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Casino du Lac-Leamy

Hot Dining: Le Baccara

Le Baccara. Photo © Photoluxstudio.com – Christian Lalonde

Located within the Casino du Lac-Leamy, Le Baccara makes dining an elegant affair. Complete with rich fabrics and handsome furnishings, it feels a world away from the buzzing excitement of the gaming floor. Having received the CAA-AAA Five Diamond distinction since 2001, this is a restaurant that has staked a claim at the top of Ottawa’s dining scene. Enjoy the French-influenced cuisine, made with market-fresh ingredients, and be sure to order a bottle of vino from the wine cellar, which houses 500 different varieties as part of a 13,000-bottle collection.

 1, boul. du Casino, Gatineau, 819-772-6210. www.casinolacleamy.ca

Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for July 13-15

Friday, July 13

WICKED plays the NAC from July 11 to 29. Photo © Joan Marcus.

Wizard of Oz fans everywhere (and fans of musicals in general) will love Wicked. Returning to Ottawa after a very successful run in 2008, this Tony and Grammy Award-winning Broadway musical is sure to please. Instead of the doe-eyed girl from Kansas, this tale follows Glinda the Good, and her counter, the Wicked Witch of the West. Running at the National Arts Centre from July 11 to 29.

For those with a literary flare: The Dusty Owl, a popular reading series that began in the ’90s, showcases Ottawa talent and special guests in the historic Elmdale House Tavern. Tonight features two published poets, Christine McNair and Ottawa’s rob mclennan (yes, all lowercase).

Channeling the sensibilities, fashion, and music of the 1950’s and ’60s, Two for the Seesaw opens tonight, part of the Classic Theatre Festival. This Tony Award-winning comedy is set in 1958 and follows two lost souls trying to find themselves in New York City. Showing until August 5 at the Mason Theatre in Perth.

Saturday, July 14

Hope Volleyball Summerfest takes over Mooney's Bay on July 14.

Each year, Hope Volleyball Summerfest brings out more than 25,000 players and spectators to Mooney’s Bay Beach for a day of volleyball and live music to raise money for over 110 local charities. The 30th anniversary of the event will feature performances by Mother Mother, Ill Scarlet and Treble Charger.



Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for April 13 to 15

Friday, April 13
Gallery 101 presents the work of John Saski in the solo exhibition “I’ll Try to Move It.” Saski’s canvas is the world around him, as he uses everyday objects to comment on the struggles of everyday life. Saski can transform a pile of ladders or a box fireworks into art.

Kids will love the upbeat tunes of Imagination Movers at Centrepointe Theatre. The Movers dance around onstage to their friendly music, and the bright costumes and colourful lights will keep kids enthralled until the end.

New Country Rehab

New Country Rehab plays at the Black Sheep Inn on Saturday, April 14.

Saturday, April 14
One of Canada’s most exciting new bands, New Country Rehab, is coming to the Black Sheep Inn this weekend. New Country Rehab blends indie, bluegrass, and roots rock—a perfect sound to go with sipping a cool beer on a long weekend evening. Each member has had an extensive musical career, and their different skills form a complex combination of sounds.

For one day only, Shop Your Local Talent by the Old Ottawa South Community Association offers handmade crafts from the Ottawa area. Peruse pottery, jewellery, handmade cards, painting, baking, and more from 20 of Ottawa’s artisans.This is a great opportunity to brighten your home or get a head start on Mother’s Day.

World-renowned mentalist The Amazing Kreskin is appearing at Casino du Lac Leamy. Kreskin astounds audiences worldwide with his uncanny ability to reveal their thoughts and tap into the power of the human mind.

Sunday, April 15
Commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s tragic disaster with Titanic Remembered at the Canadian Science and Technology Museum. Listen to stories of the Titanic’s maiden voyage, see a six metre long replica of the ship, and learn about the technology surrounding it. There is also underwater footage of the ship’s remains and an opportunity to build your own ship!

Travel back in time to one of the most romantic moments of the last century. Casino du Lac Leamy is recreating the setting of the last dinner served to first class travellers aboard the Titanic,which sank on April 15, 100 years ago. Titanic Evening is a seven-course surf and turf gourmet meal inspired by the flavours of the early 1900s.

Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for March 30 to April 1

Chic coats, cool jewellery, and plenty to decorate the home are on offer at this weekend's Ottawa Antiques Show.

Friday, March 30
The Ottawa Antiques Show is back for its annual spring edition, bringing with it a slew of great finds. But make no mistake: this isn’t your grandma’s show. While it does boast an assortment of century-old antiques, it’s also the place to find designer goods and hidden treasures. Vendors carry a selection of retro and vintage products; think designer jewellery by Tiffany & Co., haute couture accessories from Chanel and Hermès, handbags by Prada, and Rolex watches. Happy hunting!

Celebrate Canada’s diverse musical talent with Classical JUNOs in Concert, where JUNO nominated performers, such as Susan Hoeppner and Christina Petrowska Quilico, break out an array of instruments to perform classical pieces, including those by nominated composers. The afternoon concert is free and held in the lobby of the National Arts Centre.

Saturday, March 31
Step into the fantastical world of Tara Luz Danse – Les Billes, a creation of choreographer Anik Bouvrette, at the Shenkman Arts Centre. Here, dancers incorporate unusual objects into their movements: large marbles, lit hoops, and Chinese lanterns that resemble planets. In this lush performance of contemporary dance that has charmed both children and adults – not an easy task – the audience gets swept up in the question “When I close my eyes, in my imagination, I see…”

Come and be astounded by the magic of world-class illusionist Greg Frewin in his Vegas-style show, Beyond Belief, at the Théâtre du Casino. Frewin is the only magician to have won every major magic award in North America, and he has performed throughout the world. His show, featuring tigers, showgirls, and amazing illusions, will undoubtedly leave you beyond belief, just as it’s name promises. (more…)

Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for March 2 to 4

This photo shows actors from Orpheus Musical Theatre Society rehearsing for "Rent."

Friday, March 2
Orpheus Musical Theatre brings its rendition of the Tony Award-winning Rent to the stage. Based on Puccini’s La Bohème, this rock opera follows a group of young, struggling artists trying to make it in New York City. Gritty and modern, the friends face challenges that range from relationships to money to the health threat of HIV and AIDS. See why the musical lasted 12 years on Broadway when this local theatre group takes on the show. (And don’t be surprised if you start humming songs like “La Vie Bohème B” and “Seasons of Love” and dreaming of running away to the Big Apple.) Opening tonight and running until March 11.

In 1971, Pink Floyd played two shows in Quebec, one in Montreal and one in Quebec city, for the first time ever. Celebrate the 40th anniversary of these legendary concerts with the 2011 travelling show Eclipse – The Pink Floyd Story, on at Casino du Lac-Leamy. This commemorative performance demonstrates the band’s evolution, with a live band performing the best of Pink Floyd from the early days to the later years. Moving lights, spectacular lasers, and video projections make this a complete sensory experience.

Enter the musical universe of Kyssi Wète this Friday at the National Arts Centre. Wète mixes the sounds and rhythms of blues, reggae, rumba, soul, raga, and pop to transport his audiences somewhere between France, Jamaica, and the Congo. Using human diversity and relationships as his inspiration, he relays messages of interracial harmony with his unique voice.

Saturday, March 3
Celebrate International Women’s Week on the opening day of the Celebrate HER Charity Music and Art Festival. The festival celebrates outstanding women in the Ottawa community with a week full of art, music, dance, theatre, and spoken word poetry. Check out this year’s centrepiece: the “Amazing Women-Femmes d’exception” photo installation at Alpha Soul Café, which includes women such as University of Ottawa professor Constance Backhouse and children’s author Naomi Guzman Poole. (more…)

Hot Dates: Get Lucky at the Casino

The gaming floor is a hot spot at the Casino du Lac-Leamy.

Revel in the energy and excitement at the Casino du Lac-Leamy, where there’s more to do than gamble (although there’s plenty of that, too!). In February, take in one of the shows that are on the bill (ABBA Memories, Dance into the Light, or The British Invasion: Beatles Story). Enjoy dinner at the gourmet Le Baccara or one of the other restaurants, have drinks at one of four bars (including a lounge for cigar aficionados), and then hit the large collection of slots and try your luck on the gaming floor, where someone won $1.86 million in November.

Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for Aug. 19 to 21

Les 7 doigts de la main. Photo credit: Christian Tremblay.

Friday, Aug. 19
There’s no big tent, but Loft by Les 7 doigts de la main is an edgy, modern show that pulls from the best of the circus. Following the story of seven friends who take up residence in a loft to escape from the outside world, members of this collective use acrobatics, juggling, clown acts, aerial performances, poetry, and song to entertain themselves and their roommates. Music by a DJ is the backbone of the performance, with tunes that range from swing to rap to tango. On at the Casino du Lac-Leamy this Thursday and Friday and Aug. 24 to 27.

File this under “things that are really cool to watch but too scary to try” when the World Championships of Slalom Skateboarding comes to town. Slalom skateboarding involves racing down a hill on a skateboard while maneuvering between tightly placed cones. The world championships of this fast-paced sport are being held in Ottawa this year — the first time since Expo ’86 that they’re taking place on Canadian soil. More than 70 racers from 12 countries and three continents will convene in the capital to vie for the top spot in men, women, juniors, and masters classes — the latter category being for racers over 45. The event is partnered with, and will be making a donation to, United Way Ottawa. Takes place all weekend.

Make the most of the quickly dwindling summer evenings with a visit to the Ottawa Night Market. The only one of its kind in the city (this is its inaugural year, too), the market aims to promote multiculturalism by exposing visitors to the best that local businesses have to offer. Bring your appetite, as plenty of food vendors — Thai Flame, Taste of India, and My Sweet Tea, among others — will be on hand to tempt your taste buds. Visitors can also pick up some one-of-a-kind crafty creations, or just stroll along Somerset Street West, listen to some tunes, and take in the atmosphere. Takes place Friday starting at 6pm and Saturday starting at noon, with both nights running until  1am.

Saturday, Aug. 20
Adore Japanese culture? (And who doesn’t? This is, after all, the culture that brought us sushi). Then head on over to the seventh annual Japanese Summer Festival at Vincent Massey Park. The annual celebration showcases martial arts, flower arranging sessions, traditional dances, tasty food (like a hot dog with Japanese toppings!), a children’s tent with face painting, origami, and games, and a performance by Japanese pop star Blaise Plant of Monkey Majik. The pièce de résistance? It’s all free! (more…)

Hot Dining: Where to Go for a Gourmet Dinner

Le Baccara

Located within the Casino du Lac-Leamy, Le Baccara makes dining an elegant affair. Complete with rich fabrics and handsome furnishings, it feels a world away from the buzzing excitement of the gaming floor. Having received the CAA-AAA Five Diamond distinction for the past ten years, this is a restaurant that has staked a claim at the top of Ottawa’s dining scene. Enjoy the French-influenced cuisine, made with market-fresh ingredients, and be sure to order a bottle of vino from the wine cellar, which houses 500 different varieties as part of a 13,000-bottle collection. 1, boul. du Casino, Gatineau, 819-772-6210.

Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for March 18 to 20

Jean Ravel for Rock Lounge

Friday, March 18
Find yourself saying “Those were the days,” when you hear songs from the ’70s and ’80s? If so, head over to the Casino du Lac-Leamy for “Rock Lounge.” This musical revue, featuring tunes by Billie Joel, Hall & Oates, Elton John, and a series of One Hit Wonders, will have performer Jean Ravel and the Groove Band revisiting and rearranging the popular tracks. Make a date of it and book dinner before the show (also playing Saturday night and next weekend).

The 15th annual Latin American Film Festival kicks off at Library and Archives Canada on Thursday, with 20 films from across Latin America making their Ottawa premieres. Presented with English subtitles, the fest includes The Man Next Door, a hit at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, the touching drama Leo’s Room, and the classic 1948 film from Argentina, God Bless You.

Fashionistas, grab your best shoes and your trendiest accessories, because Ottawa Fashion Week struts down the catwalk this weekend. Running Friday to Sunday, see up-and-coming designers showcase fresh fall and winter trends at the National Art Gallery. The fashion-packed weekend features two runway shows a night, including lines from jeweler Karen McClintock and architect-turned designer Rachel Sin. In addition to soaking up the glamour and getting inspired for the upcoming season, designers will be selling their wares between shows. (more…)