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Five surprising facts we learned on the Ottawa Free Tour

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Scenery on the Ottawa Free Tour, photos by  Hollie DaviesScenery on the Ottawa Free Tour, photos by Hollie Davies

When I was invited to tag along on The Ottawa Free Tour, a new activity on offer, I didn’t have to think it over much –  they had me at “free”. With scarcely anything in life that doesn’t put a dent in my bank account, I’m clearly going to jump at anything that costs nothing. And I’m sure glad that I did. It’s a 2-hour walking tour that takes place every Saturday (May 2-Sept 5) at 2 p.m. I met up with our expert guide, and the rest of the group, at the... | Continue reading article

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Write On Ottawa: Oliver Brackenbury’s Junkyard Leopard book launch

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Images from Oliver Brackenbury's websiteImages from Oliver Brackenbury's website

When an underpaid bartender’s assistant with a two hundred grand student debt and no prospects of promotion to bartender because all paid work requires significant years of unpaid internship serves an impatient, overpaid investment banker of a similar age waving a hundred dollar bill at him, what is really different about the two men, besides the hundred dollar bill? Often, it comes to the fact that the first man got screwed somehow in life, whether it’s through a debt-incurring worthless university degree, a bank’s shady dealings with one’s mortgage, an... | Continue reading article

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5 local bands you have to hear at Bluesfest

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Photo by Mike Geiger from the Apt613 Flickr pool.Photo by Mike Geiger from the Apt613 Flickr pool.

The Bluesfest! It’s coming! Time to brace yourself for the annual immersion in great music, hot sun, cold beer and all around good times. Even if you’re heading out for the big name headliners be sure to catch some hometown bands too. The flats are set to be the most fertile ground for discovering the best of the city’s music scene. Here’s my roundup of 5 locals you have to hear. The Visit – July 12th / 3:30pm / Barney Danson Theatre The Visit has been on my must-see list... | Continue reading article

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Fashion tips for Bluesfest: dress to impress, but bring comfy shoes

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Two of the RBC Bluesfest shirts designed by Kania, photo courtesy of Julie BeunTwo of the RBC Bluesfest shirts designed by Kania, photo courtesy of Julie Beun

It’s that time of year again for Bluesfest, one of Ottawa’s most-anticipated festivals. With the summer weather in full swing, everyone seems to come out of the woodwork to enjoy good company, great music and our city (without having to bundle up in multiple layers and parkas). I’m a true fashionista and gain all kinds of inspiration, and sometimes chuckles, as I browse through Instagram and Facebook photos of various bloggers, celebrities and assorted hip people. This year, Bluesfest is upping its coolness factor and giving us all another reason... | Continue reading article

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“Moonshine, and train songs, gunfights and gospel tunes”

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Photo courtesy of Murder Murder.Photo courtesy of Murder Murder.

Gloria Song has been performing for over a decade, most recently as a member in Scary Bear Soundtrack, who are performing alongside Murder Murder on June 25, 2015. Hailing from Sudbury, Ontario, Murder Murder guarantees “all murder ballads, all the time.” They aren’t exaggerating: that’s exactly what their music is. Self-described as a “bloodgrass band” – that is, a combination of bluegrass, outlaw country, and exclusively murder ballads – Murder Murder serves up stories of homicide against a surprisingly upbeat toe-tapping soundtrack in a variety of contexts and locations, from... | Continue reading article

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Jazzfest: Low-ridin’ mania with War on the main stage

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War performs on the Main Stage in Confederation Park at Jazzfest 2015. All photos by Terry Steeves.War performs on the Main Stage in Confederation Park at Jazzfest 2015. All photos by Terry Steeves.

It’s funk, it’s jazz, it’s rhythm and blues… blended with lots of Latin grooves and elements of pop, rock, and reggae. The band eventually to be known as War was formed in 1969 and became a collective of 7 musicians. The band’s members came from diverse ethnic backgrounds and would each add their own musical seasonings to create an organic fusion of sound that has always been uniquely theirs. The positively-charged vibe of their music is part of their credo of hope, equality, and friendship. One thing is for sure... | Continue reading article

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Dance capital: Escapade festival winds up for a sixth booming year

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Joe Ghost performing at Escapade 2014. Photo from @escapademf on Instagram.Joe Ghost performing at Escapade 2014. Photo from @escapademf on Instagram.

On June 27-28 the Escapade Music Festival is bringing a stacked lineup of electronic dance legends and emerging artists to the Rideau Carleton Entertainment Centre for its triumphant return to Ottawa. Headliners include the world renowned Dutch DJ Armin van Buuren and dance music forefather Carl Cox. These men have more than 40 years of success between them, and they’ve never stopped pushing the boundaries of today’s electronic music. Both play on June 28. Coming to Ottawa for the first time is the Australian dance duo Knife Party, who take... | Continue reading article

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Escape…with an Ottawa company offering scenic bicycle tours

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A cycling path in Aylmer: all photos taken by the author along the tour route.A cycling path in Aylmer: all photos taken by the author along the tour route.

A bicycle. That’s what it all began with. I had been wanting to buy a bike for a while now, given that my boyfriend is a pretty avid cyclist and enjoys exploring the city from this unique vantage point. When I came across the opportunity to join a Leisure Bicycle Sightseeing Tour with the new company Escape Bicycle Tours right here in Ottawa, I decided that it was finally time to make that purchase. $60.00 later, I had my very own bike, courtesy of Cycle Salvation, and although it’s used and rusty, in... | Continue reading article

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A weekday guide to Ottawa

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All photos by Steffani RuesgaAll photos by Steffani Ruesga

We work for the weekend: every day is a countdown until Friday. Once Friday rolls around, the weekend zooms by in a flash. Suddenly we’re back to Monday facing another week of work, and the whole dreary cycle repeats itself. But life doesn’t have to be this way. Luckily, Ottawa has dealt us some pretty entertaining weeknights. So cheer up, Monday doesn’t have to be the worst day of the week. First things first. You’re done work so head over to The Standard on Elgin. They have amazing deals all week... | Continue reading article

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Bank Street gets its glow on at Glowfair

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Kiesza, one of the Glowfair headliners.  Photo by Tibarazzi, from Kiesza's Facebook pageKiesza, one of the Glowfair headliners. Photo by Tibarazzi, from Kiesza's Facebook page

Glowfair, now in its second year, proves to step it up a notch with even more emphasis on music, arts, light, and plenty of activities, including 16 musical acts, and 9 themed street blocks. On June 19th and 20th, nine-themed blocks from Slater to James streets will be closed off for 2 magical days and nights of fun for people of all ages. Glowfair was the brainchild of Christine Leadman, Executive Director of Bank Street’s Business Improvement Area (BIA). She acted on a vision to turn the downtown core of... | Continue reading article

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