BY AMY ALLEN
Sharon VanStarkenburg’s Debutantes
A debutante is a young woman who is presented to society (typically at a big to-do such as a debutante ball or a cotillion) when she “comes of age.” Back in the day, it signified that a young woman had left childhood and was now eligible for marriage; in modern times, it’s more about introducing new adults to society.
In her startling oil paintings, Sharon VanStarkenburg captures the transition of these young women from adolescence to adulthood. She focuses particularly on the ways in which society “sexualizes, frets over, censors, exploits, and admonishes young women.” The girls in her paintings meet the viewer’s gaze directly, their faces and bodies marked by garish makeup that at times looks eerily like blood. In some cases, their bodies are mutated, almost alien.
The exhibition opens on Thursday, Sept. 10 at Wall Space Gallery and runs until Thursday, Oct. 1. Admission is free. See website for more info. Wall Space Gallery, 358 Richmond Rd., 613-729-0003, wallspacegallery.ca.
Bacon-wrapped scallops, chocolate-covered bacon, maple and bacon doughnuts, bacon bubble gum, bacon ice cream, baconnaise — who would have thought there were so many uses for this addictive strip of meat?
Baconpalooza gets in on bacon mania with a full day devoted to the preparation and consumption of this salty, crispy treat. Stop by food trucks to get a taste of what Ottawa vendors are cooking up, sample beers and cocktails, witness smoking and barbecuing demonstrations, get cooking tips from big-name chefs, and chill out to music by swamp blues band MonkeyJunk and singer-songwriter Drew Nelson.
Baconpalooza is on from 9am to 11pm on Saturday, Sept. 12 at the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum. Tickets start at $15. See website for more info. Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, 901 Prince of Wales Dr., 613-991-3044, baconpalooza.ca.
My Jokes Are Up Here
Last May, comedian Jen Grant had a nasty experience while performing at a corporate event in Toronto. A man in the audience started making inappropriate comments at her, and she eventually left the stage in tears. She wrote about it on her blog afterwards, describing how she was “reminded once again that I am not respected as just a comic. I am a female comic.”
Despite the incident, Grant continues to prove her skill as a comedian, regardless of her gender. She joins three other notable Canadian comedians — Christina Walkinshaw, Rebecca Kohler, and Erica Sigurdson — in the aptly-titled My Jokes Are Up Here. It’s an exclusive event, which means you won’t be able to see all four comics together anywhere else!
The town of Almonte, situated about an hour west of Ottawa, was a textile village from the very beginning. Since the early 1800s, it has been home to more than half a dozen woolen mills, and although they have long since ceased operation, their legacy is kept alive in the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum.
That’s why it’s a fitting venue for Fibrefest, an event that is now in its 28th year. Drop by for special exhibits, demonstrations, an assortment of vendors, tea and sandwiches, and much more.
The festival begins on Saturday, Sept. 12 and continues until Sunday, Sept. 13. Admission is $5. See website for more info. Mississippi Valley Textile Museum, 3 Rosamond St. E., Almonte, 613-265-3754, mvtm.ca.