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Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for June 8 to 10

Rajaton plays the music of ABBA at the NAC on Friday

Join award-winning vocalist group Rajaton this Friday as they perform some of ABBA’s greatest hits with the NAC Orchestra. Expect to hear songs like “Dancing Queen,” “Mamma Mia,” and “Money Money Money,” and catch yourself singing along with the crowd. The six-member group has risen to fame in their native Finland with platinum record sales.

The three-day Carnival of Cultures, a celebration of music, song, and dance from different cultures across the world, starts this Friday. Over 50 performers will take to the stage this weekend, showcasing dance, music, and storytelling. Cultural exhibits and food are also on the bill. Friday’s performances include an opening ceremony, dancers from Flamenco Studio Ottawa, and Bollywood for Fun.

For over two decades, the Canada Dance Festival has celebrated the art of dance in Canada. This week-long event will feature performers from across the country. Saturday’s events include a Professional Training Program Showcase, a performance by Kidd Pivot, and more. Jeanne Holmes joins the festival this year as newly appointed Artistic Director.

Feeling a little sluggish? This Saturday’s Great Canadian Boot Camp on Parliament Hill will help kick start your summer workout routine. The morning starts with a seminar, and continues with a free boot camp hosted by fitness guru Paul Plakas, host of TV’s X-Weighted and Taking It Off. This outdoor event is expected to draw large crowds and is a great opportunity to learn new exercise techniques.

The 38th Italian Week will take over the neighbourhood of Little Italy this weekend with an annual celebration of everything Italian. Saturday’s festivities include a feast at St. Anthony’s Church Parish, where traditional Italian dishes such as pasta, polpette, and more will be served. Italian Week also commemorates the second annual celebration of Italian Heritage Month, which is ongoing throughout the month of June in Ontario.

Ottawa rocker John Allaire plays Westfest this Sunday

kicks off its 9th annual edition in the neighbourhood of Westboro this weekend. The three-day outdoor festival celebrates music, art and life in the city’s west end. This Sunday’s events feature performances by The Cooper Brothers, John Allaire, Peter Joynt, Tara Holloway and many more. All weekend long, the festival will take to the streets with dance acts, roaming street performers, buskers, and a kidzone.

Sunday is the last day to catch Circle Mirror Transformation at the Great Canadian Theatre Company. The play is set in a dance studio at a local community centre, and revolves around four students in a drama class. The students’ true characters start to show once they begin to partake in the theatre games they act out with one another.

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