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Ottawa Weekend Calendar: Sept. 3 to 6

BY AMY ALLEN

Take a ride on a hot air balloon at the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival.

Take a ride on a hot air balloon at the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival.

Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival
The hot air balloon occupies an important place in history. In 1783, when the first balloon ascended to the skies above Paris, mankind at last succeeded in taking flight.

Flight technology has progressed a great deal since then, but there’s still something romantic about going airborne on a balloon. Maybe it’s because they look like colourful clouds. Or maybe it’s the leisurely way they fly. Regardless, it’s reason enough to have a festival for them, and that’s exactly what the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival is all about.

Hop a ride on one of dozens of balloons, or keep your feet on the ground and take in some great music by notable Canadian musicians. Other attractions include a graffiti contest, an amusement park, arts and crafts, a classic cars exhibition, and family friendly activities.

The festival begins on Thursday, Sept. 3 and continues until Monday, Sept. 7. Admission starts at $24. Single and multi day passes available. See website for more info and directions. Parc de la Baie, Gatineau, 1-800-668-8383, montgolfieresgatineau.com/en.

Russell Yuristy at Cube Gallery
Known around the world for his drawings, paintings, and ceramic art, Russell Yuristy has always been interested in depicting the land and animals around him. In a new exhibition at Cube Gallery, his drawings of gnarled trees, contented pigs, schools of fish, leaping rabbits, and wise old owls remind us of our link to the natural world.

The vernissage is on Thursday, Sept. 3. The exhibition is on display until Sunday, Oct. 4. Admission is free. See website for more info. Cube Gallery, 1285 Wellington St. W., 613-728-2111, cubegallery.ca.

Toronto folk-rockers Century Thief perform at Pressed on Friday night.

Toronto folk-rockers Century Thief perform at Pressed on Friday night.

Century Thief
Century Thief, despite its relative youth, is often compared to the Arcade Fire. Wielding such varied instruments as the cello, the trumpet, the clarinet, and the electric guitar, the sextet weaves energetic, folk-inspired rock songs that are heavy on lyrical meaning.

And, thanks to the band’s various talents, they aren’t afraid to experiment — guitarist Omar Shabbar, for example, brings his background in jazz to the table.

They perform on Friday, Sept. 4 at Pressed. Admission is $6 at the door. See Facebook event page for more info. Pressed, 750 Gladstone Ave., 613-680-9294, pressed-ottawa.com.

Latin American Parade and Festival
Salsa — it’s not just a delicious, zesty snack to eat with your tortilla chips. It’s also a popular style of music and a red hot Latin American dance. Lucky for us, all three types of salsa will be in the spotlight at the annual Latin American Parade and Festival.

The festivities kick off with a parade along Wellington and Elgin streets and end with a massive party at City Hall. Munch on traditional Latin American cuisine, listen to Latin music, and watch — or even try your hand — at one of South America’s traditional dances.

The festival takes place on Sunday, Sept. 6. The parade begins at 2pm and ends at 4pm, and the festival is on from 4pm to 8pm. Admission is free. See website for parade route and more info. Marion Dewar Plaza, City Hall, 110 Laurier Ave. W., 613-252-2205, latinamericanfestival-latino.org.

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