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Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for November 18 to 20

Friday, Nov. 18
Winter may be on its way, but the good news is that so is the Signatures Show. This event showcases gifts by Canada’s best artisans and designers, who display a plethora of goods, including art, home décor, beauty products, fashion, gourmet treats, and jewellery. Be sure to check out the daily fashion shows, custom perfume by Aromachology, and Grandma Deb’s Fruitcake, which was one of the wedding gifts sent to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The show started on Tuesday and runs until Sunday.

The longest running “mobile guitar festival” in North America is coming to Ottawa this Friday. At International Guitar Night at the Shenkman Arts Centre, you will be treated to performances by guitarists from California, Scotland, Brazil, and Madagascar. This showcase of international talent is not one to miss!

Would you like a medium latte with a small painting on the side? At the fall fundraiser for the Ottawa School of Art, Small Medium Large, you can place that order! The evening is café themed, selling coffee and baked goods, as well works of art all priced as small, medium, or large. The event, which raises money for outreach programs, bursaries, and new studio equipment, also features live entertainment from DJ Spade and M. Parker Jazz Quartet.

Greg Cockerill performs Saturday night at D'Arcy McGee's.

Saturday, Nov. 19
If you’re in the mood for some vintage rock-and-roll with a Canadian vibe, head to D’Arcy McGee’s in Orleans on Saturday evening to catch the CBC-acclaimed Greg Cockerill Band. Cockerill and his younger brother Joshua collaborated on the new album, Festuca, which they are currently promoting on tour across Canada. The band is making this one stop in Ottawa—and you don’t want to miss them. (more…)

Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for November 4 to 6

Brooklyn Rundfunk Orkestrata. Photo credit: Dean Carr.

Friday, Nov. 4
The Hills are Alive with the sound of… rock, jazz, hip-hop, R&B, and country! If you’re a fan of the classic Julie Andrews movie, you’ll love the sounds of the Brooklyn Rundfunk Orkestrata, playing at the Rainbow. The newly-formed group will be adapting 14 classic Rodgers and Hammerstein songs from The Sound of Music by blending genres and popular songs. This performance may just become one of your “favourite things.”

Looking to get a head start on your Christmas shopping? Make your way to the Ten Thousand Villages Festival. This annual sale supports projects in developing countries and sells hand-crafted goods from around the world, including musical instruments, pottery, carvings, brassware, ornaments, toys, and jewellery. If you get hungry, enjoy lunch, dinner, or afternoon tea at the café that sells homemade goods. Sale runs Fridays and Saturdays until Nov. 26.

Into film festivals? Indie movies? Or maybe just free entertainment? If so, you’re in for a treat as IFCO’s Indie Filmmaker Series presents the Experimental Documentary Short Films of Mike Rollo. The Montreal-based filmmaker’s work has been shown at festivals and galleries around the world, and his recent film, Ghosts and Gravel Roads, was named one of Canada’s Top Ten Shorts of 2008 by the Toronto International Film Festival Group. You will have the unique opportunity to see six of his latest short films that experiment with “new approaches to documentary and sound space.”

Saturday, Nov. 5
No matter your age, everyone enjoys a good story. Celebrate this age-old art at the Ottawa Children’s Story­telling Festival, which will feature an afternoon of free activities, live performances and, of course, storytelling. The tales told at this fest include a wide range of subjects (from the real to the fantastical) and cater to all ages, encouraging and cultivating young minds and teaching them the art and enjoyment of spinning a good yarn. (more…)

Hot Date: One Night Only Extreme Sports Film

Chris Davenport shredding Portillo in Chile. Photo credit: Mike Arzt.

Oct. 27. Fresh powder, crystal blue skies, and not a soul in sight. This is the magical, adrenalin-fuelled world of Warren Miller‘s 62nd annual winter sports film Like There’s No Tomorrow (see trailer here). Follow world-class athletes Chris Davenport, Julia Mancuso, Daron Rahlves, Colby West, and Seth Wescott as they hit the slopes in five continents, from Squaw Valley in the U.S. to the Himalayas in Gulmarg, India. This is high-def sports cinema at its finest, narrated by Olympic Gold Medalist skier Jonny Moseley. The film is making its way across the country as part of the 2011 Canadian tour, which offers a jaw-dropping look at some of the world’s most legendary winter landscapes, and the people who dream of conquering this beautiful terrain. The film will be screened on Thursday night only at Centrepointe Theatre.

Hot Dates: Atlantic Film Festival

September 15 to 24: The Atlantic Film Festival attracts top actors, directors and producers, but still has a casual East Coast vibe. It showcases some of the best international, Canadian and Atlantic Canadian films, while featuring some of the best musical talent the region has to offer.

Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for the Long Weekend

The Rideau Canal Festival offers up a variety of fun family activities.

Friday, July 29
Everyone in Ottawa knows the Rideau Canal is the grand dame of the city, a scenic waterway that winds its way through downtown. Both locals and visitors alike can celebrate this historic landmark at the Rideau Canal Festival, now in its fourth year. The five day party offers non-stop activities, including a cycling fashion show, sculptural installations, canal cruises, and Colonel By Day celebrations with musical acts and children’s games. The festival kicks off July 28 and runs all weekend.

Saturday, July 30
Jugglers, comedians, storytellers, fire-eaters, magicians, musicians, clowns, and many other strange and wonderful performers convene on the Sparks Street Mall for five days of outdoor entertainment at Buskerfest, running July 28 to Aug. 1. Don’t forget to bring plenty of change to drop into the hats of those who most tickle your fancy.

Missed seeing the Beatles the first time around? Then take in The British Invasion, a tribute show that will take you on a nostalgic trip through time. John, Paul, George, and Ringo impersonators will journey through the hits of the Fab Four from their early days in Liverpool to their last moments as a band, all in a spectacular multi-media production. Plays July 28 to 30.

The Patrick John Mills Contemporary Fine Art Gallery hosts its legendary Big Art Party in the gallery’s exhibition space and sculpture garden. Every art form will be performed in this massive community event, which includes music, dance, poetry slam, and a large collective collage work.


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…)

Hot Date: Enviro Film Fest

"Queen of the Sun" plays April 5.

April 5 to 8. Check out thought-provoking cinema at the Best of Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival. Hosted by the Canadian Museum of Nature, this event showcases some of the best environmental documentaries around, including the highly acclaimed Queen of the Sun about the honey bee crisis and colony collapse disorder, and Water on the Table with “Water Warrior” Maude Barlow. Additional topics range from energy autonomy to the protection of ecosystems. The fest also features lively daily discussions with guest speakers who include everyone from a filmmaker to a mountain climber.

Six Ways to Escape Winter

It might be a snowy wonderland outside, but if the chilly temperatures are getting you down, WHERE’s got just the ticket to chase away the winter blues.

It's easy to stay warm at the Caribbean-inspired Savana Café.

1. Get tropical at Savana Café. With the brightly coloured walls, old-school chandeliers, and mismatched tablecloths, you’ll instantly feel better walking in the door of this lively brownstone-turned-eatery, and that’s before you’ve even tried the food. Inspired by flavours from the Caribbean and South-East Asia, the cuisine is comforting and delicious, with just the right amount of kick. 431 Gilmour St., 613-233-9159. (more…)

Hot Art: Tim Burton Tribute

Tim Burton's Untitled (#6)

NOVEMBER 26 TO APRIL 17 The recent opening of the TIFF Bell Lightbox finally created a permanent Toronto showcase for the art of cinema. What better way to celebrate this feat than with a huge exhibition by one of the medium’s contemporary visual masters. Here, more than 700 pieces explore the creative development of American director Tim Burton, whose quirky mix of whimsy and the macabre in such movies as Ed Wood and A Nightmare Before Christmas have made him one of the world’s best-known filmmakers. Organized by the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the display features everything from paintings and drawings to puppets and costumes, and is enhanced by retrospective screenings of the auteur’s distinctive films.

Hot Shopping: Off with Their Crystals

Swarovski's Cheshire Cat pendant

You don’t have to fall down a rabbit hole to find yourself in the fantastical world of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. On March 5, director Tim Burton brings the book to life with his own gothic twist; his new movie sees Alice reuniting with the Mad Hatter, the Cheshire Cat and the Red Queen 10 years after her original tumble. Inspired by the film, crystal purveyor Swarovski has introduced a collection of whimsical baubles representing the characters and themes of the classic children’s novel, including a Cheshire Cat pendant with black diamond, indicolite and light rose pointiage crystals ($165). If you’re looking for more tributes to Alice and her friends, Indigo carries tea cups and pots as well as an illustrated version of the book, while OPI has four bold lacquer hues with cheeky names like Off With Her Red!, available at Caryl Baker Visage.