Articles Tagged ‘Wakefield’

WEEKENDER: What to do on the (week) weekend of July 16 to 19

The Kestrels play at Pressed on Friday, July 18

Kestrels play at Pressed on Friday, July 18

Bad Ass Dash
So, you think you’re a real bad ass huh. I suppose, then, you’ve already signed up for the Badass Dash? It is yet another outdoor obstacle course challenge (a la Tough Mudder, Death Race, Cops and Robbers Run, Spartan Race) for competitive thrillseekers. On Saturday, July 19 competitors will hurl themselves through The Human Car Wash, The Claustrophobic Crawl, The Horrendous Heavy Bags, and the dreaded Australian Back Crawl challenges, which are just a few of the 30+ obstacles along the 7km course. Sadly, the event closes for registration by Thursday, July 17 (register here), but the bad ass you are means you’re likely already signed up. If you missed this year’s registration, come out anyways; spectators are welcome. More info — visit the website. The event starts at 8 a.m. and takes place at the Wesley Clover Parks (formerly Nepean National Equestrian Park).
Wesley Clover Parks is at 401 Corkstown Rd.

Pickled Turnips & More
Shawarma — it’s long been Ottawa’s go-to fast food. We love the stuff, which is why there’s so many shawarma shops dotted around the city. Then there’s the potatoes, the salads, the pickled turnips (insert drool) — these and other Lebanese culinary mainstays can be had at the 24th annual Ottawa Lebanese Festival, which takes place Wednesday, July 16 to Sunday, July 20 at the St. Elias Cathedral, directly across from Mooney’s Bay. Enjoy Middle Eastern food, musical entertainment, and even a midway! Admission is $5 opening night, $2 for remaining nights. Festival hours are: Wednesday to Friday 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Musical Mormon Mummery
Poor Mormons — Marilyn Manson burned their Bible onstage at a Utah concert in the 90s; HBO cast a not-so-glowing light on aspects of their faith in the series, Big Love; and more recently, South Park creators (who proudly take aim at everyone and everything with their comedy) get their jabs in with the highly popular Broadway musical: The Book of Mormon. The story involves two missionaries who travel to Uganda where a warlord holds sway over the population — one which is less concerned about “God’s word” and more about everyday violence and disease. As such, the missionaries’ naivety is exposed and hilarity ensues — in song and verse, of course. The musical opened in Ottawa this week at the National Arts Centre, and it has showings on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday — and on, until July 27. Check out the NAC’s website for times. Tickets: from $63.
The NAC is at 53 Elgin St.

Zainab Hussain’s Little Urban Myths (Derelict), 2014, one of her pieces showing in a group exhibit at Blink Gallery from Thursday July 17 to July 27

New Uses for Maps (FREE)
Maps, mostly replaced by GPS now, continue to function in ways beyond simply getting from point A to point B. Blink Gallery’s first summer exhibition features Ottawa artists exploring unique ways of “mapping” the city: Stephanie Marton uses audio and Polaroids to document a moment in a journey through the city; Jessie Raymond documents the waste/garbage (the archeology of the space) she finds in the Hurdman area; and Zainab Hussain examines re-zoning of nature, records tiny fairy communities, and displays the skylines of Ottawa/Gatineau through mirrors, while a stereo audio component is split between the two, so that in each skyline, a different side of the compensation can be heard. The show, curated by Anna Paluch, opens on Thursday, July 17, from 6-9 p.m., and continues until July 27. Blink Gallery is open Fridays, from 6 to 9 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 12 to 5 p.m.
Blink Gallery is in Major’s Hill Park.

Kestrels Ride Chrome Waves
I may not be Allan Cross and this is certainly not The Secret History of Rock, but here’s my take on a little-known subgenre of music: shoegaze. It describes slow, distortion-heavy, early 90s music where, unlike the “heavy metal” or performance-based bands of the 80s, musicians (mostly English) would stare down — seemingly at their shoes (they were in fact focusing on their instruments) — focused less on the “show” and more on producing artful, fuzzed out, guitar-based music. The genre has continued to persist, and even more recently, is seeing a resurgence/reinterpretation of sorts. It’s unsurprising then to find a new shoegaze-influenced band emerge from Halifax — especially with its Sub Pop history. The band Kestrels are, perhaps, more explosive and bombastic than other shoegaze bands of old, and draw comparisons to the louder, faster, more melodic moments in the catalogs of My Bloody Valentine, Ride, or even Brooklyn’s Pains of Being Pure at Heart. Currently, they’re touring their newly released EP, out on Sonic Unyon, The Moon is Shining our Way. Kestrels play at Pressed on Friday, July 18, with Harsh Reality and Mnemonics. Tickets: $7.
Pressed is at 750 Gladstone Ave.

Amelia Curran, award-winning singer-songwriter from Newfoundland/Halifax plays at The Black Sheep Inn on Saturday, July 19

Amelia Curran, singer-songwriter from Newfoundland/Halifax, plays at The Black Sheep Inn on Saturday, July 19

Amelia Curran
Now that Bluesfest is over, The Black Sheep Inn in Wakefield is once again filling its evenings with talented musicians. Few are more worthy of the accolades heaped upon her (Juno-winner, East Coast Music Awards, etc.) then Halifax/Newfoundland’s Amelia Curran. Some have compared her to Leonard Cohen or Patsy Cline — but really, her songs are plainly heartfelt, musically deft, and poetic. She’s taking a break from recording her upcoming new album to play at the Inn on Saturday, July 19. Tickets are $25, and the show’s at 8:30 p.m. Note: if you’re driving into Wakefield for the show, Valley Drive is presently closed, so you either have to drive down Rockhurst or all the way around to the end of the highway and double back into town. Fun times.
Black Sheep Inn is 753 Riverside Dr.

ARTFUL BLOGGER: Transformed Outaouais school


Plate by Maureen Marcotte

Plate by Maureen Marcotte

Deer, coyotes, and wild turkeys all come sniffing around. Some nearby residents can be seen taking their goats for a walk. The ghosts of children past surely play on the rusting teeter-totters behind. The Gatineau River is just a hop, skip, and jump away.

We’re talking about the Farrellton Artists’ Space, a one-year-old co-op located in what once was St. Joseph’s Elementary School in whistle-stop Farrellton, a 10-minute drive north of Wakefield on Highway 105.

The red brick school closed about seven years ago and was largely unused. Then, last year, a group of artists in the Wakefield area approached the owner of the school, the Commission Scolaire des Portages-de-l’Outaouais, with an idea. The French-language school board was extremely supportive and agreed to allow the artists to transform former classrooms, labs, and offices into studios.

The rent is far cheaper than for equivalent space, if such space could be found, in Wakefield, Gatineau, or Ottawa. The creation of artists’ studios is definitely a smart re-purposing of a vacant building. But all is not perfect — the roof leaks. Nevertheless, the artists are thrilled with the space. Some even live close enough to walk to work every day.

Heart by Hannah Ranger

Heart by Hannah Ranger

In the daytime, the large, former classrooms-turned studios are filled with natural light. Compare that with, for example, Enriched Bread Artists in Ottawa, where members of the collective work out of small, dimly lit cubbyholes. And EBA does not have a waterfall in the backyard nor do wild animals visit it.

After a year of operations, the Farrellton artists are ready for the world to visit what is definitely the most bucolic art laboratory in the Ottawa-Gatineau region. Consequently, there is an open house Thursday, June 5, starting at 7 p.m. and again on Sunday, June 8, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Some of the area’s top artists are among the 21 currently renting space in the old school. They include the pottery duo of Maureen Marcotte and David McKenzie, fibre artists Hannah Ranger and Diane Lemire, and painters John Barkley, John Marok, and Stefan Thompson.

Some of the artists use their studios in old classrooms to hold art classes. Painter Nathalie Poirier holds regular life drawing classes, while Kathryn Drysdale is mainly pre-occupied with dyeing wool, but also uses her space to offer painting classes.

Many of the artists produce work in more than one medium and use the Farrellton studio for part of their art practice and a home studio for work in a different media. Marok, for example, just does goache paintings at Farrellton and oil paintings at home. Janice Moorhead paints at Farrellton and creates her glass artworks at home.

The co-op is hoping to turn one area into a darkroom for use by all of the tenants (and maybe outsiders in the future). A joint print-making facility is also on the drawing board. Maybe one day there will be an official art gallery.

Painting by John Marok

Painting by John Marok

Farrellton Artists’ Space is located at 42 Chemin Plunkett in Farrellton. Head north from Wakefield on Highway 105 and, just before the bridge across the Gatineau River at Farrellton, turn left onto Chemin Plunkett. Drive past St. Camillus Church and the concrete block parish hall and pull into the parking lot in front of the former school. Visit here for more info.


SPOTLIGHT: La Maison du Village in Wakefield

This story originally appeared in Ottawa Magazine’s September edition. Order your copy here.


Ribfest: Anne DesBrisay is wooed by sumptuous beef short ribs served over rough-cut pappardelle noodles and braised mushrooms. Photography by Christian Lalonde / Photolux

By Anne DesBrisay

This has always been a tasty address. I’ve liked everything that has called 759 Riverside Drive home, starting with the brilliant little Bélair sur la Rivière, through the adorable little Asian-fusion place called Soupçon, and now with the latest occupant, La Maison du Village, gamely carrying the torch for casual fine dining in the bustling little village of Wakefield.

The restaurant expands in the gentle months with a pretty side patio, but otherwise, these are two small rooms, simply furnished and filled with neighbours. In the kitchen is Mike Houle. On the floor is his wife, Sarah Swan. The team is strong.

Always a soup to start and always worth ordering. If the fazzoletti of mushrooms is on the menu, nab it — the rustic squares of pasta are layered and lovable. Main courses go from strength to strength. Try the fish ’n’ chip duo, which unites the nice with the naughty: a pan-seared red trout, the lightweight, in one corner; the beer-battered pickerel with potato cake logs, the heavyweight, in the other. Both mighty fine.

Beef short ribs are sumptuous, served with rough-cut pappardelle noodles and braised mushrooms. If there’s a quibble, it’s with the weight of the menu: we found it a bit heavy for a still summery time. So to compensate, we avoided the bacon bits in the apple butter tart with caramel ice cream. Mains $21-$24. Open Wednesday and Thursday 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Friday 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday noon to 3:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday small plates noon to 8:30 p.m. 759 Riverside Dr., Wakefield, 819-459-1445,

SOUND SEEKERS: New releases and upcoming shows from Ottawa boys Leif Vollebekk and The Steve Adamyk Band

Sound Seekers by Fateema Sayani is published weekly at Read Fateema Sayani’s culture column in Ottawa Magazine and follow her on Twitter @fateemasayani

Leif Vollebekk plays Black Sheep Inn on Friday.

Leif Vollebekk’s new album of troubadour-style tunes is called North Americana. The title serves as a stylistic — and geographic — cue to listeners. Vollebekk, 27, is definitely Canadian (Ottawa-reared, in fact), and wanted to fuse a sense of his identity onto the album, which could easily be filed alongside such contemporary Americana artists as Gillian Welch.

The album was recorded primarily with Howard Bilerman (Arcade Fire, Rich Aucoin) at Hotel2Tango studio in Montreal and was released on February 19 via the Outside Music Label (The Besnard Lakes, Matthew Barber). It has 10 tracks that display a morbid, incisive lyrical bent and sad chords characteristic of the genre.

In addition to Hotel2Tango, Vollebekk took to a few other storied locations to record. Selected tracks from the album were pieced together at La Frette studios, in La-Frette-sur-Seine, France. That’s where Plants & Animals recorded and where Feist made her album The Reminder. Each track on Vollebekk’s album was cut to two-inch tape for that weighty sound.

Read the rest of this entry »

A HOUSE WE LOVE: A sunny house on a hill in Wakefield

What could be more welcoming than a long cedar deck? The front deck calls out for bare feet in summer and is a good snowshoe starting point in winter. With no preconceived notion of where the front door should be, a modernist approach allows the architect and owners to figure out where they’ll want to find their way in. Photography by Peter Fritz.

On The Rise: A welcoming space that encourages friends to stop by and stay awhile. 

By Andrea Hossack. Photography by Peter Fritz.

This house was featured in the 2012 Interiors edition. See more photographs and read the full story in the print edition.

It first reveals itself as a modern beach house, sun glinting off glass and the limestone cladding reminiscent of greyed driftwood on sand.

But the homeowners prefer to think of their modern-rustic gem of a house as an oyster shell, the chalky, weathered exterior complemented by a polished white palette within. Lori Doran and Ryan MacDonald — the relaxed, outdoorsy professionals who own this house and had such a good time with the building process — are understandably proud of it. Five years ago, the couple saw a lot for sale on the road that leads to the Wakefield covered bridge. They bought, then got to know the land by plunking down an Airstream trailer. The idea for a more permanent dwelling began to take shape.

Read the rest of this entry »

WEB EXCLUSIVE: Holobodys bring musical fugues and chaos to the Black Sheep

By Chrissy Shannon

Holobodys is a mélange of musical chaos. The self-taught sextet consists of Nathan Curry (octave mandolin), Jan Lis (viola), Jessie Pratt (violin), Linda Miller (accordion), Paul Stevens (bass), and Geoffry Pye (percussion). Hailing from Wakefield, the group represents a musical presence outside of the Ottawa norm.

And outside of the studio, the band members represent the eclectic demographics of Wakefield: Lis is an organic vegetable farmer; Curry is a professional luthier (specializing in mandolins and violins); Pratt is a public servant; Stevens dabbles in contracting; Miller manages produce; Pye is a full-time musician.

On a typical Saturday they’re busy invoking the spirit of jazz musician and philosopher Sun Ra, but this weekend one can actually witness the band’s eccentric sound in person.

Read the rest of this entry »

FOOD BUZZ: Ever dream of entering a pizza eating contest? Cheezy Luigi’s wants you to come to Wakefield on Sunday

First I spotted the old-school carnival-style posters plastered up at foodie hangouts around town. Then I called Wakefield’s Black Sheep Inn to get more information about the advertised pizza eating contest being held there this weekend. To my surprise, the woman on the other end of the phone just kind of snickered in a way that was either nervous or sinister. Not sure which. She directed me to Luigi Meliambro, the owner of Cheezy Luigi’s, the Valley’s preeminent gourmet thin-crust pizza joint with locations in both Wakefield, and, as of June, Chelsea, Quebec. Meliambro says this first annual fundraiser for the Wakefield Community Centre was an idea that struck him as a “revelation” while watching the famous blueberry pie eating contest scene in the film Stand By Me. He has confirmed that Joshua Bishop, owner of The Whalesbone Oyster House and Mike Beck from Wakefield’s Soupcon restaurant will be among the contestants. He hopes many more will turn up at the door, lured in by the grand prize: the winner gets one free large pizza per month for a year.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Weekender: Butterflies, birds, ballots, and four other things to do this weekend

Hey, if it’s still raining (and there seems to be a never-ending supply of the wet stuff on weekends) this is a great option for frazzled parents. Carleton University’s two display greenhouses are filled with exotic tropical butterflies during its annual butterfly show. Great way to combine fun and education! Get there early — it gets very busy. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Sat., Oct. 2 to Oct. 11. Nesbitt Biology Building, corner of University Drive and Raven Road, 613-520-3513.


Autumn Montage by Robert Moeller

Spread over two weekends, this studio tour lets you interact with artists and craftspeople in their creative environments. More than 22 artists display paintings, pottery, sculptures, jewellery, photography, furniture, and more. Check out Louis Rompré’s vibrant hand-dipped candle demonstrations, John Barkley’s stunning abstract oil paintings, and Robert Moeller’s nature-inspired creations (left). Oct. 2 and 3 and 9 to 11. A printable version of the route map is available on the website and copies of the brochures are available en route. Chelsea and Wakefield, 819-459-3233.

Read the rest of this entry »