BY AMY ALLEN & MATT HARRISON
Over the past century, as the world has grown and cities expanded, light pollution has dimmed the stars and forced darkness from the night. This has had adverse effects on human health and the world’s ecosystems, not to mention altered our perception — perhaps even our awareness — of celestial objects. At Cube Gallery, Nocturne VII: Festival of the Night Sky celebrates the beauty of starlight with lectures, music, and sidewalk telescope parties.
On Thursday, July 2, Mike Moghadam of the Ottawa Centre Royal Astronomical Society of Canada shows us that the night sky is about more than just the moon and a handful of stars. He leads a discussion on the wonders that can be found in the night sky — constellations, auroras, distant planets, comets, even the Milky Way. The lecture takes place from 7pm to 9pm at Cube Gallery, and is followed by a sidewalk telescope party at 9.30pm.
On Sunday, July 5, the gallery hosts a vernissage for a new exhibit, E=MC Cubed, by artist Denis Larouche. Art and science, the artist’s twin passions, come together in an exploration of his travels throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.
The festival continues until July 9. See website for complete schedule. Admission is free. Cube Gallery, 1285 Wellington St. W., 613-728-2111, cubegallery.ca.
The Bard’s Comedic Mistake
Twenty-five years ago, A Company of Fools tackled Shakespeare’s A Comedy of Errors as their first full-length theatrical production. For this season’s annual foray into the outdoors, the Company revisits this classic play — it will be an opportunity to see how far they’ve come, whilst filling the stage with colourful costumes, slapstick, word play, romance, and rhyme. The performances are in parks throughout Ottawa over the summer, from July 2 to August 15. It begins this Thursday, July 2 at Strathcona Park, then moves to Anthony Vincent Park on Friday, July 3, and Alexander Grove Park in Stittsville on Saturday, July 4. Again, make sure to bring insect repellant, blankets, chairs, etc. Suggested donation is $15. All shows start at 7pm. See website for complete schedule.
A Stormy Start to Summer Stagecraft
It’s a rite of summer; something that occurs all over the English world annually. Bear & Co., a travelling theatre company, will be making a stop in Ottawa between July 3 to July 26 to deliver The Tempest — a play considered to be perhaps the last play The Bard wrote, and also his most musical and most lyrical — at parks throughout Ottawa, beginning this Friday, July 3 in Strathcona Park.
Unfolding in real time (the events in the play take place in the span of a few hours), The Tempest tells the tale of Prospero, the rightful Duke of Milan, who plots to restore his daughter, Miranda, to the throne. Using magic, he summons a storm to lure his usurping brother as well as the complicit King of Naples to the island in order to reveal true intents and redeem the king through a marriage with Miranda. It’s all set on an isolated island.
Suggested donation is $20. It starts at 7pm. Bring a blanket, chair, and a… water gun?!? There will also be food trucks serving up pizza, paninis, and frozen custard. See website for complete schedule.
Echoes of the Past
When he was growing up in the American Midwest, Pokey LaFarge developed a love for history and American literature — particularly works by Jack Kerouac and Ernest Hemingway. They’re interests he carried forward into his songwriting. With his mandolin in hand, he takes you back to the days of swing and ragtime blues, but somehow, his music never sounds dated. At the very least, he’ll have you tapping your feet along with the beat. He tours songs from his latest album, the charming Something in the Water, at Ritual Nightclub on Friday, July 3. Tickets from $20. Ritual Nightclub, 137 Besserer St., 613-680-7661.
Farm Beer Bash
In operation for more than 100 years, one of the oldest, still working farms in the area is Hendrick Farm in Old Chelsea. Clocking that kind of mileage certainly merits a refreshing cold one (or several). Thankfully, the Marché des Brasseurs (Quebec Brewery Market) is brewing up a beer bash this Saturday, July 4 at Hendrick Farm. The event will showcase Quebec’s finest, such as Brasseurs du Temps, Dunham, Le Castor, Microbrasserie Goudale, and Gainsbourg. Plus food from local eateries Tante Carole, The Village House, and Patisserie La Toque! Drive away with some fresh veggies from their farm store, too. It’s on, rain or shine, from 12pm to 8pm. Admission is free. To book a shuttle from Ottawa, visit here. See website for more information. Hendrick Farm, 3, ch. Chelbrook, Old Chelsea, 613-907-0130, hendrickfarm.ca.
Music: it’s said to be the food of love, the strongest form of magic, the universal language of mankind. Music and Beyond hits all of these notes and more with two weeks of programming that bring together orchestras, small ensembles, bands, choirs, and baroque groups.
On Saturday, July 4, the opening gala at Dominion-Chalmers United Church features music by the grand masters, including Mozart’s Quartet in G minor, Schubert’s Quartettsatz, and Debussy’s The Girl With the Flaxen Hair.
On Sunday, July 5, catch esteemed conductor Boris Brott as he leads the National Arts Centre Orchestra in a rousing rendition of Beethoven’s Overture to Prometheus, plus selections by Mozart and Brott’s composer father, Alexander.
The festival continues until July 17. Various locations. See website for venue information. Tickets from $30. musicandbeyond.ca.