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What to See Ottawa

Sword of Wisdom: An Extraordinary Journey

Sword of Wisdom is a breathtaking tale of courage and discipline. (Photo: Courtesy of U-Theatre)

Sword of Wisdom is a soaring, spectacular tale of courage and discipline. (Photo: Courtesy of U-Theatre)

NOV. 24 Sword of Wisdom, a lavish, breathtaking production by Taiwanese dance company U-Theatre, blends drama, dance, and music to tell the story of the Brave One as he faces his fears and overcomes adversity. Set to the beating of many drums, the story traces the Brave One’s traces journey through precise movements and gestures commonly found in the sacred dances of India and Central Asia. The dancers’ soaring movements, the incredible beauty of the performances, and the discipline of the entire company make it a must-see. —Amy Allen
•National Arts Centre, Southam Hall, 53 Elgin St., 866-850-2787. nac-cna.ca
Map and reviews

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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10 Holiday Events in Ottawa

BY AMY ALLEN

(Photo: Samantha Katz)

Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet pirouettes into town with its beloved interpretation of The Nutcracker. (Photo: Samantha Katz)

Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet: The Nutcracker
DEC. 2 TO 6 Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker has been a holiday classic since the 1950s, and Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet stages a thoroughly Canadian version by setting it in early 1900s Winnipeg. You’ll see more than just sugar plum fairies dancing across the stage this time around — think hockey players, Mounties, and a pack of adorable polar bears. From $20. National Arts Centre, Southam Hall, 53 Elgin St., 866-850-2787, nac-cna.ca.

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A Life in Pictures: nichola feldman-kiss

(nichola feldman-kiss, a yard of ashes, video still from after Africa, 2012, HD video triptych.  ©nichola feldman-kiss and CARCC, 2015.)

(nichola feldman-kiss, a yard of ashes, video still from after Africa, 2012, HD video triptych. ©nichola feldman-kiss and CARCC, 2015)

Identity, global conflict, and trauma — nichola feldman-kiss has explored these issues throughout her artistic practice, which spans well over two decades. Her latest exhibition, witness, traces the progression of her career, from her early examination of the artistic process to a 2012 trip to war-torn Sudan, which had a lasting influence on her work. The exhibition comprises three separate installations: childish objects, a collection of items that reflect feldman-kiss’s earliest thoughts about art; after Africa, a video triptych on the subject of geopolitical violence; and her latest work, between here and there, which explores issues surrounding the international bone trade. On display at Ottawa Art Gallery until Feb. 7, 2016. —Amy Allen
Ottawa Art Gallery, 2 Daly Ave., 613-233-8699. ottawaartgallery.ca
Map and reviews

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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Celestial Sights at Karsh-Masson Gallery

(Jason Paradis, Lexington Kaleidoscope, 2013. Acrylic, ink, and spray-paint on 9 canvases with acrylic yarn, local stone, and plexiglas. (Detail) Miriam Woolfolk Gallery, Lexington Art League.)

(Jason Paradis, Lexington Kaleidoscope, 2013. Acrylic, ink, and spray-paint on 9 canvases with acrylic yarn, local stone, and plexiglas. (Detail) Miriam Woolfolk Gallery, Lexington Art League.)

The stars above us have been an important part of the night sky for millennia, and yet with present levels of light pollution, they’re difficult — sometimes impossible — to see. Artist Jason Paradis reminds us of their presence in his installation Ottawa Night, in which he anchors bundles of string to a pile of rocks on the floor and connects them to paintings on the wall in an imitation of the constellations that are visible from the gallery at night. The result? Arresting, 3-D rays of colour that evoke mystery and modernity alike. On display at the Karsh-Masson Gallery until November 29. —Amy Allen
•Karsh-Masson Gallery, 110 Laurier Ave. W., 613-580-2424 ext. 14167. ottawa.ca/arts
Map and reviews

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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Open House at Enriched Bread Artists

(Photo: Tavi Weisz, No End in Sight, 2014, 48x72, oil on canvas)

(Photo: Tavi Weisz, No End in Sight, 2014, 48×72, oil on canvas)

NOV. 6 TO 8 Travel down Gladstone Avenue just west of Preston Street and you’ll come across a stark white building that used to be home to the Standard Bread Company. For almost a decade, the company flourished in Little Italy, until its fortunes were suddenly reversed during the Great Depression. Though bread production on the premises has long since ceased, another type of production altogether has taken its place — it’s now the studio for the Enriched Bread Artists, a collective of 22 talented painters, sculptors, illustrators, photographers, and film and installation artists. They open their studio to the public but once a year — drop by to see what they’ve been working on. —Amy Allen
•Enriched Bread Artists, 951 Gladstone Ave., 613-729-7632, enrichedbreadartists.com

Modern Masterpieces: Monet at the National Gallery of Canada

Monet: A Bridge to Modernity displays the Impressionist artist's brilliant images of daily life in Argenteuil. (Photo: Claude Monet, The Railroad Bridge at Argenteuil, 1874, oil on canvas, 54.3 × 73.3 cm. The John G. Johnson Collection, Philadelphia Museum of Art)

Monet: A Bridge to Modernity displays the Impressionist artist’s brilliant images of daily life in Argenteuil. (Photo: Claude Monet, The Railroad Bridge at Argenteuil, 1874, oil on canvas, 54.3 × 73.3 cm. The John G. Johnson Collection, Philadelphia Museum of Art)

Claude Monet’s Le pont de bois, painted in 1872, is one of the iconic Impressionist’s earliest paintings. It depicts a funeral procession crossing a wooden bridge on a gloomy day, not long after the end of the Franco-Prussian War — a conflict that devastated the French countryside and spurred the fall of the French Empire. It is just one of many paintings Monet did both of bridges and of Argenteuil, a small town north of Paris, during this turbulent time in France’s history. In Monet: A Bridge to Modernity, Le pont de bois and 12 other paintings testify to Monet’s skill at linking past and future, in both the technical and thematic aspects of his work.

The gallery complements Monet’s work with a history of Argenteuil — including photos, guidebooks, and postcards from the time — as well as prints by Japanese artists Hiroshige and Hokusai, both of whom inspired Monet. The exhibition is on display at the National Gallery of Canada until Feb. 15, 2016. —Amy Allen
•National Gallery of Canada, 380 Sussex Dr., 613-990-1985. gallery.ca
Map and reviews

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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