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Ottawa Convention Centre

Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for November 16 to 18

Friday, November 16

Brian Gore leads a group of impressive guitarists at The International Guitar Night at Shenkman Arts Centre

Founded in 1995 by San Francisco guitarist Brian Gore, The International Guitar Night has grown to be the world’s premier touring guitar festival. Every year, Gore invites a handful of groundbreaking musicians to join him in a series of solos, duets and quartets, each highlighting the impressive range of the acoustic guitar. The 12th North American tour, on now, features Scotland’s Martin Taylor, Madagascar’s Solorazaf and Brazil’s Guinga. Catch them all this weekend at the Shenkman Arts Centre.

The annual Signatures Ottawa Christmas Show returns this week with five back-to-back days of holiday shopping at its finest. Hosted by the Ottawa Convention Centre, this year’s showing will feature 180 outstanding Canadian artists, artisans and designers. Whether you’re looking for handcrafted jewelry, visual art, home decor, or delicious treats, you’re sure to tick at least a few names off your Christmas list. 

The NACO presents All Gershwin, All Pops! Featuring Michael Chertock on piano, and with Broadway sensation Judy McLane providing vocals, audiences will be treated to all the hits from George and Ira Gershwin’s impressive songbook. From the toe-tapping “I Got Rhythm” to the sombre “Rhapsody in Blue,” there will be a little something for everyone at this unforgettable night of classic jazz.

Saturday, November 17

The Sheepdogs play three sold-out shows at Ritual Nightclub this weekend

A little over a year ago, Saskatoon’s The Sheepdogs won a contest that saw them becoming the first unsigned band in history to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. Since then, the Canadian roots rockers have been hard at work touring throughout  Canada and the U.S. This weekend, they will play three sold-out shows at Ottawa’s Ritual Nightclub, alongside Kelowna’s Yukon Blonde (you can read our interview with them here). For those lucky enough to get tickets, this is sure to be one heck of a show.

Presented by the Small Press Action Network — Ottawa (Span-O), the bi-annual Ottawa Small Press Book Fair returns to the Jack Purcell Community Centre this Saturday. Though the full list of vendors has not yet been posted, past exhibitors have included Bywords, Dusty Owl, The Ottawa Arts Review, BuschekBooks, and The Grunge Papers, to name a few. The fair features a wide range of content, including poetry books, novels, T-shirts, graphic novels, comic books, magazines, cookbooks and posters.

The Help Santa Toy Parade — hosted annually by the Ottawa Professional Fire Fighters Association — kicks off this Saturday at Library and Archives Canada. This exceptional display of holiday spirit will make its way down Wellington Street, Bank Street and Laurier Avenue, before finishing up at the corner of Elgin Street. Along the way, firefighters will collect new toys and cash donations for the Salvation Army. If you’d like to help out but can’t make it to the parade, donations are currently being accepted at all Ottawa fire stations.

Sunday, November 18

Margo MacDonald and Mary Ellis star in Fly Me to the Moon. Today’s your last chance to experience this performance.

Today’s your last chance to experience the Great Canadian Theatre Company‘s performance of Fly Me To the Moon. Written by Marie Jones (Stones in his Pockets) and directed by John P. Kelly, this hilariously dark comedy follows the lives of Francis and Loretta, two home care workers in Belfast forced to make a tough decision when one of their patients unexpectedly dies. The final run hits stage at 2 p.m. Tickets range from $35.77 to $36.90.

The Ottawa International Storytelling Festival is taking place Nov. 15 to 18 at Saint Brigid’s Centre for the Arts. Operating under the theme Naked Narrative, the motto for this year’s event is simple: “No books, no props, just stories.” The bill features an impressive lineup of performers from throughout Canada and the U.S., including renowned character actor Stephen Tobolowsky (Glee, Groundhog Day), Newfoundland fiddler Kelly Russell, and contemporary dancer Peggy Baker.

Friends of the Central Experimental Farm is hosting its annual Craft and Bake Sale this weekend at the farm’s Arboretum. Though an exceptional spread of handmade crafts and delicious baked goods will no doubt be the main draw, this event also offers guests the chance to explore the Arboretum’s gorgeous spring blossoms. Admission and on-site parking are free.

Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for March 9 to 11

Rococode from Vancouver is just one of the bands playing at Mavericks this weekend. Photo credit: Robyn Jamieson.

Friday, March 9
Start your weekend off right by partying it up with some fun indie bands at Mavericks. This is the LP release show for Anchors, the newest album from Ottawa indie rock band and show headliner Kalle Mattson. Also on the bill: Rococode, a three-boy and one-girl band from Vancouver that strives to make exciting and meaningful pop music; The Richardson Band, an Ottawa indie/folk band that just recorded its first EP; and the Ashleys, another Ottawa indie/rock band.

Get lucky at the first late night performance of Third Time Lucky, performed by Toronto-based comic storyteller Paul Hutcheson at The Gladstone. Pornography, an allergic reaction to shellfish, and orgies are just some of the topics Hutcheson covers in this solo show. Hutcheson has performed in more than 25 fringe festivals, winning awards in New York, San Francisco, Montreal, and Ottawa.  This play is part of the Black Box Set Theatre Festival, which runs until March 17.

Get in the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day a few days early with Ottawa Irish Week. The week-long festival and longstanding Ottawa tradition invites you to celebrate Ireland through music, poetry, history, dance, theatre, and sport. This Friday, get entertained and eat Irish fare at The Erin Luncheon at St. Patrick’s Home of Ottawa. Various events run from March 8 to 17.

Saturday, March 10
Laugh, cry, and support a good cause at The Vagina Monologues this Saturday. Carleton University’s own Vaginas Against Violence are once again putting on a fantastic show, which is run and performed by Carleton students. All proceeds from ticket sales go towards  the Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre and the international V-Day campaign, which supports victims of sexual violence in Haiti in an effort to end gender-based violence locally and globally. If you’ve never seen this show that serves up story after story to honour the female anatomy, you’re missing out. (more…)

Hot Attraction: Soundwalk Offers Guided Tour to Music

The Ottawa Convention Centre is one of more than 10 buildings included on the Polytectures walk. Photo credit: © Ottawa Convention Centre/Centre des congrès d'Ottawa.

Experience a city like never before with Polytectures, a unique “soundwalk” that is part of the Electric Fields festival taking place this weekend. Here’s how it works: Starting this past Wednesday, you can download the 45-minute audio guide to your phone/mp3 player from a mobile Internet site (temporary rentals of mp3 players are also available at the Bytown Museum). The audio will guide you to capital landmarks with voice-over narration and specially commissioned music pairings from Canadian bands and musicians. Buildings on the tour include the Ottawa Convention Centre (featured), the National Arts Centre, and the Government Conference Centre, while featured artists include Tribe Called Red, Crush Buildings, Math Rosen, and more.

Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for November 11 to 13

Friday, Nov. 11
Pay your respects to Canadian veterans of the First and Second World Wars, the Korean War, and recent wars in Afghanistan and beyond at the annual Remembrance Day Ceremonies at the National War Memorial. The commemoration begins at 11am, the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month — of this 11th year of the 21st century — reminding us about the people and sacrifices that have contributed to this country’s history.

The new exhibition at Le Centre d’exposition Art-image in Gatineau will have you thinking about your clothes in a whole new way. The show “Emergence! My clothing, my shelter…” features five up-and-coming artists from Ottawa and Gatineau, each reflecting on the roles of clothing and shelter in a personal way. The show opens Friday night, featuring a free musical performance, and runs until Dec. 18.

260 Fingers. Photo credit: Diane Black.

Saturday, Nov. 12
Head to the Glebe Community Centre this weekend to view some beautiful ceramics at the 260 Fingers Pottery Show. This free exhibition, featuring the varied work of 25 ceramic artists, is sure to impress. Whether you want to make a purchase or just want to admire, you can chat with the talented artists who have come from all over Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec. Show runs Friday to Sunday.

If you like wine and food — and really, who doesn’t — make your way to the Ottawa Convention Centre for the annual Ottawa Wine & Food Festival. With a day pass, you can hit up the tasting floor and sample wines, beers, spirits, and food from all over the world. Then, you can head to the show floor for the “Festival Kitchen” series to watch some free “how-to” seminars and learn how to become a top chef yourself! There are also many more demonstrations and lessons if you’re willing to shell out a bit extra. Festival runs from Wednesday to Sunday (tasting floor Friday to Sunday only). (more…)