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Ottawa Art Gallery

Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for September 28 to 30


Crystal Pite’s “The Tempest Replica” is being staged at at the NAC on Thursday and Friday. Photo © Jörg Baumann

Vancouver-based contemporary dance company Kidd Pivot will present the full-length work The Tempest Replica tonight at the National Arts Centre. Choreographed by Crystal Pite, the performance is a narrative retelling of the iconic Shakespeare play – dance, original music and film work together in this creative adaptation. As a special bonus, Pite will be available after Friday’s show for a post-performance chat! Audience members are encouraged to join in and share their thoughts on the work.

Beau’s Oktoberfest returns to the Vankleek Hill Fairgrounds. Tickets for Saturday have sold out, but there’s still time to get in on Friday night’s festivities. Featuring music by Ottawa’s The Flaps, Change of Heart, Elliott Brood and Hollerado, the entertainment lineup alone is worth the $18 admission price. If you’re in the mood for some rowdier fun, sign up for any one of the event’s epic competitions: there will be keg tosses, stein-holding competitions, spouse-carrying races and sausage-eating contests going down on Friday night. For an even more authentic experience, stop by Oktoberfest on Sunday for traditional folk dancing by Schuhplattlergruppe Alpenland, and polka music by Walter Ostanek.

This weekend, volunteers from across the country will band together to help promote the arts in Canadian communities. The third annual Culture Days weekend will feature thousands of free, interactive events that offer the public a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse into the lives of local artists, historians, architects, designers, curators and more. It all begins tonight with the Culture Days launch at the Ottawa Art Gallery. For the full schedule of events in your area, visit www.culturedays.ca.


Fall Rhapsody in Gatineau Park. Photo © National Capital Commission

The annual Fall Rhapsody celebrations begin this weekend in Gatineau Park! Organized by the National Capital Commission, the event invites visitors to set out and explore over 90 kilometres of trails located on the park’s grounds. Throughout the season (which runs until Oct. 14), there will be plenty of free family activities and educational programs taking place at the Visitor Centre. And don’t forget to grab your camera: Lookouts at various points along the trail offer unbeatable views of the Ottawa Valley and the Gatineau Hills.

If you are of the mindset that one Oktoberfest per weekend just isn’t enough, well, you’re in luck: Oktoberfest Ottawa 2012 – a three-day celebration of beer, Bavarian food and oompah music held at Clarke Field in Barrhaven  – will be taking place this Friday through Sunday. The event will feature musical performances by Bearshark, Julian Taylor Band, and The Bushpilots, among others. Also on the bill is a special guest appearance by actor George Wendt, who is best known for his portrayal of Norm on the popular TV sitcom Cheers. 

The Manly Man Ramp Jam is taking place this Saturday afternoon at Legacy Skate Park. Hosted by Ottawa-based skate shop Antique, Vans, and Gatineau’s En Équilibre, the event will see some of the city’s top pro and amateur skaters judged on their “style, skill and sexiness.” The youth competition begins at 2pm, with the adult category (or “old man jam,” as they like to call it) taking over at 4pm. Local DJ Skellzo will be putting together a mix for the day, and there will be plenty of barbecue to go around!


Last year’s Harvest Noir was held outside the Museum of Civilization. This year’s location is still under wraps! Photo © Byfield Pitman Photography

Following the trend set by cities like Paris, New York, Amsterdam and Berlin, Ottawa will be hosting its very own Harvest Noir this Sunday night. Set in a secret location that will be revealed just hours before the event begins, Harvest Noir invites guests to dress up in their best black clothing, and honour the autumn harvest with an outdoor picnic and pop-up parade. Featuring locally sourced food (which guests prepare and bring themselves), wine, beer and bubbly, the epic feast will be followed by a massive dance party at a separate undisclosed venue.

Today’s your last chance to check out Doors Open Gananoque! This is a great opportunity to experience a variety of heritage sites around eastern Ontario, many of which are rarely seen by the public. Stops on this year’s tour include the former home of Gananoque’s first mayor, William Byers; the Athlone Inn; and the Gananoque Spring and Axle Company. There are plenty more Doors Open Ontario events planned for this year, as well. Visit their website for a full list of participating towns and cities.

The Merrickville Artists Guild is hosting its final studio tour of the season this weekend. Now in its 28th year, the tour has grown to be one of the largest events held annually in Merrickville and the surrounding area. The tour is free and self-guided, and offers visitors the chance to meet and interact with 26 artists in 23 different work spaces. This year’s selections include paintings, hot glass, jewelry, pottery, sculpture, textile arts, metalsmithing and letterpress printing.

Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for February 17 to 19

Friday, Feb. 17
Add some class to your Friday at On the Rocks, a Russian-inspired art party hosted by the Ottawa Art Gallery and the Avant-Garde Bar and Gallery in partnership with Winterlude. Along with music and dancing, there will be a special showcase of Paraskeva Clark’s painting “Homage to a Soviet Film, Baltic Deputy” (1968) from the Firestone Collection of Canadian Art, and a screening of the film that inspired it. Caviar, vodka samplings, and other Russian appetizers will be on offer. (more…)

Hot Art: “Enfolded” at the Ottawa Art Gallery

Just one of the pieces by Ghitta Caiserman on view in "Enfolded." Photo credit: "Bedscape," (1976-79), Firestone Collection of Canadian Art.

For most people, clothing, towels, and linens just serve a basic purpose. For Ghitta Caiserman, they were forms of art. Caiserman, a modern artist from Montreal, passed away in 2005; since her death, many of her pieces have been acquired by the Ottawa Art Gallery. Take these last few days to check out the exhibit, which ends Feb. 12, to see these newly acquired works in the exhibition “Enfolded,” which shows just how prominent textiles were in the Canadian artist’s  drawings, paintings, and collages.

Hot Art: Two Shows, One Local Artist

Photo credit: Shannon Armishaw.

Ottawa is filled with plenty of burgeoning young artists. One such talent is Shannon Armishaw — a grad from local arts high school Canterbury and a student of the University of Ottawa’s visual arts program — whose modern works straddle the line between painting and mixed media collage. (more…)

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…)

Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for July 22 to 24

Elaborate costumes are part of the fun at Odyssey Theatre.

Friday, July 22
Odyssey Theatre‘s annual Theatre Under the Stars production celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Players take to the stage of an open-air theatre to present The Fan by Carlo Goldoni – a comedy about misconceptions, gossip, meddling, and intrigue. The real joy, though, comes form the fantastical costumes worn by the actors, the bizarre masks, and the stunning set.

Classic flicks, recent blockbusters, and family films are all on offer at the Centretown Movies Outdoor Film Festival, which kicks off this weekend and runs until Aug. 13. Give date night a lift by grabbing snacks and laying out a blanket on the grass of Dundonald Park. Every Friday and Saturday night the festival will screen a movie at 9pm, starting with Eat, Pray, Love and Despicable Me.

Saturday, July 23
People from all communities are invited to Festival Haïti en Fête, a celebration of the beauty and uniqueness of Haiti. Highlights include a Caribbean band and other local and international performers, children’s activities, Caribbean food, a barbecue, a soccer tournament, and more. The event begins on Friday night with a dance party, followed by entertainment and sports for the family on Saturday (and another dance party Saturday night!), plus cultural sports and activities on Sunday.

The Urban Art Show is a juried event showcasing the original offerings of local artists and artisans. This year’s show puts emphasis on the “urban” element, with photography, new media, graphic design, live graffiti art, a DJ, an interactive art tent in conjunction with the Ottawa Art Gallery, and more. (more…)