF is a major film event that attracts attendees from around the world. Film buffs, art lovers, and cartoon fans won’t want to miss this year’s great line up, which includes the work of U.K. animation directors Smith & Foulkes, who’ve animated everything from Coke commercials to an Oscar-nominated 3D short. Films by Ralph Bakshi and Karen Aqua, plus viral YouTube videos, are also on the bill. Taking place at ByTowne Cinema, National Gallery of Canada, Empire Theatres Rideau Centre and Arts Court Theatre. September 19 to 23. Single tickets from $12. See website for schedule of events. www.animationfestival.ca.

SHELDON COHEN BOOK SIGNING (FREE!)
Recognize the name? Illustrator and animator Cohen turned Roch Carrier’s short story The Hockey Sweater into an animated film (he also did the illustrations for the beloved book about hockey and the clash of cultures). He’ll be doing a special signing for his new book This Sweater is for You! He’ll also be delving in the notebooks, photos, and memories to recreate the process he undertook to make The Sweater. Friday, September 21, 6 p.m. National Arts Centre Lobby, 53 Elgin St., www.animationfestival.ca.

RUSSELL PETERS
Common knowledge decrees that a comedian must have a TV sitcom, a hit movie, or a high profile comedy album to succeed. Peters, however, has built a massive following by word of mouth, completely bypassing mainstream media outlets. (In 2008, Peters was one of the first stand-up comedians to self-finance, self-produce, and distribute his own comedy specials and DVDs.) For the past few years he’s been selling out theatres across the US and Canada with his hilarious and pointed observations on race and culture. (We hear tickets have gone fast but there are still some of the cheap seats left – worth the money, we say!) Friday, September 21, 8:00 p.m. $39-$110. Scotiabank Place, 1000 Palladium Dr., www.scotiabankplace.com.

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WEEKENDER: The Harlem Gospel Choir comes to Ottawa, farmers get some support, and Holly McNarland plays Mavericks

HARLEM GOSPEL CHOIR
ARS Nova is kicking off its fall season with a rousing performance by the Harlem Gospel Choir. The choir, which has been touring the world for 26 years, features top singers and musicians from the churches of Harlem in New York City. Incorporating their motto “Bringing people and nations together and giving something back” into each performance, the group serenades audiences with songs of love and hope while also raising money for various children’s charities. Friday, September 14, 7:30 p.m. Reserved seating $45, general seating $35, senior $30, students $20. Dominion Chalmers United Church, 355 Cooper St., Ottawa, www.arsnova.ca.

Holly McNarland takes the stage at Mavericks' this weekend. Photo by Vanessa Heins.

HOLLY MCNARLAND
Back in May, Manitoban singer-songwriter Holly McNarland released her first album since parting ways with her old record label. Run Body Run, which blends McNarland’s country roots with modern rock influences, was the result of five years spent writing, re-working, and recording. You can catch the Juno Award-winner this Saturday when she brings her Run Body Run tour to Mavericks. Saturday, September 15. $17, Mavericks, 221 Rideau St., www.mavericksbar.com.

CAPITAL VÉLO RALLY
Capital Vélo Fest will be launching the Capital Vélo Rally this Saturday! Working in partnership with 8 Locks’ Flat Restaurant, the event offers participants the opportunity to explore the city by bike. Focusing on low-traffic streets and bike paths, riders will travel 20km in total, collecting clues and competing in cycling competitions along the way. Register your team of 3-6 people online – or sign up as a solo rider and be added to an existing team. Saturday, September 15. $20/person, 8 Locks’ Flat Restaurant, 191 Colonel By, www.capitalvelofest.ca.

TASTE OF WELLINGTON WEST (FREE!)
Taste of Wellington West returns this Saturday with a jam-packed day of music, shopping, and food! Check out what’s cooking in the ‘hood (literally) with this fun street fest that sees people from around town head west. Performing this year are Reverb Syndicate, Crown Vic, Still Dangerous, and Tall Trees, as well as children’s performers, Hey Buster!. You can also treat your taste buds to a plethora of free food samples, with Hintonburger, Bridgehead, and SuzyQ Doughnuts offering up some goodies. Saturday, September 15. Wellington Street, from Somerset Bridge to Island Park, Ottawa, www.wellingtonwest.ca.

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WEEKENDER: The Renfrew Fair turns 158, Canada celebrates Indian cinema, and Tyler Medeiros joins Big Time Rush

People have been heading to the Renfrew Fair since 1853.

RENFREW FAIR
For over 150 years, the Renfrew Fair has dubbed itself “the greatest fair in the Ottawa Valley.” The five-day event is packed full of activities, including livestock shows, beef and dairy shows, art exhibits, needlework, grandstand musical performances, rides, and pretty much all the country fun you could imagine. And who doesn’t love that fair food? On the menu are bacon on a bun, candy apples, popcorn, and fresh fudge. Wednesday, September 5, to Sunday, September 9. $9, children seven to 16 $4, children six and under free. Renfrew Fairgrounds, Fairview Cres., Arnprior, www.renfrewfair.com.

OTTAWA FOLK FESTIVAL
Think festival season ends in August? Not anymore! Folk Fest has moved into September and continues to celebrate music, dance, visual arts, and the community during this five-day event that features five daytime and two evening stages. Friday’s lineup includes artists The Kingmakers, Kathleen Edwards, and Lindsey Buckingham, among others. Festival-goers will enjoy local food from vendors onsite, as well as artisan and craft vendors selling everything from clothing to jewellery. Thursday, September 6, to Monday, September 10. Day passes $30-$42. Hog’s Back Park, 102 Greenview Ave., www.ottawafolk.com.

DIMENSIONS
Dimensions is a display of artwork from 33 local sculptors presented by the National Capital Network of Sculptors. The exhibition will feature an array of designs inspired by a variety of subject matters. Opening vernissage is Thursday, September 6, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Exhibit ends Sunday, September 15. St Brigid’s Centre for the Arts, 310 Saint Patrick Street (Cumberland entrance), www.sculptureottawa.ca.

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WEEKENDER: Hot air balloons and portraits of Bluesfest, plus Serbian flare, theatre deals, and more for your long weekend

PORTRAITS OF BLUESFEST
Original images of Bluesfest 2012 created by 18 of Ottawa’s most celebrated artists are being put out for silent auction. Artists drew inspiration for their pieces from the site, the sky, and whatever else caught their interest, and created one-of-a-kind paintings and photographs to be sold with 100 percent of the proceeds going to Blues in the Schools, a charity that brings professional musicians into schools in Ottawa to help kids learn to make and play music. Thursday, August 30, 7 p.m. Patrick Gordon Framing, 160 Elm St., www.patrickgordonframing.ca.

A nighttime shot of the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival.

GATINEAU HOT AIR BALLOON FESTIVAL
This year marks the 25th edition of the renowned festival at the Parc de la Baie in Gatineau. An amusement park, circus entertainment, and — of course — many hot air balloons fill the weekend. With a lineup of nightly performances, including KC and the Sunshine Band and Quebec’s own Simple Plan, this festival is staging an unforgettable anniversary. Friday, August 31, to Monday, September 3. $22-$26. Parc de la Baie, Rue Saint-Louis and Rue Suzanne, Gatineau, www.montgolfieresgatineau.com.

MELLOW YELLOW
Paintings inspired by the calm colour yellow adorn the walls at Tay Gallery, bringing to mind the laid back musings of sixties’ tunes like Donovan’s “Mellow Yellow,” which inspired the name for the group show. Featuring new works by Elizabeth Elkin, Susan Jillette, Martha Markowsky, and more. Exhibit ends Friday, August 31. Tay Gallery. 471 Hazeldean Rd., Kanata, www.taygallerykanata.com.

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WEEKENDER: A 1930s-style carnival, an office revolution, and an evening of storytelling aboard a pirate ship

CIRQUE BIZARRE
Ottawa Jail Hostel is transforming into a vintage 1930s-style carnival for the last few days of Pride Week. The first event of its kind in Ottawa, it’ll include circus entertainers, burlesque dancers, and DJs including DJ Miss Honey Dijon. The four-day “festival within a festival” is modeled after the over-the-top Pride parties that take place annually in cities like Toronto and Montreal. Wednesday, August 22, until Saturday, August 25. $10 advance tickets for each event. Ottawa Jail Hostel, 75 Nicholas St., www.houseofsas.ca.

DANCE DANCE (OFFICE) REVOLUTION (FREE!)
Great music has been coming out of Sweden lately (Robyn and The Tallest Man on Earth are a far cry from ABBA) so it’s only natural that the Scandinavian country would have great dance and party trends to offer too. One in particular, the lunchtime dance party, is coming to Ottawa for the first time this week. The idea is simple – instead of eating a sandwich in your sad cubicle, get some air, a free popsicle, and have fun dancing! Thursday, August 23, at lunchtime. Sparks St. between O’Connor St. and Bank St., www.awesomeottawa.ca/2012/07/dance-dance-office-revolution-lunchtime-dance-party/.

Wakefest is all about local art, music, fashion, and literature.

WAKEFEST
This annual all-arts festival celebrates the best in local art, music, fashion, and literature. Wakefest aims to inspire a supportive arts community by giving musicians, artists, filmmakers, writers, and performance artists the chance to engage the local community with the Gatineau River as their backdrop. Attendees are given tons of opportunities to get involved – walk in a fashion show on Thursday, silk screen your own T-shirt on Friday, then learn how to hula hoop on Saturday! Thursday, August 23, to Sunday, August 26. Prices vary for events. Various locations in Wakefield, Quebec, www.wakefest.org.

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WEEKENDER: A magical lantern fest and a Caribbean block party, plus six more sweet events for your summer weekend

NATIONAL CAPITAL CRAFT BEER WEEK
The week-long celebration of the region’s brews ends this weekend with a two-day outdoor culinary and craft beer festival. Ottawa’s top restaurants and craft breweries will be showcased while international brewing experts and food writers speak. In addition to the beer, some home-brewed (haha) musical talent will also be offered up. Come see what Ontario’s got on tap! Until Saturday, August 18, 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. $15 per day. Marion Dewar Plaza, 110 Laurier Ave. W., www.nationalcapitalbeerweek.com.

OTTAWA GREEKFEST (FREE!)
Raise a glass of restina, dig into some moussaka (there’s a ton of food on offer), then try your talents at traditional Greek dance. The culture of the Hellenic islands is celebrated at this annual fest, which also has cooking and language lessons, an arts and crafts display, a souvenir shop, activities for children, and live music nightly. Wednesday, August 15, to Sunday, August 26. Hellenic Centre, 1315 Prince of Wales Dr., www.ottawagreekfest.com.

CAPITAL PRIDE
Ottawa’s annual celebration of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered community attracts thousands of revelers for a 10-day-long event. There are scads of events at this colourful fest, ranging from high-energy fetes all the way to family-friendly happenings. It all culminates with the highly anticipated Pride Parade. Friday, August 17, to Sunday, August 26. Many events are free. Various venues, www.capitalpride.ca.

Carivibe brings the heat of the Caribbean to Ottawa for its parade and block party.

CARIVIBE PARADE (FREE!)
The second installment of this summer’s Carivibe Festival is this weekend. Following the successful beach festival in June, there will be a parade and block party this Saturday at Petrie Island. Follow Caribbean masqueraders dancing to tropical tunes along St. Joseph Boulevard until they reach the party at Centrum Boulevard and the Shenkman Arts Centre. On the bill: Caribbean cuisine, a licenced tent, children’s play area, DJS, arts and crafts, and more. Saturday, August 18. St. Joseph Blvd., Petrie Island, www.carivibe.com.

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