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Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for February 3 to 5

Quinsin Nachoff is just one of the performers taking the stage at the Ottawa Winter Jazzfest.

Friday, Feb. 3
Jazz up your weekend by taking in the international and local talent at the first annual Ottawa Winter Jazzfest. Whether you’re a seasoned jazz enthusiast or looking to diversify your musical tastes, this festival promises to thaw that winter chill. Hop all over downtown Ottawa, from the National Arts Centre to Club SAW to the Mercury Lounge to catch the smooth sounds of artists such as Megan Jerome, Quinsin Nachoff, Remi Bolduc, and the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble of Chicago.

Experience Ottawa’s diverse architecture and examine the relationship between architecture, the arts, and politics through music with Polytectures. This sound walk was created by Montreal’s Antoine Bédard and 10 local musicians. Through a variety of musical styles, Polytectures allows visitors and locals alike to experience Ottawa’s architecture in new ways by pairing songs with local landmarks. Although the entire walk is an hour long, it has been divided into sections with warm-up breaks for Winterlude.

If you’re a film buff with a soft spot for independent cinema, then you’re going to want to Get Iced this weekend. The Independent Filmmakers Co-operative of Ottawa is presenting 10 new Super 8 short films made by local filmmakers in cooperation with Winterlude. Afterwards, unwind with drinks at the Soviet-style reception hosted by Avant-Garde Bar and Gift Shop. The party continues at the bar after 9:30pm with live music and no cover charge.

This Friday, Yamantaka //Sonic Titan and Boyhood bring the party to Babylon. Yamantaka //Sonic Titan are a psychedelic opera group that fuses noise, metal, folk, and pop music to create an east-meets-west culture clash extravaganza. Boyhood is new on the Ottawa scene, bringing catchy songs with haunting melodies.

Saturday, Feb. 4
Hop in the car for a road trip to catch Jeremy Fisher and Chris Velan at the Black Sheep Inn. Fisher is a Canadian folk-pop troubadour and artist, who plays the guitar, slide guitar, and harmonica, while Velan is a Montreal-based singer and songwriter with a diverse range of influences from ’80s alternative to reggae.

Immerse yourself in Akram Khan’s contemporary ensemble dance production, Vertical Road, on at the National Arts Centre. With a cast of performers from across Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, this performance explores 30human kind’s earthly nature, rituals, and the consequences of human actions. The show is inspired by a Sufi tradition, as well as by Rumi, a Persian poet and philosopher, and is backed by a specially commissioned score.

Sunday, Feb. 5
Enjoy the slow Sunday vibe by taking in an afternoon puppet show at the Shenkman Arts Centre. The Flying Canoe, presented by Rag & Bone Puppet Theatre, is a multimedia show that celebrates Canada’s first Francophones. Based on Honoré Beaugrand’s classic French-Canadian tale, La Chasse-Galerie, the play explores the stories, culture, and music of the voyageurs, loggers, trappers, and farm families who helped make Canada the nation it is today. With early film footage, traditional songs, music, and of course puppets, this show has something for everyone.

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