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Ottawa Weekend Roundup

Six things to do the weekend of Nov. 19 to 22

BY AMY ALLEN AND NICOLINA LEONE

Basia Bulat performs at Library and Archives Canada on Thursday, Nov. 18.

Basia Bulat performs at Library and Archives Canada on Thursday, Nov. 19.

Basia Bulat at the Ottawa Jazz Fest’s Benefit Concert
Basia Bulat is a rising star in the Canadian folk scene. She has been nominated for two Juno Awards — in 2011 for New Artist of the Year and again in 2014 for her album Tall Tall Shadow. On Thursday, Nov. 19, she performs songs from her upcoming album, Good Advice, at the Ottawa Jazz Festival’s annual benefit concert and live auction. Prizes at the live auction include vacations, spa packages, gift cards, concert tickets, shopping trips, and more. Tickets $50. See website for more info. Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington St., ottawajazzfestival.com.

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Eight things to do the weekend of Nov. 12 to 15

BY AMY ALLEN AND NICOLINA LEONE

(Photo: Andrew Alexander)

In a double bill, (Off) Balance and Feelers tell two stories of women’s experiences in modern society. (Photo: Andrew Alexander)

Signatures Show
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.

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Six things to do the weekend of Nov. 5 to 8

BY AMY ALLEN AND NICOLINA LEONE

In the darkly comedic Liza, the Fox-Fairy, a woman is cursed by her imaginary friend, the ghost of a long-dead Japanese pop singer.

Cellar Door Film Festival
Speculative film fest Cellar Door ventures into the fantastic, the futuristic, and the downright frightening. On opening night, Thursday, Nov. 5, catch Liza, the Fox-Fairy, a Hungarian black comedy about a 30-something woman who gets turned into a fox demon by her imaginary friend — the ghost of a Japanese pop star, who is jealous of her love life. Soon, all the men she dates start to die in bizarre and mysterious ways… The festival runs until Saturday, Nov. 7. Advance admission $9; on-site admission $12 (cash only); festival passes $40. See website for complete schedule and venue info. cdff.ca.

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Eight things to do the weekend of Oct. 29 to Nov. 1

BY AMY ALLEN & NICOLINA LEONE

Lindi Ortega

Lindi Ortega brings songs from her new alt country album, Faded Gloryville, to the National Arts Centre on Oct. 29.

Lindi Ortega
Nicknamed “Indie Lindi” by the music scene in her hometown of Toronto, Ortega’s music is an eclectic blend of country, jazz, rock, and folk. She’s just released her latest album, Faded Gloryville, and she performs in support of it on Thursday, Oct. 29 at the National Arts Centre with special guest Sam Cash. $30. National Arts Centre, Fourth Stage, 53 Elgin St., 866-850-2787, nac-cna.ca.

After Funk

Toronto funk band, aptly named After Funk, performs at the Rainbow Bistro on Oct. 29.

After Funk at the Rainbow Bistro
After Funk, a Toronto-based power funk group, are known for putting on a fun show. With their progressive funk and soul sound, they’ve opened for the likes of Walk Off the Earth and Kung Fu, and they’ve played on festival stages alongside Lauryn Hill, Zeds Dead, and Flying Lotus. The four core members provide vocals, keyboard, bass, guitar, and drums, but often bring in other elements such as a horn section. Catch them at the Rainbow Bistro on Thursday, Oct. 29 with special guests Guru Jambalaya and LOVEGOOD. The show starts at 10pm. Tickets are $10 at the door. For more info, see Facebook. The Rainbow Bistro, 76 Murray St., 613-241-5123, therainbow.ca.

(Photo: Tim Matheson)

Playwright and performer Julia Mackey portrays four characters in Jake’s Gift. (Photo: Tim Matheson)

Jake’s Gift 
The destruction of war goes well beyond blasted buildings and ravaged countryside. It also leaves scars on the psyche, and Jake’s Gift, a one-woman play by Julia Mackey, is the story of a veteran who finally comes to terms with his demons when he befriends a 10-year-old girl on the shores of Juno Beach. The play opens on Thursday, Oct. 29 and continues until Sunday, Nov. 15. Tickets from $31. See website for info. Great Canadian Theatre Company, 1233 Wellington St. W., 613-236-5196, gctc.ca.

Wine and Food Show
The Food and Wine Show marks its 30th anniversary this year, and it’s still touted as one of the city’s most appetizing events. From Friday, Oct. 30 until Sunday, Nov. 1, you can drop in, socialize, and sample some of the yummiest food and drink this city has to offer. If you stop by after 5.30pm on Halloween, come in costume because they will be having a Haute Halloween party complete with cocktails, dancing, and prizes. Tickets from $20, which can be purchased here. See website for info and complete schedule of events. Shaw Centre, 55 Colonel By Dr., 613-563-1984, ottawawineandfoodfestival.com.

The Boar King

The Boar King chronicles a woman’s search for answers after she loses her husband in a typhoon.

Taiwan Film Night
In a Taiwan village, a woman’s life is swept away by a typhoon. She loses her husband, and her business is on the verge of collapse, too, when she receives a message that makes her doubt whether her husband is really dead. The Boar King, the second film by Taiwanese director Chen-ti Kuo, is a gripping mystery, but it’s also about loss, second chances, and finding the courage to make a fresh start. The film screens on Friday, Oct. 30 as part of the Canadian Film Institute’s Taiwan Film Nights. Admission is free. See website for info. Carleton University, River Building Theatre, 1125 Colonel By Dr., cfi-icf.ca.

Rocky Horror Picture Show
The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a cult classic and perennial Halloween favourite — at least around these parts. Each year, the Mayfair Theatre holds a Rocky Horror viewing party that includes shadow casts (a group of costumed fans who act out the movie while it’s playing), call backs (live commentary by audience members), and bubbles. Costumes are encouraged. And remember, they use real butter on their popcorn! Screenings take place on Friday, Oct. 30 at 9.15pm and 11.55pm, with further screenings on Saturday, Oct. 31. See website for full schedule. Tickets are $15. The Mayfair Theatre, 1074 Bank St., 613-730-6552, mayfairtheatre.ca.

(Photo: Marc Labreque)

Ottawa pop band The PepTides performs at St. Alban’s Church for Halloween. (Photo: Marc Labreque)

PepTides
Ottawa’s very own PepTides have the distinction of being voted best live performance in the city. Their upbeat, avant-garde pop, characterized by exciting choreography, layered vocal harmonies, and colourful performances, is often juxtaposed with more serious, thoughtful lyrics. This Saturday, Oct. 31, they play a Halloween show, Disco Apocalypse, at St. Alban’s Church. Tickets are $12 in advance on their website and $15 at the door. St. Alban’s Church, 454 King Edward Ave., 613-235-4351.

Owning with the Gaze explores our relationship with technology and land. (Ayumi Goto, in sonorous shadow of Nishiyuu, Photo: Ashok Mathur)

Owning with the Gaze explores our relationship with technology and land. (Ayumi Goto, in sonorous shadow of Nishiyuu, Photo: Ashok Mathur)

Owning with the Gaze 
We live in a photo-obsessed world, where people often whip out their phones and take a snap of whatever they want with little thought to what they’re doing. Owning with the Gaze, a curated exhibition by Cree/Métis artist Cheryl L’Hirondelle, features the work of seven indigenous and non-indigenous artists as they tackle questions surrounding this issue — particularly with regards to technology use and our responsibility to the land. The vernissage, which includes live tattooing by artist Dion Kaszas, is on Saturday, Oct. 31. The exhibition continues until Saturday, Nov. 28. Admission is free. See website for info. Gallery 101, 51B Young St., 613-230-2799, g101.ca.

Six Things to Do the Weekend of Oct. 22 to 25

BY AMY ALLEN AND NICOLINA LEONE

The Girl King screens at Inside Out Film Festival.

The Girl King, a film that follows the political ambitions and private passions of 17th-century monarch Kristina of Sweden, screens at the Ottawa LGBT Film Festival.

Ottawa International Writers Festival
Joseph Boyden, Terry Fallis, and Anakana Schofield — these are some of the most exciting voices in Canadian literature today. And they’re just three among dozens that are speaking at the Fall 2015 Ottawa International Writers Festival, which kicks off on Wednesday, Oct. 21 and continues until Wednesday, Oct. 28. The festival covers a variety of topics, such as indigenous stories, the impact of war, and the consequences of freedom. Tickets start at $15. See website for info, full schedule, and venues. writersfestival.org. 

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Ottawa Weekend Calendar: Oct. 15 to 18

Toronto based Alvvays brings their catchy indie pop tunes to the Algonquin Commons Theatre on Oct. 15. (Photo: Jess Baumung)

Toronto based Alvvays brings their catchy indie pop tunes to the Algonquin Commons Theatre on Oct. 15. (Photo: Jess Baumung)

Alvvays
In less than four years, Toronto dream pop darlings Alvvays have established themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the indie music scene. Since the release of their debut, eponymous album in 2014, they’ve raked in nominations from the Polaris, Juno, and Independent Music Awards, to name just a few. One thing’s for sure — their songs about unrequited love will probably be the catchiest you’ve ever heard. They perform on Thursday, Oct. 15 at the Algonquin Commons Theatre. Tickets from $20. Purchase tickets here. Algonquin Commons Theatre, 1385 Woodroffe Ave., 613-727-4723 ext. 6442, algonquinsa.com. 

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Ottawa Weekend Calendar: Oct. 8 to 11

BY AMY ALLEN AND NICOLINA LEONE

Emily Pearlman returns to Ottawa with her play I think my boyfriend should have an accent, which won Best Of Fest in the 2015 Ottawa Fringe Festival. (Photo: Joshua Pearlman)

Emily Pearlman returns to Ottawa with her play I think my boyfriend should have an accent, which won Best Of Fest in the 2015 Ottawa Fringe Festival. (Photo: Joshua Pearlman)

Ottawa Maker’s Market
Ottawa has a thriving artisan community, and Ottawa Maker’s Market is proof of that. On Thursday, Oct. 8, head over to Orange Art Gallery for After Hours, a special late night edition of the market. Peruse skin care products (Scrub Inspired), jewellery (Strut and Wildtree), pottery (Clay Pigeon Design), ice cream truffles (Moo Shu), preserves (Lowertown Canning Co.), and more, all while you chow down on gourmet Asian food by Angry Dragonz and delicious plantain chips by Plátanos. Admission is pay-what-you-can. See Facebook event page for more info. Orange Art Gallery, 290 City Centre Ave., 613-761-1500, orangeartgallery.ca.

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Ottawa Weekend Calendar: Oct. 1 to 4

BY AMY ALLEN, NICOLINA LEONE, AND MATT HARRISON

Take a ferris wheel ride at the Metcalfe Fair.

Take a ride on the ferris wheel at the Metcalfe Fair.

Metcalfe Fair
If there is one thing I learned this summer while doing the Weekender, it is this: most of our rural fairs are older than our country. The Metcalfe Fair will be celebrating its 159th anniversary this year, beginning on Thursday, Oct. 1 and running until Sunday, Oct. 4. Check out agricultural and culinary competitions, a dairy cattle show, a midway and games, a demolition derby, musical performances, a kids’ tent, a pony show, dancing, and even a wrestling match. Daily rates and event passes vary in price; check the website for schedule and ticket info. Metcalfe Fairgrounds, 2821 8th Line Rd., Metcalfe, 613-821-0591, metcalfefair.com.

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Ottawa Weekend Calendar: Sept. 24 to 27

BY AMY ALLEN AND NICOLINA LEONE

Haida Gwaii: On the Edge of the World is just one of several social justice documentaries being screened at the One World Film Festival.

Haida Gwaii: On the Edge of the World is just one of several social justice documentaries being screened at the One World Film Festival.

One World Film Festival
Off the coast of British Columbia, the archipelago of Haida Gwaii is the ancestral home of the Haida people, who have inhabited its twin islands for more than 10,000 years. Their recent history, though, has been turbulent. Diseases, spread by European colonists in the 1800s, wiped out 90 percent of the population; in the ensuing decades, unsustainable logging and over-fishing have wrought further havoc on the land’s pristine beauty. But the Haida people are fighting back. In Haida Gwaii: On the Edge of the World, director Charles Wilkinson shows how they have exerted their sovereignty to stop industry from running roughshod all over the islands.

Haida Gwaii won the 2015 HotDocs Award for Best Canadian Feature Documentary, and it’s just one of many films with a social justice bent that will be screened at this year’s One World Film Festival, which launches on Thursday, Sept. 24. On opening night, catch My Enemy, My Brother, a Canadian short about two men who fought on opposite sides of the Iran-Iraq War and who later became friends, and Democrats, which chronicles an uneasy alliance between two officials in Zimbabwe’s government.

Admission is pay-what-you can, with a suggested donation of $15. Films screen at the National Gallery of Canada from Thursday, Sept. 24 to Saturday, Sept. 26, and Saint Paul University on Sunday, Sept. 27. See website for complete schedule. National Gallery of Canada: 380 Sussex Dr., 613-990-1985. Saint Paul University: 223 Main St., 613-236-1393, oneworldfilmfestival.ca.

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Ottawa Weekend Calendar: Sept. 17 to 20

BY AMY ALLEN AND NICOLINA LEONE

Canadian producer AA Wallace spins some sweet tunes at the fourth anniversary of Kitchen Party, on at Cafe Nostalgica on Sept. 18.

Canadian producer AA Wallace spins some sweet tunes at the fourth anniversary of Kitchen Party, on at Cafe Nostalgica on Sept. 18.

CityFolk’s Marvest
From Folk Fest to CityFolk! The name change came with an added bonus, too: Marvest, a musical harvest. Part of CityFolk (Sept. 16 to 20), the free festival will run from Thursday, Sept. 17 until Sunday, Sept. 20. It spotlights over 60 local bands and singer-songwriters, who will perform at the Aberdeen Pavilion as well as various restaurants and shops along Bank Street. Venues include The Wild Oat, Metro Music, Octopus Books, Black Squirrel Books, House of Targ (the only paid show — a steal at $5), Kunstadt Sports, FarmTeam Cookhouse & Bar, David’s Tea, The Unrefined Olive, Original Burger Joint, Whole Foods, Local Public Eatery, and Irene’s Pub.

According to the CityFolk website, “the focus of Marvest is to present Ottawa with a feast of locally produced music, food and drink — everything from within 100 miles of the region.”

Nine bands from the area were chosen to release their new albums at Marvest. The performances will cater to a variety of audiences, with Saturday afternoon shows being more family oriented. Check the schedule for more details. The Glebe, cityfolkfestival.com.

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Ottawa Weekend Calendar: Sept. 10 to 13

BY AMY ALLEN

Jen Grant and Erica Sigurdson are just two of the witty, wonderful female comedians appearing in My Jokes Are Up Here at the Ottawa Little Theatre.

Jen Grant and Erica Sigurdson are just two of the witty, wonderful female comedians appearing in My Jokes Are Up Here at the Ottawa Little Theatre.

Sharon VanStarkenburg’s Debutantes
A debutante is a young woman who is presented to society (typically at a big to-do such as a debutante ball or a cotillion) when she “comes of age.” Back in the day, it signified that a young woman had left childhood and was now eligible for marriage; in modern times, it’s more about introducing new adults to society.

In her startling oil paintings, Sharon VanStarkenburg captures the transition of these young women from adolescence to adulthood. She focuses particularly on the ways in which society “sexualizes, frets over, censors, exploits, and admonishes young women.” The girls in her paintings meet the viewer’s gaze directly, their faces and bodies marked by garish makeup that at times looks eerily like blood. In some cases, their bodies are mutated, almost alien.

The exhibition opens on Thursday, Sept. 10 at Wall Space Gallery and runs until Thursday, Oct. 1. Admission is free. See website for more info. Wall Space Gallery, 358 Richmond Rd., 613-729-0003, wallspacegallery.ca.

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Ottawa Weekend Calendar: Sept. 3 to 6

BY AMY ALLEN

Take a ride on a hot air balloon at the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival.

Take a ride on a hot air balloon at the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival.

Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival
The hot air balloon occupies an important place in history. In 1783, when the first balloon ascended to the skies above Paris, mankind at last succeeded in taking flight.

Flight technology has progressed a great deal since then, but there’s still something romantic about going airborne on a balloon. Maybe it’s because they look like colourful clouds. Or maybe it’s the leisurely way they fly. Regardless, it’s reason enough to have a festival for them, and that’s exactly what the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival is all about.

Hop a ride on one of dozens of balloons, or keep your feet on the ground and take in some great music by notable Canadian musicians. Other attractions include a graffiti contest, an amusement park, arts and crafts, a classic cars exhibition, and family friendly activities.

The festival begins on Thursday, Sept. 3 and continues until Monday, Sept. 7. Admission starts at $24. Single and multi day passes available. See website for more info and directions. Parc de la Baie, Gatineau, 1-800-668-8383, montgolfieresgatineau.com/en.

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