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Modern Cuisine at Carben Food + Drink

(Photo: Michelle Zheng)

Inspired by international cuisine, Carben plates food that is as beautiful as it is delicious. (Photo: Michelle Zheng)

Carben Food + Drink is the latest addition to the food scene in Hintonburg, located just west of downtown. Owned and operated by a husband and wife team (both of whom have done their time in kitchens around town), its large windows, clean modern decor, and such homey touches as shelves full of books create a welcoming atmosphere. The food, inspired by international cuisine, is made to impress the eyes as well as the palate. Whether you stop by for dinner or brunch, make sure you don’t miss out on their desserts; they’re as bold and experimental as they are tasty. —Amy Allen
•Carben Food + Drink, 1100 Wellington St. W., 613-792-4000. carbenrestaurant.com

Creepy, Crawly Bugs at the Museum of Nature

(Photo: Outhouse Exhibit Services)

Get the inside scoop on the smallest members of the animal kingdom at Bugs: Outside the Box. (Photo: Outhouse Exhibit Services)

Insects are among the smallest denizens of the animal kingdom. For the most part, they live among us unnoticed, but we’re usually quick to squish them when they enter our space. But these tiny creatures play a larger role in the ecological processes of our world than many of us realize. They may look small, simple, and uncomplicated, but their biologies are in fact quite complex. In Bugs: Outside the Box, master sculptor Lorenzo Possenti re-creates these biologies in large scale, showing the hardened exoskeletons, sensitive antennae, and intricate digestive systems of the world’s various insects. On display at the Canadian Museum of Nature until March 27, 2016. —Amy Allen
•Canadian Museum of Nature, 240 McLeod St., 613-566-4700. nature.ca
Map and reviews

The Magic of Film at Mirror Mountain

The documentary Lost Conquest investigates claims that the Vikings once settled in Minnesota (say what?!).

The documentary Lost Conquest — just one of many films screening at Mirror Mountain Film Festival — investigates claims that the Vikings once settled in Minnesota (say what?!). 

DEC. 4 TO 6 Mirror Mountain Film Festival is a newcomer to Ottawa’s festival scene. With a focus on independent, underground, and alternative cinema, it screens horror, science-fiction, and fantasy films alongside critically acclaimed dramas, indies, and documentaries. In its inaugural year, it’s showing Lost Conquest, a full-length documentary that investigates claims that the Vikings — a sea-faring people, remember — once settled in the land-locked state of Minnesota, as well as Der Spaete Vogel (The Late Bird), a German film in which a 71-year-old woman exchanges her mundane life for adventures in outer space. —Amy Allen
•Various venues. mirrormountainfilmfest.com

Life Lessons in Angel Square

Angel Square is a classic coming-of-age story by Ottawa writer Brian Doyle.

Angel Square is a classic coming-of-age story, adapted for the stage from the novel of the same name by Ottawa writer Brian Doyle.

DEC. 3 TO 20 The year is 1945. The Second World War has only just ended, and racial tensions are still present in the streets of Ottawa. Tommy, a young boy living in the seedy, multi-ethnic neighbourhood of Lowertown, is on a mission: to find the perpetrator of a savage crime against his best friend’s father. He conducts his investigation in Angel Square, where French, Irish Catholic, and Jewish kids constantly duke it out. Based on the beloved novel by Brian Doyle, this play tackles some difficult issues — namely, the dangers of racial prejudice, the struggles of the working class, and the awkward transition from childhood to adolescence. But at its heart, it’s about learning to understand one another. —Amy Allen
•The Great Canadian Theatre Company, 1233 Wellington St. W., 613-236-5196. gctc.ca

A Canadian Tale: Anne & Gilbert

The adventures of Canada's favourite red-haired heroine continue in Anne & Gilbert, the musical. (Photo: Louise Vessey)

The adventures of Anne Shirley, Canada’s favourite red-haired heroine, continue in the musical Anne & Gilbert. (Photo: Louise Vessey)

DEC. 1 TO 19 Anne Shirley, the ebullient, red-haired orphan from L.M. Montgomery’s classic Anne of Green Gables, is poised to start her new teaching job at the Avonlea school. To complicate things further, her former rival and childhood friend, Gilbert Blythe, proposes to her — but he doesn’t quite live up to her sentimental ideal of true love. What’s a girl to do? Through music and dance, Anne & Gilbert: The Musical chronicles the continuing adventures of Canada’s favourite redhead. The play was written and premiered in Prince Edward Island, and its music has received an East Coast Music Award. —Amy Allen
•National Arts Centre, Theatre, 53 Elgin St., 866-850-2787. nac-cna.ca
Map and reviews

Dig Into Canadiana at Smoke’s Poutinerie

Smoke's (Photo: Amy Allen)

Drop in at Smoke’s Poutinerie for some truly Canadian comfort food. (Photo: Amy Allen)

Fries, gravy, and cheese curds — put them together and you get poutine, that quintessential French Canadian staple. Smoke’s Poutinerie takes it to another level, though, with their creative toppings. More than two dozen are on offer, including bacon, sausage, pulled pork, chicken, beef, steak, mushrooms, peas, and onions. They also have sauces you can drizzle on top: sriracha, guacamole, and salsa, to name just a few. Vegetarian options are available. —Amy Allen
•Smoke’s Poutinerie, 407 Dalhousie St., 613-789-2873. smokespoutinerie.com
Map and reviews

Sword of Wisdom: An Extraordinary Journey

Sword of Wisdom is a breathtaking tale of courage and discipline. (Photo: Courtesy of U-Theatre)

Sword of Wisdom is a soaring, spectacular tale of courage and discipline. (Photo: Courtesy of U-Theatre)

NOV. 24 Sword of Wisdom, a lavish, breathtaking production by Taiwanese dance company U-Theatre, blends drama, dance, and music to tell the story of the Brave One as he faces his fears and overcomes adversity. Set to the beating of many drums, the story traces the Brave One’s traces journey through precise movements and gestures commonly found in the sacred dances of India and Central Asia. The dancers’ soaring movements, the incredible beauty of the performances, and the discipline of the entire company make it a must-see. —Amy Allen
•National Arts Centre, Southam Hall, 53 Elgin St., 866-850-2787. nac-cna.ca
Map and reviews

Hit the Slopes!

Located just two hours northeast of Ottawa, Mont Tremblant opens for ski season on November 20. (Photo: Mont Tremblant)

Located just two hours northeast of Ottawa, Mont Tremblant opens for ski season on November 20. (Photo: Mont Tremblant)

Come November, many enthusiastic skiers eagerly anticipate the first significant snowfall of the season. But there’s really no reason to wait — not when Mont Tremblant, located just two hours northeast of Ottawa, gets a head start on the season with its snow-making machines. The mountain’s ski season opens on November 26. With 96 downhill runs geared toward skiers of varying skill levels, we’re confident you’ll find something to get your blood pumping — whether you’re taking your first steps on the mountain or skiing for the thousandth time. —Amy Allen
•Mont Tremblant, 1000, ch. des Voyageurs, Mont Tremblant, 866-356-2233. tremblant.ca
Map and reviews

Say Yes to the Dress at The Handmade Bride


(Photo: Gaby Bayona)

Truvelle Bridal dresses overlook the street at The Handmade Bride’s new showroom location. (Photo: Gaby Bayona)

(Photo: Kelsey Kromodimoeljo)

A rack of dresses in The Handmade Bride’s sophisticated new space. (Photo: Kelsey Kromodimoeljo)

Finding the right dress is a personalized experience at The Handmade Bride, where the bride’s vision is kept in mind from design to creation. Popular for its vintage-inspired aesthetics and one-of-a-kind dresses, the bridal fashion boutique has moved from its cozy New Edinburgh home to its new flagship location in the Byward Market. Formerly home to La Petite Mort Gallery, the shop still holds the showroom ambience of its predecessor, and the relaxed and sophisticated space is filled with beautiful wedding dresses and accessories.

The Handmade Bride carefully curates an in-store collection of independent designers who create their dresses as original works of art. During our visit to the store, we met Gaby Bayona, owner and creative director of Truvelle Bridal. Though the Vancouver-based line is now available worldwide, The Handmade Bride was the first retailer to carry it, after discovering Bayona’s creations on Etsy back in 2013. Like many of the dresses at The Handmade Bride, Truvelle’s designs are modern, refined and effortless to wear.

(Photo: Kelsey Kromodimoeljo)

Find handmade accessories to complement your wedding day look. (Photo: Kelsey Kromodimoeljo)

All dresses at The Handmade Bride can be customized and made-to-measure with the help of the boutique’s bridal stylists. Brides-to-be can also bring in a dress from elsewhere for alterations and other personal touches. Besides gowns, the shop also carries plenty of exquisite accessories, such as jewel-encrusted sashes, lace boleros, floral crowns, and bridal clutches, to complete your wedding day look.

•The Handmade Bride, 306 Cumberland St., 613-695-8247, handmadebride.ca


Six things to do the weekend of Nov. 19 to 22


Basia Bulat performs at Library and Archives Canada on Thursday, Nov. 18.

Basia Bulat performs at Library and Archives Canada on Thursday, Nov. 19.

Basia Bulat at the Ottawa Jazz Fest’s Benefit Concert
Basia Bulat is a rising star in the Canadian folk scene. She has been nominated for two Juno Awards — in 2011 for New Artist of the Year and again in 2014 for her album Tall Tall Shadow. On Thursday, Nov. 19, she performs songs from her upcoming album, Good Advice, at the Ottawa Jazz Festival’s annual benefit concert and live auction. Prizes at the live auction include vacations, spa packages, gift cards, concert tickets, shopping trips, and more. Tickets $50. See website for more info. Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington St., ottawajazzfestival.com.

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10 Holiday Events in Ottawa


(Photo: Samantha Katz)

Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet pirouettes into town with its beloved interpretation of The Nutcracker. (Photo: Samantha Katz)

Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet: The Nutcracker
DEC. 2 TO 6 Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker has been a holiday classic since the 1950s, and Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet stages a thoroughly Canadian version by setting it in early 1900s Winnipeg. You’ll see more than just sugar plum fairies dancing across the stage this time around — think hockey players, Mounties, and a pack of adorable polar bears. From $20. National Arts Centre, Southam Hall, 53 Elgin St., 866-850-2787, nac-cna.ca.

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A Life in Pictures: nichola feldman-kiss

(nichola feldman-kiss, a yard of ashes, video still from after Africa, 2012, HD video triptych.  ©nichola feldman-kiss and CARCC, 2015.)

(nichola feldman-kiss, a yard of ashes, video still from after Africa, 2012, HD video triptych. ©nichola feldman-kiss and CARCC, 2015)

Identity, global conflict, and trauma — nichola feldman-kiss has explored these issues throughout her artistic practice, which spans well over two decades. Her latest exhibition, witness, traces the progression of her career, from her early examination of the artistic process to a 2012 trip to war-torn Sudan, which had a lasting influence on her work. The exhibition comprises three separate installations: childish objects, a collection of items that reflect feldman-kiss’s earliest thoughts about art; after Africa, a video triptych on the subject of geopolitical violence; and her latest work, between here and there, which explores issues surrounding the international bone trade. On display at Ottawa Art Gallery until Feb. 7, 2016. —Amy Allen
Ottawa Art Gallery, 2 Daly Ave., 613-233-8699. ottawaartgallery.ca
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