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Juno Awards

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…)

JUNO Mania: The JUNO Awards Come to Ottawa

It's all about glitz and glamour on awards night. Photo credit: CARAS/iPhoto).

The JUNO Awards celebrate the best of the best in Canadian music, and after eight years away the celebrations are back in Ottawa with a week of events that run March 26 to April 1. As musicians from around the country descend on the city, we highlight some of the hip happenings taking place around town. By Misa Kobayashi.

AWARDS SHOW
Roll out the red carpet! Taking place on April 1 at Scotiabank Place, the awards show will be broadcast live on CTV. With William Shatner hosting and big name nominees such as Michael Bublé, Justin Bieber, Drake, Arcade Fire, Hedley, Avril Lavigne, and The Sheepdogs vying for top honours, it’s certain to be a night of glitz and glamour for the Canadian music industry. Also on the bill are performances by JUNO Award winners City and Colour, Deadmau5, and Feist. Blue Rodeo will also take the stage and are being honoured as the Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductees.

Singers, such as Michael Bublé, vie for top honours at the 2012 JUNO Awards, which will be hosted by William Shatner.

JUNO WEEK
Can’t make it to the awards show? There’s still lots to see and do at these signature JUNO Week events. (more…)

Weekend Roundup: March 2 to 4

Friday: Entity offers provocative dance (photo by Ravi Deepres)

Friday, March 2
A stunning yet spare staging of contemporary dance awaits Harbourfront Centre audiences, as England’s Random Dance Company and acclaimed choreographer Wayne McGregor perform Entity, featuring music by the likes of Coldplay, Massive Attack and Jon Hopkins.

The National Ballet of Canada’s winter season opened this week with the lighthearted, romantic and slightly comical La Fille mal gardee. This classic pastoral ballet tells the story of Lise, who wishes to marry a young farmer. Her mother, however, has other plans, and promises Lise to a wealthy but buffoonish landowner.

The Artist Project Toronto entices creators, collectors and enthusiasts to Exhibition Place’s Queen Elizabeth Building this weekend. Admire contemporary works of photography, painting, textile art, digital media and more by independent artists Canada and around the world. While there, take a trip down Installation Alley to view large-scale sculptures and conceptual art projects, too. (more…)

Weekend Roundup, March 25th to 27th

Friday: Thrill to the fleet footwork of Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance (photo by Ken Howard)

Friday, March 25
Michael Flatley, who has been aweing audiences for over a decade as the Lord of the Dance returns to the Sony Centre for a mythic tale of Irish folklore that has dazzled over 100 million people worldwide. Don’t miss this classic story of good versus evil expressed through fast-footed dance.

Emerging director Philip McKee of artistic troupe Idée Fixe presents a passionate adaptation of Shakespeare’s King Lear at Harbourfront Centre. As the king comes closer to death, he demands his daughters prove their love to him in order to secure their inheritance. When the most faithful fails to offer concrete evidence of her devotion, Lear banishes her from his home and heart.

Celebrating 40 years of Canadian music, Junofest features over 100 bands in 20 venues over two nights across the city. Catch tunes from such bands as Billy Talent, Die Mannequin and Bedouin Soundclash playing at such concert locations as the Opera House and Phoenix Concert Theatre.

Saturday: Check out the best bikes at the National Motorcycle Show

Saturday, March 26
Turn off your technology and experience Earth Hour at the Ontario Science Centre with a free live stage show from TVOkids entitled Don’t Sit Still. Or, as the lights go out, observe the stars in Toronto’s sky and a special viewing of Saturn through a telescope with the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.

Rev up your engines and head down to the Better Living Centre for the 30th anniversary of the National Motorcycle Show. View vintage bikes, including the new row of champions, and find everything you need to get geared up for the season.

Celebrate with tequila at Embrujo Flamenco, an authentic Spanish tapas restaurant which this weekend features a special pre-fixe tasting dinner menu with tequila tasters. Sample fare like flambéed shrimp cooked in Cuervo Blanco tequila and a chocolate mousse with Jimador Reposado tequila and orange marmalade. Post-supper fun includes flamenco dancing and a live music show.

Sunday: Applaud your favourite Canadian musicians at the Junos

Sunday, March 27
The Juno Awards mark their 40th anniversary here in Toronto, home of the very first awards show honouring Canadian musicians. Rap superstar Drake hosts a line-up of stellar performances featuring Sarah McLachlan, Broken Social Scene and Hedley, nominated respectively for Best Artist, Group and Album of the Year.

Hurry to the Art Gallery of Ontario for the last week to see the majesty of the Maharaja: The Splendor of India’s Royal Courts. See amazing artworks, royal costumes, jewellery and a life size model elephant enrobed in textiles, trappings and a silver howdah. Don’t miss the afternoon performance by South Asian dance company inDance.

Marvel at the National Ballet of Canada’s premiere performance of Russian choreographer Alexei Ratmansky’s Themes & Variations, Apollo & Russian Seasons. This showcase features three short one-act ballets set to Tchaikovsky’s Orchestral Suite No.3., created by George Balanchine and Igor Stravinsky with a score by Leonid Desyatnikov.

The 40th Annual Juno Awards Rock Toronto

Drake hosts the 40th Juno Awards on March 27 (photo by Anthony Mandler)

Canada’s prestigious music awards, the Junos, mark their 40th anniversary with a return home. To celebrate, Toronto-born rapper Drake leads a pack of award-winning artists from coast to coast for a harmonious tribute.

THE RISE OF DRAKE
Superstars aren’t born everyday—nor is such a label freely given. But hip hop artist Drake is undeniably one, having been recognized not only by peers including mentor Lil Wayne, Jay-Z and Kanye West, but also by fans who made his first studio album, Thank Me Later, a platinum-selling hit. Even non-fans are likely familiar with the artist for his role as Jimmy Brooks on the TV show Degrassi: The Next Generation, as well as for his life-meets-rap lyrics, which get plenty of airtime on mainstream radio. Among the Forest Hill-raised performer’s chart-topping songs is the swooning ballad “Find Your Love” and the rhythmic “Fancy.”

On March 27, Drake secures double time on the stage at the Air Canada Centre as both the host of the 40th edition of the Juno Awards and as a nominee—and potential winner. The rapper is nominated for several awards, including Artist of the Year and Album of the Year. (Drake was also nominated for four Grammy Awards including Best New Album.) Soon, Drake will release his sophomore album, Take Care. It will undoubtedly earn him Juno nominations next year.

The awards ceremony itself is only part of this month’s Juno celebrations. Read on after the jump for more music-related fun.

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Weekend Roundup, February 25th to 27th

Friday: Ladysmith Black Mombazo enlivens Roy Thomson Hall

Friday, February 25
Gather at Roy Thomson Hall tonight to have your spirits lifted by Ladysmith Black Mambazo. The South African a capella group—known for its stirring harmonies—is slated to perform songs from its latest album, Ilembe: Honoring Shaka Zulu.

Join Anne Sofie Von Otter and Brad Mehldau at Koerner Hall as they perform selections from their recent effort, Love Songs. The immensely talented Swedish mezzo-soprano and American jazz pianist are adept at playing everything from Brahms to the Beatles.

This evening offers a final opportunity to hear the melodies of The Magic Flute, as performed by the Canadian Opera Company at the Four Seasons Centre. Toronto-based soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian is among the talented cast of this beautiful Mozart opera.

Saturday: Bloor-Yorkville's IceFest offers all manner of frosty sculptures

Saturday, February 26
Bloor-Yorkville’s annual Icefest runs all weekend long at the Village of Yorkville Park. Today, visitors can view a “Circus Extravaganza” with ice sculptures of elephants, lion tamers, fortune tellers, and more. The big top atmosphere also offers magic tricks, acrobatics and yummy cotton candy, too.

Follow a young girl’s battle for liberty as Brothel #9 opens tonight at Factory Theatre. Telling the story of a girl who struggles for freedom after being sold to a brothel in Calcutta, the play is a true testament to the endurance of the human spirit.

Drama lovers will also find interest in the final day of Nightwood Theatre’s Groundswell Festival, which presents new works by female playwrights. The Happy Woman closes the festival, and features a panel discussion following its performance.

Sunday: See Sacred Moon (detail pictured) and other works by El Anatsui at the Royal Ontario Museum

Sunday, February 27
Today offers the final opportunity to view the Royal Ontario Museum’s acclaimed exhibition, When I Last Wrote You About Africa, by El Anatsui. The Ghanaian artist transforms overlooked and discarded objects into monumental sculptures that reflect global, local, and his own personal history.

In celebration of the Juno Awards’ 40th anniversary, Lula Lounge hosts a performance by the Juno Jazz All-Stars tonight. Eight Juno-winning artists—including Guido Basso, Don Thompson and Dave Young—take the stage at this sure-to-be-smoking show.

Looking for a fun way spend Oscar night? Walk the red carpet to the Drake Hotel’s own Oscar Party. The evening of entertainment features popcorn, drinks, a cinematic trivia contest with great door prizes, and, of course, a viewing of the Academy Awards.