Articles Tagged ‘Venus Envy’

WEEKENDER: Winterlude opens with fireworks, plus something for jazz lovers, foodies, art collectors, and those who love erotic literature

It’s Ottawa’s first ever Winter Jazzfest. Chill music will be performed by internationally-recognized jazz artists and heaps of local talent; acts include Oliver Jones, the Quinsin Nachoff’s Quartet, the Christine and Ingrid Jensen Quintet, Rémi Bolduc Jazz Ensemble, Megan Jerome, and Renée Yoxon. Visit the Ottawa Jazz Festival website for tickets and schedule information. The festival runs Thursday, Feb. 2 through Saturday, Feb. 4 in venues across downtown.



After the Dance (18 x 24, acrylic on panel) by Andrew King will be part of the After 8 exhibit at Wall Space Gallery.


After 8 is local artist Andrew King’s fourth solo show. It was inspired by a recent trip off the highways of the U.S., specifically the ‘after 8′ scene, when small town diners and motels are take on a surreal atmosphere. His media explores the journey through an era of Americana that is now fading. The exhibit marks eight years of painting for King. Vernissage: Saturday, Feb. 4, 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Exhibit runs until Saturday, Feb. 25. Wall Space Gallery, 358 Richmond Rd..

Fancy yourself a culinary critic? This Friday, sample stews from Byward Market businesses and pull for your favourite entry in the People’s Choice Awards. Bundle up, bring the family, and be a part of the 20th anniversary of this annual celebration. For $10, it’s all you can eat stew, with all the proceeds going to a local charity. In front of Café 55, 55 ByWard Market Square. Friday, Feb. 3, 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.

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HIDDEN OTTAWA: Voices of Venus, one great Red Wall, and eight more hideaways where underground scenes flourish

Ottawa Magazine’s October issue uncovers “hidden Ottawa” with a hole-in-the-wall handbook that embraces the city’s undercover ambience, celebrating 39 overlooked nooks, hipster hideaways, secret foodie sources, and other mysterious locales. Get your copy at Britton’s magazine store and other newsstand locations around town.

Expect plenty of brass, bass, and maybe even some Bossa nova, at Groovy's Roti Hut on Sunday nights. Photo by Angela Gordon.

Groovy jazz
While Groovy’s Roti Hut regularly serves up flavourful (and filling and affordable) Caribbean cuisine, there’s something else special on the menu on Sunday evenings: jazz standards. It gets going around 7 p.m., and it’s a jam night, so no promises about who will show up. One night seven middle-aged men took to the lowered stage, covering trombone, drums, guitar, upright bass, alto sax, vocals, and keys. Later on, some kids straight out of High School Musical straggled in, instruments in hand. Food is mostly in the $9-to-$14 range, with lots of Caribbean faves like goat and codfish, as well as vegetarian options. On Sunday nights, the music takes over. 292 McArthur Ave., 613-744-1551. – Dayanti Karunaratne

In character
Taverns teem with drama — tall tales, fights, broken hearts — so what could be more logical than Chamber Theatre mounting plays in the venerable Carleton Tavern? The sightlines aren’t great (an incentive to get there early), but it’s a dandy place to watch slice-of-life theatre while quaffing a few. Tavern regulars seem mildly bemused by the events and stick to one side of the tavern during the shows. Their conversation sometimes spills over into the performance side, adding reality to the show (or is it vice versa?). Michel Tremblay’s Marcel Pursued by the Hounds opens Nov. 23. 223 Armstrong St., – Patrick Langston

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REASON TO LOVE OTTAWA #43: Because we’re grey on the outside, lusty on the inside

Because we’re grey on the outside, LUSTY on the inside

Leather restraints available at Venus Envy. Photo courtesy

When I moved to Ottawa last winter, my initial impressions were more or less consistent with its reputation as a dull place with no nightlife, populated by well-heeled civil servants who spend their days toiling in the iron cage of bureaucracy. I held to the popular belief that these talented, dedicated, but otherwise boring and unimaginative people are unappreciated and often mistreated by a hostile government made up of showboating politicians and led by a tyrant of a prime minister who constantly questions their motives and loyalty. Watching the legions of expressionless men and women clad in dark coats and grey slacks drifting in and out of drab office buildings simply reinforced my prejudices.

Luckily, my eyes were opened early on to the real Ottawa. I live about 20 minutes from the Hill — and within a seven-minute walk of five sex shops. Being new to the city, with time on my hands and few friends to worry about running into, I naturally became familiar with all of them. I now no longer subscribe to the view that life in Weber’s “iron cage” of bureaucracy is boring or dull. During one visit, I spotted a program officer from one of the big departments. I listened in as she engaged in a lively discussion with staff about which nipple clamps were best for her. She was also interested in handcuffs and something called a “diving dolphin.”

It occurred to me then that maybe the lack of nightlife in Ottawa is because people here have more fun things to do in private. It also occurred to me that I should reconsider the relationship between the Harper government and the civil service. I wonder how many bureaucrats support the judgment of our overbearing prime minister that civil servants are indeed naughty, liberal-minded, and need to be “punished.” — Colin Gillespie

Read all 44 of Ottawa Magazine’s “Reasons to Love Ottawa” in the March/April edition. On newsstands now.

THE WEEKENDER: Venus Envy and Dragonette, plus fundraisers, films, and Not Yet Legal art

Ottawa’s friendliest sex shop is turning ten years old this weekend, and they’re having a birthday bash! All day Saturday (11 a.m. – 7 p.m.) the store will feature treats from Auntie Loo’s bakery, free samples (including massage bars from LUSH), door prizes, and store-wide discounts (25 percent off toys, 10 percent off everything else). At 9:30 p.m. the party takes off at Club SAW, with performances by dance and burlesque troupes and DJs spinning all night. Saturday, Jan. 29. 9:30 p.m. $5-$15. Club SAW, 67 Nicholas St. 613-789-4646.

Photo by Liz Caruso

One of Canada’s catchiest electro-pop groups is playing Babylon this Thursday night. With catchy hooks and beats to make your hips move without consent, this Toronto three-piece makes for some glamorous ear candy. With a chart-topping year in Europe and a gig at Lollapolooza under their belt, Dragonette will put on a scorcher of a show. Electro sibling sensations Kidstreet open the show. Thursday, Jan. 27. 9 p.m. $25. Babylon, 317 Bank St. 613-594-0003. Tickets available at Top of the World, Norml, Compact Music and The Record Shaap.

If ever there was a show where you could say, “I saw them before they were famous,” it’s this Friday at Raw Sugar. André Bluteau and Birdie Whyte offer a simple yet gorgeous blend of country and folk: Whyte’s playful country tunes come alive with her beautiful voice, and Bluteau has been called a “glorious mix of Tom Waits and Patrick Watson” (he lives up to the hype). Friday, Jan. 28. 9 p.m. $5. Raw Sugar. 692 Somerset St. W. 613-216-2850.

It’s easy to dismiss young artists, but Not Yet Legal will disprove any notions you may have had about teenagers. The group exhibit showcases the work of nine new artists, most of whom are grade 11 students from De la Salle Public High School. An effort to explore the world through the eyes of a new generation, the show promises more than simple teen angst. The opening at La Petite Mort Gallery will feature slam poetry and beats by DJ Afro-Slam. Saturday Jan. 29. Show runs until Feb. 2. 7 p.m. La Petite Mort Gallery, 306 Cumberland St. 613-860-1555.

For the seventh year in a row, some of Canada’s best comedians take the stage to raise awareness of mental health. Hosted by Ottawa favourite Jim McNally, and featuring such comics as Angelo Tsaroukas and Derek Seguin, the night promises the best laughs the city has to offer. In addition to comedy, an auction will sell off ink-blots interpreted by Canadian celebrities. Funds will support the Royal Ottawa Volunteer Association. Saturday, Jan. 29. Reception 7 p.m., show 8 p.m. $35-$106. National Arts Centre, Southam Hall, 53 Elgin St. 1-888-991-2787.

Take a break from cold and snow this weekend and pretend you’re in Cuba for an evening! Havana Night is a fundraiser for The Friends of Lansdowne and their legal battle to preserve the Ottawa landmark. Swing by for night of Cuban food, drinks, and dancing with music by celebrated Cuban artist Caridad Cruz. Food will be provided by Bank Street’s Havana Café & Catering — and there are whispers of dance lessons! Saturday, Jan. 29. 8 p.m. $35. Old Ottawa South Firehall. 260 Sunnyside Ave. 613-247-4946.

What’s up this Sunday? Twenty-eight classic Looney Tunes shorts featuring Bugs Bunny at the Mayfair Theatre, doc. These beloved episodes, including High Diving Hare and One Froggy Evening will bring howls of laughter to children and grandparents alike. A perfect Sunday matinee for the whole family! Saturday, Jan. 29. 1 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 30. 3 p.m. $6 members, $10 non-members, $5 children, $7 seniors. Mayfair Theatre, 1074 Bank St. 613-730-3403.