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Just for Laughs

November & December Hot Dates

By Trevor J. Adams

Take your chances

The Mavericks

The Mavericks

The Schooner Showroom at Casino Nova Scotia on Upper Water Street is one of Halifax’s busiest entertainment venues. Highlights include singer/songwriter Dallas Smith November 10, ‘90s pop stars Hanson on November 14 and 15, country-rockers The Mavericks on November 16 and the Ha! Ha! Ha!days show on December 13 and 14.

Editor’s choice

Photo: Carl Lender

Photo: Carl Lender

November 21—When blues guitar heroes Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks married, their love spawned one of blues-rocks’ hottest new bands. The Tedeschi Trucks Band brings its sweet, sweet guitar sound to Halifax for the first time, playing the Cunard Centre on Marginal Road.

5 funny shows

Alonzo Bodden

Alonzo Bodden

November 3—The Just For Laughs Comedy Tour brings the hottest names from Montreal’s famous festival to Halifax—Darrin Rose, Alonzo Bodden, Tom Papa and Orny Adams.

November 10 and 11—John Cleese called Eddie Izzard “the missing Python.” See why at the Dalhousie Arts Centre.

November 20—Controversial comedian and ventriloquist Jeff Dunham visits the Halifax Metro Centre on Duke Street.

November 24—A high-energy storyteller, Gabriel Iglesias is exhausting just to watch. See him at the Dalhousie Arts Centre.

December 1—Acerbic and insightful, Ron James is one of the hottest names in Canadian comedy and a regular at the Dalhousie Arts Centre.

More hot dates

Coup-de-Coeur 2012

November 8—Danse Lhasa Danse celebrates the legacy of deceased platinum-award winning artist Lhasa de Sela with music and dance.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

November 16—Mac Miller, the fast-rising hip-hop star, performs live in Halifax, at the Cunard Centre on Marginal Road, for the first time.


November 22—John McDermott, the Celtic crooner, always plays to a full house in Halifax. See him at the Dalhousie Arts Centre on University Avenue.


December 9—Bette MacDonald & Maynard Morrison, the Cape Breton comic duo, return with their annual Tis the Season special at the Dalhousie Arts Centre.

Photo: Nick Pearce

Photo: Nick Pearce

December 14—Halifax Rainmen, Halifax’s pro-hoops heroes, take on their Maritime rivals from Prince Edward Island at the Halifax Metro Centre.

MooseheadsDrouin 3

December 28—Halifax Mooseheads, the city’s major-junior hockey team, defending national champs, return from the Christmas break to battle Cape Breton.

Weekend Roundup: November 9 to 11

The Little Years offers period drama at Tarragon Theatre

Friday, November 9
Starting this weekend, audiences can hearken back to The Little Years courtesy of Tarragon Theatre and award-winning Toronto-based playwright John Mighton. The critically acclaimed drama story follows a young woman in the 1950s as she struggles with the transition from life as a precocious teen to the harsher reality of adulthood.

Celebrating the art of voice and story, the Festival of Oral Literatures showcases a wide variety of talented poets, theatre artists, storytellers, spoken-word artists and even beatbox performers this weekend at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Tonight, the pay-what-you-can “House Made of Stories” program features Jan Blake, Susan Coyne, Ron Evans and more.

Check out all the hilarity as the Just For Laughs Comedy Tour comes chuckling into Toronto to tackle the theme of relationships—everything from marriage to dating to family, plus all the humorous complications in between. An all-star cast of comics includes Debra DiGiovanni,Saturday Night Live alum Jim Breuer, host John Heffron and more. Don’t miss all the hysterical insights tonight at Massey Hall.

Alice dances down the rabbit hole again (photo: Cylla von Tiedemann)

Saturday, November 10
Tumble down the rabbit hole once again as the National Ballet of Canada brings its hugely successful Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland back to the Four Seasons Centre. Opening tonight, the production combines classical dance with imaginative design to transport the entire family to a magical new world.

The Toronto Raptors one-win and four-loss record to start the current NBA season belies the team’s promise. Will point guard Kyle Lowry be back in the lineup after suffering an ankle sprain earlier in the week? Can Andrea Bargnani rediscover his shooting stroke? Can the team put together four full quarters of effort and pull off its second victory? Find out tonight as the dinos take on the Philadelphia 76ers at the Air Canada Centre.

Often compared to other Canadian greats like Ron Sexsmith and Rufus Wainwright, Toronto-based singer-songwriter, arranger and producer Royal Wood tonight swings by the historic Winter Garden Theatre. A soulful crooner known for heart-wrenching ballads, Wood changes his tune slightly on his new album, which offers more up-tempo tunes.

Mats Sundin takes part in the Hockey Hall of Fame’s induction weekend festivities

Sunday, November 11
The NHL season may be on hold, but there’s no reason you can’t get your fix. This weekend, the Hockey Hall of Fame gets set to welcome Pavel Bure, Adam Oates, Joe Sakic and Toronto Maple Leafs captain Mats Sundin as its newest members. Today’s Induction Weekend celebrations include a Q&A session with the honourees, followed by the Legends Classic game, featuring top players from years gone by.

With over 75 speakers and 200 exhibitors, the Whole Life Expo is the largest event of its kind in Canada. Shop for the latest in health and beauty products, explore alternative and natural approaches to medicine and care, and get great advice on living an eco-friendly life!

Today marks your final opportunity to check out the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. Fun for the whole family, the 90th annual event combines a farm and livestock show with an equestrian competition, plus delicious food, giant vegetable displays, dog shows and more.



Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for November 9 to 11

Friday, November 9

Blackie and the Rodeo Kings bring along some of their friends for their Kings and Queens tour at the NAC Friday night.

Blackie and the Rodeo Kings’ latest record saw the band joining forces with some of their favourite female musicians, including Emmylou Harris, Lucinda Williams and Roseanne Cash. Now, the roots rockers from Hamilton, Ont. are taking the album on the road – and a few famous friends are coming along for the ride. Catch the Kings and Queens tour live at the National Arts Centre and be treated to special appearances by Matt Andersen, Amy Helm, Mary Margaret O’Hara and Harlan Pepper. Tickets range from $42.50 to $64.50.

Hosted by the Children’s Aid Foundation of Ottawa (CAFOTT), the annual World Trivia Night has quickly become the largest event of its kind in North America. Drawing more than 2,000 people a year, the evening sees teams of 10 facing off in an epic battle of wits — all in the name of charity, of course. Registration is $350 per team, with all proceeds going toward education and enrichment opportunities for youth in the care of the CAFOTT.

Rock-star-turned-choreographer Hofesh Shechter will present his first full-length work, the contemporary masterpiece Political Mother, this weekend at the NAC. Performed by 11 dancers of the Hofesh Shechter Company in Brighton, England and accompanied by a seven-piece live band, the show is meant to challenge the viewer’s perception of what it means to be normal.

Saturday, November 10

Funnyman John Heffron hosts the annual Just For Laughs Comedy tour.

The annual Just for Laughs Comedy Tour hits Ottawa this weekend with its hilariously agonizing Relationship Edition. Featuring host John Heffron, Canadian girl Debra DiGiovanni, tour favourite Godfrey and Saturday Night Live alum Jim Breuer, these comedians prove that even the most embarrassing romantic mishaps have a silver lining — or can at least garner a few laughs. Tickets start at just $35.50.

In celebration of its 100th anniversary, the volunteer-run Ottawa Little Theatre presents 10 plays from the past 10 decades. Agatha Christie’s classic murder mystery The Hollow, which was first produced for the OLT stage in 1960, was chosen this month to represent the 1950s. Be sure to act quickly: Saturday is your last chance to take in this infamous tale of jealousy and deception!

The Ottawa Wine & Food Festival returns for its 27th year with a five-day spread of unrivaled culinary expertise. Featuring hundreds of exhibitors, an exceptional lineup of sommeliers and celebrity chefs (including Montreal’s own Martin Picard), and the ever-popular “Taste and Discover Series,” there’s a little something for everyone at this year’s event.

Sunday, November 11

Famed Métis artist Bob Boyer presents His Life’s Work at the Canadian Museum of Civilization.

Bob Boyer — His Life’s Work is the first large-scale exhibition devoted entirely to the famed Métis artist. Known for using traditional motifs to explore contemporary Aboriginal life, Boyer often critiqued the harmful effects of colonialism through his work. Don’t miss out: This one of a kind show ends on Monday.

Aptly described as “a short, sweet show of really worthwhile clay art,” 260 Fingers features pieces by — you guessed it — 26 potters and clay artists from eastern Ontario and western Quebec. The exhibition showcases work from both new and established artists, including Bill Reddick, Michelle Bishop and Maggie Roddan, to name a few. The three-day showing starts this Friday at 6 p.m. Admission is free.

Now in its 10th year, the annual Homes for the Holidays tour continues to be the premiere fundraiser for The Hospice at May Court. For the event, Ottawa designers decorate six gorgeous area homes (located in Rockcliffe, Manotick and the Glebe) with flowers, Christmas ornaments and table settings. Then, over the course of a weekend, roughly 2,500 visitors are invited to wander through the various creations. Tickets are just $40 and can be purchased online from their website or at various retail outlets throughout the city.

Hot Date: Just for Laughs Calls for Comedy

Louis CK headlines JFL42

SEPTEMBER 21 TO 28  A hilarious array of comedians comes to town for Just for Laughs’ JFL42 festival. Headlined by wildly popular writer, director, actor and stand-up comic Louis CK, plus the likes of Patton Oswalt and Reggie Watts, the eight-day experience is uniquely controlled by user-driven technology. Using credits and a smartphone app, pass holders can decide on the venue and frequency of shows based on their interest in each of the 42 acts. Various venues, passes $99 and $149; call 1-855-867-4242 or click here for more information.

Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for Sept. 14 to 16


The free House of PainT Festival is on at Brewer Park this weekend.

The House of PainT Festival – an annual outdoor event that showcases urban arts and culture from across the country – returns this weekend with some big-name performances, an elaborate set of workshops and master classes, and over 200 graffiti artists. Be sure to check out the main event, the 4 Disciplines of Hip Hop jam, on Sept. 15 at Brewer Park.

Six-time Just For Laughs Festival veteran John Pinette brings his latest comedy tour to the National Arts Centre this weekend. With a Bill Cosby-inspired wit that blends hilarious observations with zany impressions, he is sure to have audiences roaring with laughter. Pinette will be at performing September 13 to 16 at the NAC.

For 168 years, the Richmond Fair has been working to promote agricultural awareness in the Ottawa area. This year’s schedule includes a petting zoo, midway, pony rides, antique machinery displays and horse shows, as well as performances by The Blackwell band, Chris McCann Trio, and The Hypnotizers. 


ARBORETUM is Ottawa’s newest boutique arts and music festival. This one-day event aims to highlight the best food, music and art the city has to offer by showcasing a range of local talent. On hand will be musical acts like Boyhood, Ohbijou and Andrew Vincent; food from Murray Street, Art-Is-In Boulangerie and the Hintonburg Public House, among others; and drinks from Bridgehead, Beau’s All Natural Brewing Co. and Kichesippi Brewery.

Photo © Peter Handley, Vintage Wings of Canada

Beautiful vintage airplanes will take flight this weekend during Wings over Gatineau-OttawaLook to the skies for stunning aerial demonstrations by the famed Canadian Forces Snowbirds and wing-walking phenom Carol Pilon, among others, and scope out legendary Second World War aircraft such as the Spitfire and the Avro Lancaster bomber. There’s a special focus on Warbirds of the Med, marking the 70th anniversary of many of the major air and land battles in and around the Mediterranean Sea during the Second World War.

Taste of Wellington West returns this Saturday with a jam-packed day of music, shopping and food! Performing this year are Reverb Syndicate, Crown Vic, Still Dangerous and Tall Trees, as well as renowned children’s performers, Hey Buster!. You can also treat your taste buds to a plethora of free food samples, with Hintonburger, Bridgehead,  and SuzyQ Doughnuts offering up some goodies.


The annual Terry Fox run takes place this Sunday.

The Terry Fox Run returns this weekend to the nation’s capital. This annual non-competitive event invites runners, walkers, cyclists, inline skaters and wheelchair athletes to travel 1km, 5km or 10km to help raise money for cancer research. The central Ottawa event departs from Carleton University. Though admission to the run is free, fundraising is strongly encouraged.

Ottawa music promoter DNA Presents is organizing a country music benefit concert in support of farmers affected by this summer’s drought. Farm Aid will feature performances by Michelle Wright, Paul Brandt, and Emerson Drive, along with local up-and-comer Jason Blaine, who just this week was awarded Single of the Year at the Canadian Country Music Awards. Y101 will be hosting the event, with Wayne Rostad helping out as guest MC.

The annual Feast of Fields fundraiser at the Canada Agriculture Museum brings together top chefs and local organic farmers to create a delicious spread of socially and environmentally conscious meals. This exclusively organic event is the main fundraiser for Canadian Organic Growers-Ottawa, helping to support farmer outreach and farm-to-institution programs within the community. The event takes places at the Canada Agriculture Museum.


Hot Date: Seinfeld at the Sony Centre

MAY 4 & 5 Everyone’s favourite observational humourist, Jerry Seinfeld, brings his trademark brand of stand-up to Toronto as part of his Just For Laughs tour. Though far removed from his namesake sitcom, the New York-based funnyman remains a major draw—comedy fans have four opportunities to see Seinfeld poke fun at the little things in life. Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, 7 and 9:30 p.m., $66 to $100; call 855-985-5000 or navigate here to purchase tickets.

Weekend Roundup, July 17 to 19

Toronto hosts music, theatre and funnymen this weekend!

Friday: Catch God Made Me Funky at the Beaches Jazz Festival

Friday: Catch God Made Me Funky at the Beaches International Jazz Festival

Friday, July 17
Experience the energy of soulful ensemble God Made Me Funky at the Beaches International Jazz Festival.

Savour the spice of Southern Accent with its Summerlicious prix fixe menu—your choice of mains includes Bourbon Street blackened chicken, Louisiana catfish or Creole jambalaya.

Saturday: Share a chuckle with John Cleese

Saturday: Share a chuckle with John Cleese

Saturday, July 18
Indulge in some regal relaxation at Truefitt and Hill, barbers to British royalty since 1805, where a hot-towel shave and stress-relief massage are among the traditional treatments offered to dapper gents.

Witness iconic English comedian John Cleese as he cracks wise at Massey Hall during the Just for Laughs Festival.

Sunday: Make <i>The Sound of Music</i> one of your favourite things.

Sunday: Make The Sound of Music one of your favourite things.

Sunday, July 19
Fall in love with the Von Trapp family all over again: The Sound of Music has a matinee performance at the Princess of Wales Theatre.

Head to the Harbourfront Centre for food, music and lucha libre wrestlers (!) on the final day of Mexico, Beyond Your Expectations, part of Harbourfront’s ongoing World Routes programming.

July Hot Date—Lots of Laughs

English funnyman John Cleese.

Legendary British funnyman John Cleese.

July 15 to 19 The Montreal-based comedy spectacular Just For Laughs heads west for a giggle-inducing string of stand up shows. Monty Python’s John Cleese and Emmy Award–winning actress Sarah Silverman provoke jaw-dropping guffaws when they host separate galas on July 17 and 18 respectively, while Toronto’s favourite ad-libber Colin Mochrie (Whose Line is it Anyway?) guarantees laughs in an improv show with former co-star Brad Sherwood from July 16 to 18. Other stellar comics on the bill include Canadian funnyman Jeremy Hotz and Scottish sensation Danny Bhoy. Various venues, $22 to $120; call 416-872-4255 or visit Ticketmaster to charge.