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Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for September 7 to 9

Friday, September 7

Bon Iver plays the Ottawa Folk Festival on Monday

This weekend marks the 19th anniversary of the Ottawa Folk Festival, the city’s annual five-day fusion of music, dance and visual arts. Operating under new management – the Bluesfest organizers took control in 2011 – this year’s event will feature a slew of big-name acts such as Bon Iver, Lindsey Buckingham, Ben Harper and Matthew Good. Also on the bill are local musicians Kathleen Edwards, Black Dogs and Brock Zeman.

The Gladstone is kicking off its 2012/2013 season this Friday with a performance of Stones in His Pockets, the award-winning comedy by Marie Jones. Directed by John P. Kelly and starring Richard Gélinas and Zach Counsil, the play is based around a sleepy town in rural Ireland. Things start to go awry when a Hollywood film crew sets up shop and the locals struggle to portray the idyllic lifestyle the team set out to capture.

The 154th annual Russell Fair is on this weekend, promising four back-to-back days of rural entertainment at its finest. Scheduled events include a demolition derby, truck and tractor pulls, karaoke contests, midway games, “Fair Factor” and “Deal or No Deal” competitions, and an unbeatable lineup of live entertainment.

Saturday, September 8

Ottawa’s Joyce El-Khoury plays Mimi in Opera Lyra’s La Bohème.

Opera Lyra is making its 2012/2013 debut this evening with a performance of Giacomo Puccini’s world-famous opera, La BohèmeSet in the Latin Quarter of Paris in the mid-1800s, La Bohème centres on an eclectic mix of young bohemians as they struggle to find their way through love and loss. Ottawa-born Joyce El-Khoury stars as Mimi. Runs Sept. 8, 10, 12 and 15 at the National Arts Centre.

With an impressive resume that boasts three books, 40 plays, a handful of comedy albums and film performances, and a recurring role on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Lewis Black is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after stand-ups in the comedy world. Experience his inimitable energy this weekend, as Black brings his Running On Empty tour to the National Arts Centre.

Looking to escape the city this weekend? Look no further than the Discovery Tour, a day-long jaunt through the rural Ottawa South communities of North Gower and Kars. Get acquainted with local artisans and restaurateurs while reveling in the beauty of the area’s picturesque farmland. Though admission is free, donations in support of the North Gower Food Bank are welcome.

Sunday, September 9

Take your pup for a stroll and raise funds for the Ottawa Humane Society during the Iams Wiggle Waggle Walkathon.

The Iams Wiggle Waggle Walkathon returns this Sunday to Bruce Pit. Now in its 24th year, the event remains one of the Ottawa Humane Society’s most important fundraisers of the year. So, grab your pooch and a pair of sneakers, and head out to support a great cause this weekend. Registration begins at 8am, walk begins at 10am.

Heritage Ottawa Walking Tours is launching its fall season in the village of Cumberland this weekend. Local historians Dorothy-Jane Smith and Jean François Beaulieu will be on hand to guide guests through the area’s rich and storied past. Those looking to extend their tour are invited to continue on to the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum, which features historic properties that have been relocated from around the community. Tour starts at 2pm at 2552 Old Montreal Road, Cumberland.

There will be an explosion of colours and sounds this Sunday as representatives from 20 Latin American and Caribbean countries make their way from the Supreme Court of Canada to City Hall as part of Latin Fest. The parade, which starts at 2pm, will highlight the National Capital Region’s vibrant Latin community. Be sure to check out the follow-up event — the Latin Fair — on Sept. 23 at St. Anthony’s Banquet Hall.

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