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Ottawa’s first ever Burlesque Fest debuts this weekend

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Coney Bow from Auckland, performing on Saturday night. Photo courtesy of Ottawa Burlesque Festival.Coney Bow from Auckland, performing on Saturday night. Photo courtesy of Ottawa Burlesque Festival.

It isn’t all Christina Aguilera and Cher singing “Show Me How You Burlesque” in sequined costumes. It’s a form of art. Well, maybe it’s a little about the sequins and singing as Ottawa’s first ever Burlesque Festival debuts this weekend with an exceptionally diverse roster of performers. “There’s a hint of what you see in movies actually in the real thing,” said James Demjan, festival co-founder. But movies like Burlesque (2010) and even further back to Moulin Rouge (2001) are a driving force behind reducing the stigma surrounding the sultry... | Continue reading article

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Weekend roundup: What to do in Ottawa

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Photo courtesy Amos the Transparent.Photo courtesy Amos the Transparent.

So The Little Mermaid turns 25 this week. What better excuse to get out and party like it’s 1989? 1989 isn’t the only reason to party – 5th birthdays are a pretty good reason, too. Auntie Loo’s Treats marks their 5th year with all things vegan, including a taco bar, drag sensations, and local roller derby gals making an appearance at their party on Saturday. We’re chock full of art and film this weekend. The Ottawa International Animation Festival continues all weekend long (The Little Mermaid is just one of... | Continue reading article

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Beastie Boys’ Paul’s Boutique performed live by DJ FOOD, DJ Cheeba and DJ Moneyshot

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Photo from Spectrasonic.com.Photo from Spectrasonic.com.

There’s something Beastie in the city of Ottawa. The Adam Saikaley Trio lit up The Manx with a live rendition of Ill Communication at the Arboretum Festival, and now, on September 20th at Ritual, U.K.’s DJ Food, alongside DJ Cheeba and Dj Moneyshot will be throwing down a version of Paul’s Boutique, including all, yes all! of the over 150 samples used on the ’89 classic. Hailing from London, and a pillar on Ninja Tune (the record-label home of Amon Tobin, The Herbaliser, Bonobo, and Kid Koala – to rattle... | Continue reading article

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Joss Stone takes Folk Fest on a soulful ride

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Joss Stone greeting the crowd at Ottawa Folk Fest. All photos by Terry Steeves.Joss Stone greeting the crowd at Ottawa Folk Fest. All photos by Terry Steeves.

“This is really gonna happen!” came an excited voice behind me, from a sea of people all there in anticipation of one of Ottawa Folk Fest’s biggest acts to take the stage. At 8pm on Sunday night, Joss Stone came out to greet the crowd, dressed in a full length summery dress, looking every bit a Guinevere goddess in her bare feet. She flashed a warm smile, seemed genuinely overwhelmed at the welcoming reception and playfully threw her mane of hair back in a bout of laughter. Then the first... | Continue reading article

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The Ottawa International Animation Festival: Where imaginations come out to play

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Still from the film Lumberjacked by Canadian director Joel Mackenzie. Image courtesy of the Ottawa International Animation Festival.Still from the film Lumberjacked by Canadian director Joel Mackenzie. Image courtesy of the Ottawa International Animation Festival.

Cooler temps, crunchy leaves and greying skies mean only one thing…it’s time for the Ottawa International Animation Festival to descend on the nation’s capital once again! This is one of my favourite things about the fall in Ottawa. There’s nothing like escaping autumn’s chill by stepping into the warm dark of a theatre and settling into the exciting, engaging and sometimes disturbing, imaginations of animators from all over Canada and the world. For those of you unfamiliar with this annual festival, I strongly encourage you to check it out. Even... | Continue reading article

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Neutral Milk Hotel takes Hog’s Back by storm

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Image from walkingwallofwords.com.Image from walkingwallofwords.com.

Having never heard of Neutral Milk Hotel, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect for their act at the Ottawa Folk Festival. But I quickly learned that seemingly disparate elements can work in an incredibly harmonious way with this band. The show started with lead singer Jeff Mangum standing alone onstage, acoustic guitar in hand. He looked — as someone standing behind me so astutely observed — like a hermit who hadn’t left his cave in a while, and his soft singing voice and gentle guitar strumming certainly mirrored this... | Continue reading article

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Librarian in Residence: Are E-books the death of the paper book?

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Image courtesy of The Awkward Yeti (theawkwardyeti.com).Image courtesy of The Awkward Yeti (theawkwardyeti.com).

Jessica Green is a book addict and library card holder since the age of 3. She’s a librarian at the Ottawa Public Library and currently the Apartment613 Librarian-in-Residence, sharing a compendium of literary thoughts and tips. I recall my genetics professor making the claim years ago that we would all be working in paperless offices. Fast forward to now, and paper isn’t dead. The debate between paper and digital lives on, and remains very interesting for libraries. I did discuss e-books at OPL in a previous post but I thought... | Continue reading article

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Folk Fest volunteers just being awesome

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Damien, volunteer photographer for Folk Fest in action. All photos by Sharon Cheung.Damien, volunteer photographer for Folk Fest in action. All photos by Sharon Cheung.

This morning I came to the sad realization that festival season is officially over. While we all head back to our Monday morning routine, the festival season ender, Folk Fest was another year of great performers. My personal favourites were Lorde whose jerk-like dance moves kept all our cold tushes warm and  BC’s Wake Owl a pop indie band that everyone should check out. But as much as I enjoyed the show and the awesome food (running the gamut from gourmet poutine to cracked corn to Indian cuisine) I really... | Continue reading article

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Blues Traveler play Folk Fest on opening night

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John Popper of Blues Traveler. All photos by Terry Steeves.John Popper of Blues Traveler. All photos by Terry Steeves.

Under a threatening September sky, a large crowd began flocking around the Ravenlaw Stage on this first night of Ottawa’s Folkfest in anticipation of a band who, by the 1990‘s, had seriously shaken up the music scene. Blues Traveler, originally a quartet made up of Brendan Hill on drums, Bobby Sheehan on bass, Chan Kinchla on guitar, and the harmonica/vocal stylings of John Popper, experimented with fusions of blues, blues-rock, folk rock, country, cajun, R&B and funk in a genre-hopping array of catchy hooks and infectious rhythms. Their stage shows... | Continue reading article

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Rollicking satire kicks off the season at The Gladstone

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Photo courtesy of The Gladstone Theatre.Photo courtesy of The Gladstone Theatre.

I knew we were in for a fun evening when the audience laughed within the first minute of The School for Wives. They kept laughing throughout the rest of the play. Understandable when you consider the quality of the script, the direction, and the acting. Moliere wrote The School for Wives the year he married a much younger woman – 1662. He was satirizing the limited education and restricted prospects of well-to-do young women. It’s interesting to speculate how his marriage influenced his play. This production’s script is a translation... | Continue reading article

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