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Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for October 14 to 16

Friday, Oct. 14
In a few short years, Dan Mangan has gone from globetrotting folk crooner to one of music’s most promising storytellers. His critically-acclaimed sophomore album Nice, Nice Very Nice, earned him a Polaris Music Prize shortlist, a spot at Glastonbury two years running, sold out shows the world over, and accolades galore. Mangan recently released Oh Fortune and has launched a tour in support of the album. Catch him live at Bronson Centre with opening acts The Daredevil Christopher Wright from Wisconsin and Vancouver’s The Crackling.

The One World Film Festival brings groundbreaking documentaries to Ottawa — and brings filmmakers together with organizations that are working to change the status quo in areas of social justice, human rights, and the environment. Highlights of the 22nd annual festival include a workshop on funding with Ruaridh Arrow, director of How to Start a Revolution, and a post-screening discussion with award-winning author and journalist Kathy Cook about her book Stolen Angels: the Kidnapped Girls of Uganda, which is currently being made into a movie starring Uma Thurman. The festival runs Thursday to Sunday and screenings take place at Library and Archives Canada.

Return on a Snowy Night. Photo credit: Liu Zeen.

Saturday, Oct. 15
Love the ballet? Then check out Guangzhou Ballet from China, which performs Return on a Snowy Night at the National Arts Centre. This provocative four-act ballet tells the tragic love story of a well-known Peking Opera singer and a high-ranking official’s concubine over a 20-year period. A feast for the eyes and ears, it’s classical ballet that incorporates traditional Chinese dance, opera, and music.

Put on your dancing shoes and your spiffiest suit or snazziest dress for the 11th annual EveningFest Gala. Enjoy delish appetizers and partake in a silent auction, but music is the star of the show tonight. This year’s event provides an eclectic musical line-up. Live jazz musicians from the Dr. Jazz Quartet are joined by lead jazz vocalist Kim Kaskiw, followed by Ottawa’s own electro funk-duo StrayOtic. At 10pm, it becomes a dance party when Mercury Lounge Resident DJs Lance Baptiste, Trevor Walker, and Jeffrey Lapratte start spinning. The goal of this yearly charity ball is to have fun, but also to raise funds for Child Haven International. This charity, which was inspired by Gandhi, has eight homes in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Tibet, where they care for more than a thousand destitute children and some 200 women in need by providing food, shelter, education, and health care.

Sunday, Oct. 16
The eight-time Grammy Award winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Jeff Beck is one of the U.K.’s leading artists and one of the most influential lead guitarists in rock history. His skills have earned him appearances on albums by artists you may have heard of: Mick Jagger, Stevie Wonder, Roger Waters, ZZ Top — the list goes on. He’s also played with modern music darlings Joss Stone and Imogen Heap. You can catch the artist wailing on his signature Fender Stratocaster this Sunday night when he plays Ottawa.

Your mini mad scientists will get a kick out of Science FunFest, which is part of National Science and Technology Week activities taking place across Canada. This free science fair is hosted by Natural Resources Canada, which throws open its doors for children and families and offers exciting hands-on exhibits and activities that prove science can be fun (we promise!). On the bill: energy-efficient cars, a chocolate chip cookie mining expedition, rocks and fossils identification (bring your own from home), a barbecue, face painting, and much more. See the full list of activities taking place in Ottawa and across the country on the website.

Venture to the far north to meet Allashua, an Inuit girl who doesn’t listen when her parents warn her to stay away from the ocean. Based on the book A Promise is a Promise by Robert Munsch and Michael Kusugak, the play by Rag & Bone Puppet Theatre is 45 minutes long and best suited for children aged four and up. Visit the show website for a short clip and other stuff about A Promise is a Promise. With live music, high-tech effects, and well-researched set design, the play has been a hit with adults and children alike.

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