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Ottawa Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for September 16 to 18

"Of the Appearance of Bees" by Andrew Smith. Photo credit: "Involution," 2011, oil on canvas.

Friday, Sept. 16
This date night, why not grab dinner and a show? And by “show,” we mean “art exhibit.” There are lots of public and commercial galleries downtown with interesting exhibits that range from traditional to contemporary. On now at City Hall Gallery is an exhibition of abstract paintings entitled “Of the Appearance of Bees,” by Andrew Smith. Using colours and figures, these oil-on-canvas images depict the working lives of the winged insects, and you’ll be inspired to ask, “How do bees think, act, and feel?” The gallery will be buzzing with Smith’s works until Oct. 23.

Avid Potter fans probably saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part 2 when it debuted its epic final chapter in July. But if you want to see it with 30,000 watts of sound and a 3D screen that’s more than 16 metres tall, check it out tonight when it opens in 3D at the IMAX theatre at the Canadian Museum of Civilization. See Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson reprise their roles for the last time as Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger when they head towards a showdown with Lord Voldemort.

Saturday, Sept. 17
Hugli’s Blueberry Ranch is the place to be as the leaves change colours and the air turns crisp. Today is the launch of Fall Family Fun Activities, which runs until Oct. 30. This seasonal event boasts a plethora of quirky and exciting entertainment that includes pig races on the Hugli’s speedway (seriously!), a six acre corn maze, plus pirate ship, hay, and pumpkin mazes, pumpkin cannon shows, a hay jump, and puppet shows, among other activities. In the upcoming weekends there are also giant pumpkin weigh offs (Sept. 24) and giant pumpkin boat races (Sept. 25), and other Halloween-themed events.

The West End Studio Tour, which runs Sept. 17 and 18 and 24 and 25, gets art lovers out of the gallery and into the studios and homes of some 20 artists. We recommend checking out Rob Huntley‘s landscape images (especially the aerial ones) for an interesting perspective on cityscapes and landmarks. Other artists taking place include Alice Hinther, Wendy Feldberg, Shlomo Feldberg, Deidre Hierlihy, Andrew King, Jeff Wiebe, Paul Wing, and more.

Taste what’s new on the ever-changing Wellington West streetscape as 35 restaurants and food shops show off their wares and offer up samples during Taste of Wellington West. More than 50 other retail businesses will also take part in the grand sidewalk sale and street fair. To complement the browsing, there’s a classic car show, kids’ play area, bike parade, street performers, and live music.

Sunday, Sept. 18
More than 16,000 people will hit the streets on Sunday morning for the Army Run, a sold-out race that features a 5K and a half marathon. Whether running or cheering on the runners, it’s a fun, competitive event where those in the Canadian Forces, military friends and families, and civilians run side by side (plus participants get dog tag medals at the finish line, how cool is that?). Keep an eye out for three-time Paralympian medal recipient Jason Dunkerley and Lieutenant Ryan McKenzie (who won gold in 2008 and 2009) during this year’s 5K. Fundraising efforts go towards Canadian Forces Personnel Support programs, which include Soldier On and the Military Families Fund. The 5K takes place at 8am and the half marathon at 9am. Route starts will be on Laurier Avenue at the corner of Elgin Street.

Indulge your voyeuristic side (and get some great design ideas) at the 11th annual Glebe House Tour, which takes you through six different styles of houses in the neighbourhood. This year’s tour includes a home that was once a rectory, another filled with vintage photos and family heirlooms, and several that straddle the line between stylish and family-friendly.

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