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Ottawa Race Weekend

Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for May 25 to 27

Friday
Capital Chill is a collaboration between musicians and artists that celebrates contemporary arts in Ottawa. Some of the performers include Matt Dorgan Project, Adam Saikaley, and Graciellita, as well as artists Stefan Thompson, Etienne Gélinas, Mat Dubé, and more. Art will be available for purchase at the event, which is being held at Arts Court in Ottawa’s downtown core.

The Ottawa Storytellers will recreate the traveling Chautauqua of the 20th century this Friday evening at Billings Estate National Historic Site. The tent show features music, comedy, politics, and culture.

The Bolshoi Ballet performs Don Quixote at the NAC this weekend.

Saturday
Guests will witness astonishing feats of Russian ballet when the Bolshoi Ballet performs Don Quixote. The show, which is based on the novel “Don Quixote de la Mancha,” will dazzle audiences with a mix of dance, costumes, and set design. A special pre-ballet show takes place this Wednesday evening with former Royal Winnipeg Ballet instructor Kathryn Jones, who will discuss the history and cultural significance of this performance.

The Great Glebe Garage Sale is an annual event open to visitors which aims to raise money for The Ottawa Food Bank. This community garage sale sets up shop on front lawns, driveways, and porches and attracts thousands to the Ottawa neighbourhood of The Glebe. Visitors are encouraged to bike or walk over, and bring cash to support a local charity.

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Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for May 27 to 29

"Carmen," a story of love, jealousy, and murder.

Friday, May 27
Enjoy a night at the opera with this presentation of Carmen by Pellegrini Opera. A staged and costumed production sung in French, the famed story by Georges Bizet follows the seductive gypsy Carmen and soldier Don José, blending romance, intrigue, jealousy, and murder. Also playing Saturday night.

Be transported back in time with the “Chautauqua” at Billings Estate, put on by the Ottawa Storytellers. These types of events were popular from the 1880s to the 1930s and combined education and entertainment with oratory, drama, and music. A travelling troupe even visited this historic site in 1902 and set up its tent on the grounds. Now you can experience this modern-day Chautauqua, which offers up world-renowned speakers such as the African explorer Nehemiah “Crikey” Persimmon, the famous games mistress Eliza Ross, and the British musical hall sensation Rodney Ramsbottom, all accompanied by a brass band.

Saturday, May 28
Don’t let the construction deter you from the Great Glebe Garage Sale this is still a fun street party and a great place to score some sweet swag. Thousands of people fill the streets while neighbours and businesses set up tables filled with electronics, clothing, food, jewellery, artwork, furniture, sports equipment, and every other knick knack you can imagine.

The season of pretty summer dresses is at hand, so why not try yours at dress making? Flock Boutique is offering a day-long Beginner Dress Making Class today. For $100, you will learn how to create your own easy-breezy summer frock that works as a cover-up at the beach or for strutting your stuff around town. (Some experience with a sewing machine recommended). (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…)