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A Company of Fools

Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for August 17-19

Friday, August 17

Capital Pride Festival

Ottawa gets a little more colourful during the annual Capital Pride Festival, which begins tonight. Join the celebrations with the official Capital Pride Week party, an awards gala, and a drag show – all happening tonight! Events take place at venues around town, and the festival runs until August 26.

Calabogie Peaks Resort on Lake Calabogie hosts music and ribs all weekend long at the 2nd annual Class Axe Guitars Calabogie Blues and Ribfest. Headlining are the Downchild Blues Band, the Powder Blues Band, and David Rotundo. Rip into tasty creations from ribbers from all over Canada and the United States as they compete for coveted prizes, and enjoy free guitar and harmonica workshops.

Join the party at the Hellenic Centre for Greekfest! Sample Greek cuisine, enjoy live, traditional music and cooking demonstrations, and sit down for Greek language and dance lessons. Don’t miss the Zorba show, on nightly. Until August 26.

Saturday, August 18

Hear ye, hear ye! Tonight is the last night to see the Torchlight Shakespeare production of Henry V by A Company of Fools. This troupe aims to make Shakespeare accessible to all, in an open-air setting. The show promises blood, battle, romance, and of course, some foolishness. Tonight’s performance will be held at Stanley Park/New Edinburgh Park during the Lumière Festival. Pass-the-hat admission.

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12 Days of Christmas in Ottawa

By Misa Kobayashi.

While the traditional carol offers up lords-a-leaping and swans-a-swimming, we bring you 12 ideas for fun outings and events to take you through the holiday season (no partridge required). (more…)

10 Things to Do for $10 or Less

Who says you have to break the bank to have fun? Not us, that’s for sure! Here are just a few activities you can do in Ottawa on the cheap.
By Misa Kobayashi

The ByWard Market. Photo credit: OTCA.

1) Outdoor markets: $0-$10
This city has an awesome selection of farmers’ markets from which to score baked goods, fresh produce, flowers, jewellery — you name it. Located in the heart of downtown, the historic ByWard Market is a must for its bustling shops and vendors. Another top pick is the Ottawa Farmers’ Market on Sundays in the Glebe neighbourhood. We love the many restaurants that set up shop in the outdoor food court. See www.byward-market.com or www.ottawafarmersmarket.ca.

2) Downtown art galleries: Free
Check out a contemporary art exhibit at the City Hall Gallery, Karsh-Masson Gallery, or Ottawa Art Gallery, all of which are located within walking distance of each other in the downtown core. Even better? All offer either free admission or pay-what-you-can. See the gallery listings for more info.

3) Splash pads: Free
Beat the heat on a hot day with your kiddies at one of the city’s splash pads. Our favourite is Brewer Park (100 Brewer Way), for its excellent picnic spots, sprinklers, mini water slide, and three different play structures. A list of splash pads can be found at www.ottawa.ca.

Buskerfest on Sparks Street.

4) International Busker Festival: Pay-what-you-can
This annual fest lights up Sparks Street Mall from July 28 to Aug. 1, when performers from around the world strut their stuff. Enjoy daily shows that captivate and delight with performances that are all about unusual — and often daring — talents. See www.sparksstreetmall.com.

5) Lunch at Di Rienzo: $5-$10
This authentic grocery and deli, located in Little Italy, is part corner store, part sandwich shop. Locals arrive in droves at lunchtime, so there’s often a line-up out the door. Choose your bread, your toppings, and your meat, and grab a seat at the park across the street, or take a stroll through the charming neighbourhood. 111 Beech St., 613-729-4037. (more…)

Weekend Roundup: Valentine’s Day Edition

Friday, February 11

Jim Bryson and The Weakerthans perform Feb. 11 at Capital Music Hall. Photo credit: Kelp Records.

Canadian indie legends The Weakerthans teamed up with local hero Jim Bryson to record The Falcon Lake Incident last year, and are taking the album on the road. Playing Bryson’s hometown after weeks of touring, catch this amazing collaboration at the Capital Music Hall this Friday with your valentine. Have dinner in the bustling Byward Market or on Elgin Street. End the night with a glass of wine at Must in the Market.

For any gentlemen looking for last minute bling for their lady friends, Disegno Fine Jewellery is hosting a “Men’s Night” from 4 to 8 p.m. to offer a wee bit of guidance. This evening of shopping includes beer and chips, a hockey puck with every purchase, and of course, a sweet selection of beautiful baubles (RSVP required, 613-482-1614).

Saturday, February 12

The outdoor baths at Le Nordik are amazing in winter. Photo credit: Le Nordik.

Take a romantic getaway for two this weekend with an intimate spa session. Both the chic Holtz Spa downtown and Gatineau’s Le Nordik nature spa offer relaxing, romantic packages for couples. Enjoy the Chocolate Delights package at Holtz or take an energizing dip in the Nordik baths.

For a cost effective Valentine’s date, take in Winterlude with a romantic skate on the canal – there are plenty of places to rent skates if you don’t have a pair. Warm up with a BeaverTail or hot apple cider as you walk through the ice sculptures in Confederation Park with your sweetheart.

It’s the last weekend for the Great Canadian Theatre Company’s acclaimed Strawberries in January. Curl up next to your sweetheart and enjoy the fizzy romantic comedy of four singletons trying to find love in the dead of a Montreal winter. Have dinner at the ultra trendy Wellington Gastropub or delight in a vegetarian meal at The Table for a romantic night, enjoying the best the up-and-coming Hintonburg neighbourhood has to offer.

Sunday, February 13

Enjoy a sexy evening out at Kinki Asian-Fusion Restaurant.

Dinner and a movie could be a boring date, but not if you’re watching one of the most endearing love stories to hit the silver screen. Amélie, the mad-cap story of a Parisian girl finding love for those around her, is playing Sunday to Tuesday at the Bytowne Cinema in the heart of Ottawa. Mix it up and grab dinner somewhere fashionable like Ottawa’s Asian fusion favourite, Kinki.

If you like dancing, swing by the Canada Aviation and Space Museum Sunday afternoon for a ton of big band favourites. The “Con Amore” concert will feature the Grey Jazz Big Band and roses will be handed out to the first hundred women wearing red. It’s free with museum admission, so take in the museum’s collection of aviation artefacts while you’re there.

Monday, February 14

Instead of chocolates and flowers, buy the one you love a personalized sonnet, performed on bended knee. On Valentine’s Day, you can send a costumed actor from A Company of Fools to deliver a Shakespearean poem to your sweetie’s work or home, along with a small bag of sweets.