Iconic Canadian band Blue Rodeo rolls into town on February 14. (Photo: Heather Pollock)
FEB. 14 With a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame, 12 Juno Awards to their name, and more than three million records sold worldwide, Blue Rodeo is without a doubt one of Canada’s most enduring bands. Their alt-country rock songs are unmistakable — songs like the melancholy “Try” and the foot-tapping “Till I Am Myself Again”, which propelled them to the top of the charts in the ‘80s and ‘90s. They stop in Ottawa at the Canadian Tire Centre as part of their cross-Canada tour. —Amy Allen
•Canadian Tire Centre, 1000 Palladium Dr., 613-599-0100. canadiantirecentre.com
More commonly known as 2Cellos, Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser put unique twists on classical and contemporary music.
FEB. 14 Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser, the duo more commonly known as 2Cellos, met in their teens when they studied music in Croatia. At the time, they often competed against each other in music contests, and many saw them as rivals. But in 2011, when their paths crossed again after years of working in different cities, they decided to team up. Their cello version of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” went viral when they uploaded it to YouTube, and they’ve been selling out stadiums with their unique take on pop songs and classical music ever since. —Amy Allen
•National Arts Centre, Southam Hall, 53 Elgin St., 866-850-2787. nac-cna.ca
•Map and reviews
Juno Award-nominated artist Carol Welsman performs at the Ottawa Winter Jazz Festival.
FEB. 4 TO 7 Two pianos, two keyboards, and a drum kit — these are the tools Mouse on the Keys use to create their haunting, jazz-influenced, experimental music. Based in Japan, the trio blends aspects of rock and roll with the gentler strains of classical, jazz, and funk. They’re just one of several bands performing at this year’s Ottawa Winter Jazz Festival. Other names, many of them from Ottawa, include John Geggie’s Journey Band, Montréal Guitare Trio, The Chocolate Hot Pockets, and Juno Award-nominated chanteuse Carol Welsman. —Amy Allen
Beckie Foon and Bruce Cawdron, alumni of Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra and Godspeed You! Black Emperor (respectively), are founding members of Esmerine. (Photo: Aylin Gungor)
NOV. 15 The members of Montreal post-rock chamber band Esmerine are alumni of some heavy-hitting experimental groups. Co-founder and cellist Beckie Foon was once a member of Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra, while percussionist and co-founder, Bruce Cawdron, was involved with Godspeed You! Black Emperor for many years. Their music relies mostly on the use of percussion, cello, and marimba, and much of it is influenced by musical traditions from around the world. Their Juno Award winning album, Dalmak, was recorded almost entirely in Istanbul. The resulting strains are at turns hectic and introspective, haunting and uplifting, and harsh and gentle. —Amy Allen
•The Black Sheep Inn, 753 Riverside Dr., 819-459-3228. theblacksheepinn.com
•Map and reviews
BY AMY ALLEN AND NICOLINA LEONE
In a double bill, (Off) Balance and Feelers tell two stories of women’s experiences in modern society. (Photo: Andrew Alexander)
Signatures Show is one of the largest craft fairs in Ottawa, and more than 150 artisans come from the Ottawa region, Montreal, and Toronto to sell their stuff. Scented soaps and candles, upcycled clothes and accessories, whimsical art and stationery, tasty gourmet foods and cuddly children’s toys — Signatures has everything you need to find gifts made with love for everyone on your list. The show kicks off on Wednesday, Nov. 11 and continues until Sunday, Nov. 15. General admission is $10. Shaw Centre, 55 Colonel By Dr., signaturesottawa.ca.