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The Gladstone

Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for December 21 to 23

Friday, December 21

A Christmas Carol is on stage at the National Arts Centre.

Charles Dickens’ classic holiday tale is brought to life with the National Arts Centre‘s annual production of A Christmas CarolNow in its 10th year, this solo show has grown to become  a Christmas tradition in the nation’s capital. Starring John D. Huston and featuring the haunting music of Ottawa folk trio Finest Kind, this is a show you won’t want to miss.

Theatre legend Colm Wilkinson stops by Centrepointe Theatre for two full hours of music and storytelling. Broadway, Christmas and Beyond will feature theatre classics such as “Music of the Night,” “Some Enchanted Evening,” and “Somewhere,” as well as Wilkinson’s signature song, “Bring Him Home.” A seven-piece band and two female vocalists joins Wilkinson on stage.

Canadian Brass returns to the NAC with a spectacular display of holiday showmanship. Easily identified by their trademark tuxes and tennis shoes, the five-piece ensemble is the perfect blend of music, spontaneity, and humour. Together with the NACO, they will treat audiences to a string of Christmas favourites, including “O Holy Night,” “White Christmas,” and “God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman.”

Saturday, December 22

Stuart McLean brings his storytelling prowess to Ottawa.

Beloved Canadian storyteller Stuart McLean returns to Ottawa for a two-night engagement at the NAC. The Vinyl Cafe 2012 Christmas Tour will include two brand new stories, Christmas music from The Vinylettes, and a special performance by Vancouver singer-songwriter Reid Jamieson. The tour will also celebrate McLean’s latest release, a four-CD collection of favourite holiday stories.

Ottawa’s own Jim Bryson returns to the national capital region for his Annual Holiday Show at Wakefield’s Black Sheep Inn. This will be Bryson’s first solo gig in a while (he spent the better part of the last year backing fellow local girl Kathleen Edwards), so the folk-rock musician plans to go big. Not only will be be joined by special guests Rueben Degroot and Kelly Sloan, he also plans to unveil a special holiday EP.

Now playing at the Museum of Civilization‘s IMAX theatre is Rocky Mountain Express. Awarded “Best Film” and “Best Cinematography” by the 2012 Giant Screen Cinema Association, this film centres on the construction of Canada’s first transcontinental railway. Breathtaking aerial shots and rarely seen archival footage add to this impeccable showing. All aboard!

Sunday, December 23

This weekend is your last chance to see Miracle on 34th Street: The Radio Show.

Have you been meaning to check out The Gladstone‘s production of Miracle on 34th Street: The Radio Show? Well, you’d best act quickly. Today’s matinee performance (slated to begin at 3 p.m.) is the final showing. Plosive Productions takes audiences back to the golden age of radio in this creative re-telling of a holiday classic.

If you have yet to take advantage of the Canadian Museum of Nature‘s seasonal specials, now’s the time. Until Christmas Eve day, kids aged three to 12 can enjoy half-priced admission. While you’re there, be sure to check out the newly renovated Vale Earth Gallery. The now 8,000-square-foot exhibition features interactive games, simulations, and even a Canadian Mining Hall of Fame.

Miracle on 34th Street opens at The Gladstone Theatre

The Gladstone presents Miracle on 34th Street: The Radio Show from Dec. 14 to 23.

It’s two weeks until Christmas. Yes, two weeks. We say it every year, but it really is hard to believe that the holiday season is nearly here. While it may mean hectic shopping trips for some, and potentially dangerous driving conditions for all, it also means the familiar sights and sounds of Christmas classics that we have come to love.

From Dec. 14 to 23, The Gladstone brings new life to the heartwarming Christmas tale Miracle on 34th Street: The Radio Show. Audiences are brought back to the golden age of radio through the tale of a Macy’s department store Santa who might just be the real thing. The show is presented by Plosive Productions, a local company that produces high-quality contemporary and classic works.

Tickets available from The Gladstone’s website and in person at their box office. $39; Seniors: $34; Students, Artists and Unwaged: $23.

The Gladstone, 910 Gladstone Ave., www.thegladstone.ca


Long Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for October 5 to 8

Friday, October 5

Check out nearly 4,000 (artificial) pumpkins at Upper Canada Village during Pumpkinferno.

This weekend marks the grand opening of Pumpkinferno at Upper Canada Village. This month-long extravaganza will feature nearly 4,000 artificial pumpkins that have been hand-carved by students from the Cornwall area. The polyurethane carvings come in 14 sizes, each cast from the mold of a real pumpkin. Guests are invited to wander through 28 different themed exhibits, and marvel at the impressive displays of artistic talent. Some of the scenes, which are designed to represent various elements of the village, consist of roughly 200 individual pumpkins!

Ottawa’s biggest bake sale returns to Billings Bridge Shopping Centre this Friday for its 12th annual event. Featuring goodies donated by local church groups and bakeries, the Just Bake It! fundraiser will benefit the Christmas Exchange Program. This family-friendly event will offer a cake decorating demonstration, a best-tasting pumpkin pie contest, face painting, and the chance to win a $500 Billings Bridge gift card. It’s also the perfect opportunity to stock up on yummy treats for Thanksgiving.

Ever since its debut at Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre in 2007, Daniel MacIvor’s How it Works has been winning over audiences and critics alike. Set in Halifax, the family drama centres on a cop and his ex-wife as they attempt to deal with their drug-addicted daughter. Under the direction of Stewart Matthews, the four-person play will be running at The Gladstone from October 5 to 20. And, thanks to an impressive Indiegogo fundraising campaign, the theatre will be giving away 82 tickets to at-risk youth in the community.

Saturday, October 6

Margaret Watkins, The Kitchen Sink, c. 1919. Palladium print, 21.3 x 16.4 cm
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. Purchased 1984 with the assistance of a grant from the Government of Canada under the terms of the Cultural Property Export and Import Act.

Margaret Watkins: Domestic Symphonies,” which recently opened at The National Gallery of Canada, features an assortment of prints, drawings and photos by the late Modernist photographer. Known for her ability to turn everyday objects into beautiful works of art, Hamilton-born Watkins rose to fame in the 1920s while working as a commercial advertiser in New York City. This will be the first-ever retrospective of her work.

What better way to celebrate Thanksgiving weekend than with a family day trip to the country? Log Cabin Apple Orchard in Osgoode has an incredible selection of seasonal goodies ready to be picked. Stock up on all your fall baking essentials (Cortland and McIntosh apples are currently in season); hop on and enjoy a free hayride; and choose the perfect pumpkin for this year’s jack-o-lantern. Got a hankering for something sweet? Stop by Yazmin’s Bakery: this on-site shop offers a delicious spread of hot apple cider and freshly made pies, cakes, and candy apples.

For the second weekend in a row, the O-Town Hoedown — Ottawa’s alt-country musical celebration — will be taking over Irene’s Pub and The Rainbow Bistro. Hosted by local musician Lefty McRighty, the annual concert series is a mixed bag of bluegrass, country, rockabilly, folk-rock, and everything in between. There will be a number of exceptional local acts on the bill this year, including Old Whiskey Road, Jack Pine & The Fire, Mabaleka Brothers and James Leclaire.

Sunday, October 7

The Third World Bazaar in Manotick Station will begin its 2012 season this weekend. Fresh off a buying trip that saw them travelling to Bali, Java, Bangkok, Chaing Mai, Hanoi, Kerala and Delhi, the Bakker family has returned with a grand assortment of unique, fairly traded merchandise that’s now ready to be sold! Whether you’re looking for art, furniture or musical instruments, you’re sure to find something that piques your interest at the Bazaar. This year, they’ve also paired up with a number of charities: Guests can buy coffee in support of Habitat for Humanity; donate non-perishables to the Shepherds of Good Hope; or purchase a pumpkin to raise money for Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders.

A still from “Flight of the Butterflies,” which begins October 5 at IMAX.

Follow hundreds of millions of monarch butterflies as they make their annual migration from Canada to Mexico in Flight of the Butterflies 3D at IMAXThough the monarch weighs in at less than a penny, it makes one of the longest migrations on earth across a continent to a place it has never known. The film offers breathtaking cinematography, amazing 3D imagery, and a fascinating look at one of nature’s most mysterious and captivating phenomenons.

The Ottawa Fall Colours Run is taking place this Sunday in Cumberland Heritage Village. With several race lengths to choose from (they range from one kilometre children’s runs to a 42.2 kilometre marathon), the event promises to be fun for the whole family. Participants are encouraged to move along at their own pace and take in the exceptional scenery that surrounds this historic community. However, there will be prizes for the top three finishers, so be prepared for a little friendly competition! Complimentary T-shirts, snacks and Gatorade will also be made available to all runners.

Monday, October 8

Help celebrate the fall harvest (and the long weekend!) by checking out the Harvesting Energy exhibit at the Canada Agriculture Museum. Learn how energy is harvested (wind power and bioenergy demonstrations will be held throughout the day); make your own apple cider; attend a grain elevator demonstration; and get to know some rare breeds of Canadian poultry. Top if all off with a ride on the Tally-Ho Wagon. Pulled by the museum’s Clydesdale horses, Ted and Merrill, the activity is always a huge hit with the kids.

In addition to being on the big screen (see IMAX listing above), butterflies are taking over the greenhouses of Carleton University’s Biology Department. It’s the final day of their Annual Biology Butterfly Show, a spectacular display of roughly 1,300 butterflies! Arriving in five separate shipments over the course of the 10-day exhibit, the show will feature 41 species from around the world. Wear some colourful clothes (butterflies love to land on bright things!), and don’t forget your camera — there are sure to be some amazing photo opportunities.

Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for September 7 to 9

Friday, September 7

Bon Iver plays the Ottawa Folk Festival on Monday

This weekend marks the 19th anniversary of the Ottawa Folk Festival, the city’s annual five-day fusion of music, dance and visual arts. Operating under new management – the Bluesfest organizers took control in 2011 – this year’s event will feature a slew of big-name acts such as Bon Iver, Lindsey Buckingham, Ben Harper and Matthew Good. Also on the bill are local musicians Kathleen Edwards, Black Dogs and Brock Zeman. (more…)

Weekend Roundup: Best Best for May 4 to 6

Friday, May 4
The 2012 3i Summit on Sustainability is a two-day event aimed at creating change to transform Ottawa into an environmentally sustainable city. The event, which is partnered with the City of Ottawa (among others), has also teamed up with businesses and community members to create an action plan for Ottawa’s future. Moe Garahan, Executive Director at Just Food in Ottawa will be one of several speakers as part of a panel.

Tulip Festival

The 60th annual Canadian Tulip Festival kicks off this Friday.

This Friday kicks off the first weekend of the 60th Commemorative Edition of The Canadian Tulip Festival in Ottawa. To celebrate this milestone, the festival will begin with an opening party in the ByWard Market. Join half a million visitors during this month-long event, and tour some of Ottawa’s most historic neighbourhoods.

Join Bryan Adams on his first Canada-wide tour since 1992, this Friday at Scotiabank Place. Expect to hear great hits like “Open Road” and “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You,” as Adams rocks out alongside his longtime band members.

Saturday, May 5
Death and the Maiden, directed by Craig Walker, is a live performance that tells the story of fear and paranoia in a now defunct dystopian society. This three-week event begins May 1 at The Gladstone.


Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for March 9 to 11

Rococode from Vancouver is just one of the bands playing at Mavericks this weekend. Photo credit: Robyn Jamieson.

Friday, March 9
Start your weekend off right by partying it up with some fun indie bands at Mavericks. This is the LP release show for Anchors, the newest album from Ottawa indie rock band and show headliner Kalle Mattson. Also on the bill: Rococode, a three-boy and one-girl band from Vancouver that strives to make exciting and meaningful pop music; The Richardson Band, an Ottawa indie/folk band that just recorded its first EP; and the Ashleys, another Ottawa indie/rock band.

Get lucky at the first late night performance of Third Time Lucky, performed by Toronto-based comic storyteller Paul Hutcheson at The Gladstone. Pornography, an allergic reaction to shellfish, and orgies are just some of the topics Hutcheson covers in this solo show. Hutcheson has performed in more than 25 fringe festivals, winning awards in New York, San Francisco, Montreal, and Ottawa.  This play is part of the Black Box Set Theatre Festival, which runs until March 17.

Get in the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day a few days early with Ottawa Irish Week. The week-long festival and longstanding Ottawa tradition invites you to celebrate Ireland through music, poetry, history, dance, theatre, and sport. This Friday, get entertained and eat Irish fare at The Erin Luncheon at St. Patrick’s Home of Ottawa. Various events run from March 8 to 17.

Saturday, March 10
Laugh, cry, and support a good cause at The Vagina Monologues this Saturday. Carleton University’s own Vaginas Against Violence are once again putting on a fantastic show, which is run and performed by Carleton students. All proceeds from ticket sales go towards  the Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre and the international V-Day campaign, which supports victims of sexual violence in Haiti in an effort to end gender-based violence locally and globally. If you’ve never seen this show that serves up story after story to honour the female anatomy, you’re missing out. (more…)