BY AMY ALLEN, NICOLINA LEONE, AND MATT HARRISON
If there is one thing I learned this summer while doing the Weekender, it is this: most of our rural fairs are older than our country. The Metcalfe Fair will be celebrating its 159th anniversary this year, beginning on Thursday, Oct. 1 and running until Sunday, Oct. 4. Check out agricultural and culinary competitions, a dairy cattle show, a midway and games, a demolition derby, musical performances, a kids’ tent, a pony show, dancing, and even a wrestling match. Daily rates and event passes vary in price; check the website for schedule and ticket info. Metcalfe Fairgrounds, 2821 8th Line Rd., Metcalfe, 613-821-0591, metcalfefair.com.
One of late night’s most hilarious personalities comes to the National Arts Centre for an evening of stand-up. Craig Ferguson, the Glaswegian comedian who spent 10 years hosting The Late Late Show, brings his trademark monologues and storytelling charm to political observations, social musings, and pop culture commentary. He hits the stage at the National Arts Centre on Thursday, Oct. 1. Tickets from $44. National Arts Centre, Southam Hall, 53 Elgin St., 866-850-2787, nac-cna.ca.
Autumn is synonymous with harvest, and what better time to celebrate the people who put food on our tables? Ottawa’s Farmers’ Appreciation Week kicks off on Friday, Oct. 2 with an outdoor screening of The Nightmare Before Christmas. On Saturday, Oct. 3, get out your sharpie for a pumpkin carving demo with local artist Mowafak Nema — plus the opportunity to decorate your own pumpkin! On Sunday, Oct. 4, tuck in to a farmer’s breakfast from 9.30am to 11.30am, then check out a live cooking demo by chef Eva Bee and partake in some family friendly programming such as face painting, giant pumpkin displays, a photo booth, and more. The fun continues next weekend, too! Events are free (excluding Farmers’ Breakfast, which is $5). See website for more info. ByWard Market, 613-244-4410, byward-market.com.
Mac My Cheese Fest
Is it possible to have too much St. Albert’s cheese? I think not. From Friday, Oct. 2 to Sunday, Oct. 4, the Mac My Cheese Fest is dishing up cheesy goodness at City Hall. And (not that you need more than curds and macaroni to be happy) there will also be musical entertainment and eating contests. “Three days of ooey gooey awesomeness featuring gourmet, tradish and exotic mac and cheese!” as the website says. You had me at ooey. Admission is free, but you pay for what you eat. Prices range from $6 to $15 (cash only; ATMs on site). Gluten free options available. City Hall, 110 Laurier St. W., 613-851-5752, macmycheesefest.ca.
Prost! Raise a glass at Beau’s Oktoberfest, the Ottawa region’s version of the famous Bavarian beer bash. And Beau’s has a lot more going on at this sudsy party than just lederhosen and schnitzel. The family owned Vankleek Hill brewery pours 14 of its creative brews — like Weiss O’Lantern and Return of the Mumme — at a massive cask haus. Food by a swath of Ottawa eateries, as well as a sausage eating contest, a keg toss, and a skate stage, are highlights. Musical acts include Yukon Blonde, Alvvays, The Dears, and The Beaches, plus a guest appearance by comedian Tom Green. The party starts on Friday, Oct. 2 and continues until Saturday, Oct. 3. Tickets from $27. Vankleek Hill Fairgrounds, 92 Main St. W., Vankleek Hill, 866-585-2337, beausoktoberfest.ca.
Saturday, Oct. 3 marks the fifth and final pop-up event for Harvest Noir, an outdoor picnic event that is black-tie (all black, actually) and a twist on the European tradition of celebrating the autumn harvest. There are three parts: a farmer’s market and vintage funfair, followed by a farm-to-table chic picnic, and capped off by “Ottawa’s sexiest” dance after-party. There will be music of all kinds: orchestra, DJing, and even karaoke. Check the website for details, such as what to bring, what to wear, and where to meet. It starts at 2pm, but the location will remain a mystery until the day of. Stay tuned! Tickets start at $29. harvestnoir.com.
Ottawa Geek Market
Calling all cosplayers, gamers, and comic book aficionados: the Ottawa Geek Market is back in town from Saturday, Oct. 3 to Sunday, Oct. 4. The event includes dozens of exhibitors, featured media guests (including a stand-up act by Andrew Ivimey, creator of the popular website TextsFromSuperheroes.com), cosplay and costume contests, a craft room, a scavenger hunt, and video games. The Geek Market has also acquired the Capital Gaming Expo, which means you can roll the dice against other fans of tabletop games, partake in trading card tournaments, or take your Bard or Barbarian on a quest in Dungeons & Dragons. Tickets from $15; see website for details. Nepean Sportsplex, 1701 Woodroffe Ave., 613-862-3556, geekmarket.ca.
The following fact might either make you cringe or pique your curiosity — Montreal-based (via Halifax/Toronto) songwriter Mike Evin has, in the past, worked with members of the Barenaked Ladies. Regardless of your initial reaction, this should, at the very least, be a big nod to Evin’s pop sensibilities, which shine on his latest Life As A Lover. Sticking mainly to piano/synth (and drums for live shows) and his signature smooth-sounding vocals, Evin crafts out a recording akin, perhaps, to Phoenix’s earlier works, Beck, even some Hall & Oats. He’s playing, alongside Ottawa’s own Jill Zmud at the Black Sheep Inn on Sunday, October 4 — in the afternoon (4 p.m.). $10 adv. Watch “Have I Ever Loved?” here. Black Sheep Inn, 753 Chemin Riverside Dr., 819-459-3228, theblacksheepinn.com.
12 String Chamber Music in Chelsea
We have a unique opportunity to see and hear some of the most well-known music that was ever written as three internationally-renowned soloists come together for an afternoon to pay tribute to some of the greats. On Sunday, Oct. 4 from 2pm to 4.30pm, violinist Yehonatan Berick, Canadian cellist Rachel Mercer, and Vancouver-born violist Jethro Marks will play the likes of Mozart and Bach. Tickets are $20 in advance through eventbrite, $24 at the door. Chelsea Community Events, 8, rue Mill Chelsea.