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Ottawa Jazz Festival

Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for June 29 to July 1

Friday

Chris Botti plays the Ottawa Jazz Fest on Friday.

Catch Grammy Award-winning trumpeter Chris Botti perform with the NAC Orchestra, as the TD Canada Trust Ottawa International Jazz Festival comes to a close this weekend. Botti, who has sold more than three million records worldwide, has performed with iconic artists such as Frank Sinatra, Sting, Andrea Bocelli, and many more.

The Unisong Canadian Choir Festival has featured over 5000 singers and 191 groups throughout its 16-year run. Presented by the Arts Bureau for the Continent, Unisong brings choristers together from across Canada during the five-day event.

Nine artists will showcase contemporary pieces in “Local Flora,” an exhibit opening this weekend at SAW Gallery. The artists, all of whom are from the Ottawa and Outaouais region, will display works in painting, photography, sculpture and video-based installation that explore how nature is interpreted through artistic expression.

Saturday

Escapade Music Festival promises to be bigger, better, and louder than ever. The two-day lineup includes live performances across three stages by artists Avicii, Eric Prydz, Afrojack, Alesso, Sander van Doorn, and many more. Partygoers will enjoy the weekend-long show at the new venue at Ottawa Stadium. (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.

(more…)

Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for February 3 to 5

Quinsin Nachoff is just one of the performers taking the stage at the Ottawa Winter Jazzfest.

Friday, Feb. 3
Jazz up your weekend by taking in the international and local talent at the first annual Ottawa Winter Jazzfest. Whether you’re a seasoned jazz enthusiast or looking to diversify your musical tastes, this festival promises to thaw that winter chill. Hop all over downtown Ottawa, from the National Arts Centre to Club SAW to the Mercury Lounge to catch the smooth sounds of artists such as Megan Jerome, Quinsin Nachoff, Remi Bolduc, and the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble of Chicago.

Experience Ottawa’s diverse architecture and examine the relationship between architecture, the arts, and politics through music with Polytectures. This sound walk was created by Montreal’s Antoine Bédard and 10 local musicians. Through a variety of musical styles, Polytectures allows visitors and locals alike to experience Ottawa’s architecture in new ways by pairing songs with local landmarks. Although the entire walk is an hour long, it has been divided into sections with warm-up breaks for Winterlude.

If you’re a film buff with a soft spot for independent cinema, then you’re going to want to Get Iced this weekend. The Independent Filmmakers Co-operative of Ottawa is presenting 10 new Super 8 short films made by local filmmakers in cooperation with Winterlude. Afterwards, unwind with drinks at the Soviet-style reception hosted by Avant-Garde Bar and Gift Shop. The party continues at the bar after 9:30pm with live music and no cover charge.

This Friday, Yamantaka //Sonic Titan and Boyhood bring the party to Babylon. Yamantaka //Sonic Titan are a psychedelic opera group that fuses noise, metal, folk, and pop music to create an east-meets-west culture clash extravaganza. Boyhood is new on the Ottawa scene, bringing catchy songs with haunting melodies. (more…)