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Ottawa International Children’s Festival

Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for June 1 to 3

Friday
The third annual Orleans Festival takes place this weekend in the city’s east end. The event showcases local performing, culinary and visual arts within the community, and features a designated Kids’ Zone filled with child-friendly activities, local artisans, and performances by The Dusty Drifters, Yves Lambert, Tracteur Jack, Born Ruffians, and more.

Born Ruffians play the Orleans Festival this weekend.

Titanic: The Musical commemorates the 100th anniversary of the events and characters associated with the doomed ship. This Friday kicks off the first day of a ten-day production hosted by Orpheus Musical Theatre Society. Titanic: The Musical has won numerous awards, including five Tony Awards, since it began its run in 1997.

Saturday
Ottawa Little Theatre is hosting this weekend’s Legends In The Making Comedy Tour, a live stand-up comedy show featuring comedians Dave Merheje and Arthur Simeon. Audience members should come prepared for some serious fun, as Merheje and Simeon – who are both regulars on CBC Radio’s Laugh Out Loud – put on an entertaining show.

Victoire welcomes their first ever Kids Pop-up Shop at their West Wellington location. The shop, which will be open for all of June, launches with a party this Saturday afternoon. The party will include music and crafts by Catriona Sturton and Kristy Nease, and doughnut holes by Suzy Q. Shoppers will find vintage and Canadian-made clothing, as well as art prints and toys in a section of the store dedicated to children’s items. (more…)

Best of the Fests

Tulips bloom during the Canadian Tulip Festival. (Photo: Ottawa Tourism)

Ottawa buzzes with excitement as festival season kicks into high gear. From performing arts to cultural celebrations — and everything in between — here are just a few top picks for May and June.

CANADIAN TULIP FESTIVAL
May 4 to 21
Enjoy the stunning landscape, decorated with millions of tulips, in honour of this annual festival, which celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2012. As always, Major’s Hill Park, Commissioners Park, and other areas around town will showcase the colourful blooms. This year’s festival programming will be moving into various neighbourhoods for community activities and celebrations. Popular programming that celebrates the theme of international friendship will be offered and includes dance, music, cuisine, and arts from diverse cultural communities, as well as interactive activities for families from galleries and museums.
Various locations.

OTTAWA INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN’S FESTIVAL
May 30 to June 3
Children — and those young at heart — will delight in the fantastical shows on offer at this annual fest. Award-winning artists from around the globe bring their acts to town for five days of performing arts. Performances include 2 Dimensional Life of Her, a performance made of drawing, animation, puppetry, projection, and paper; Black Violin, a slick combination of classical and hip-hop music; Head à Tête, a play about two strangers, one French, one English; and plenty more exciting shows. There will also be family activities at the fairgrounds before and after the performances.
Lebreton Flats Park and the Canadian War Museum. Tickets: $12.50; three-show pack: $30.

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Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for June 3 to 5

Famous Live Band

Friday, June 3
Madonna, Michael Jackson, the Black Eyed Peas, and Lady Gaga are just some of the singers given their due in a musical revue performed by Famous Live Band. The cabaret-style show covers songs that changed the history of pop music and also gives a nod to other genres such as reggae, rock, and Latin music. Make a night of it and get dinner and a show. A second concert will be offered on Saturday night.

The Orleans Festival is a free family event with a great big line-up of entertainment and activities. This year’s theme is “Local Arts, Chefs, and Artisans” and to celebrate this burgeoning arts community all the events are held at or around the stunning Shenkman Arts Centre and Centrum Boulevard. The event takes place on both Friday and Saturday, and just some of the outings on the bill include a farmers’ market, an iron chef competition, dance and music performances, plays, cooking demos, visual arts exhibitions, and more!

The Ottawa Fury

Saturday, June 4
The whole family will get their sports fix when the men’s team of the Ottawa Fury soccer club take on the Western Mass Pioneers this afternoon. Grab a seat at the state-of-the-art Algonquin College Soccer Complex and see the teams compete in this top-notch North American league. The women’s league also has games throughout the summer. (more…)

Best of the Fests

Ottawa is the place to be when festival season rolls around. From performing arts to cultural celebrations — and everything in between — here are just a few of our top picks. By Misa Kobayashi.

Bachman & Turner

PRAIRIE SCENE
April 26 to May 8
The fifth installment in a series of biannual national festivals brings this eclectic, multi-disciplinary arts fest to the capital. Prairie Scene features 500 established and emerging artists from Saskatchewan and Manitoba who will present 80 different music, theatre, dance, art, literary, film, and culinary events. That’s a lot of talent in one place! Just a few names you can expect: rock and rollers Bachman & Turner, violinist James Ehnes, and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. At various venues around town, tickets vary by event (some events free). For more information see www.prairiescene.ca.

Major's Hill Park during the Canadian Tulip Festival. Photo credit: OTCA.

CANADIAN TULIP FESTIVAL
May 6 to 23
Enjoy the stunning landscape, decorated with millions of tulips, in honour of this annual festival. In 2011, the theme is “Kaleidoscope — a celebration of spring awakening through colour, culture, and community.” This year, the event will be divided into two sections: “Floral Week” will centre around Commissioners Park where the dazzling flowers will be on view, while “Festival Week” (starting May 13), will offer entertainment, activities, and attractions at Major’s Hill Park. Exciting new events taking place include a whimsical tea party and showings of classic films for “Movies in the Park.” Other highlights include the FUNtasia kids’ zone and the International Food Emporium. Best of all, most of the activities and events are free! For a full schedule see www.tulipfestival.ca.

Ottawa Race Weekend along the Rideau Canal.

OTTAWA RACE WEEKEND
May 28 and 29
Ever year, Canada’s fastest-growing road race draws local, national, and international participants (plus plenty of cheering fans). More than 38,000 people took part in the marathon, half-marathon, 10K, 5K, and 2K family run/walk last year, and this year promises to be even more exciting with new routes for the longer races. The course changes will provide both urban and rural scenery, and will take runners through the areas of Chinatown and Little Italy, as well as along the historic Rideau Canal. If you’re not racing this year, grab a spot on the sidelines to watch the action unfold. For course and event information see www.runottawa.ca. (more…)