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One World Film Fest 25 years strong

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Still from On the Side of the Road, directed by Lia Tarachansky.Still from On the Side of the Road, directed by Lia Tarachansky.

After 25 years strong, One World Film Festival celebrates its anniversary by continuing to do what it does best – challenging world issues through the power of film. “We decided to keep it smaller this year and focus on celebrating our 25 years,” said festival director, Pixie Cram. This year, the big focus is on honouring the festival itself. Not only will it be shorter than last year, it will also feature less films. To compensate, One World will be throwing a big birthday bash on Thursday night to kick-off... | Continue reading article

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The West End Well: Grocery store meets community building

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Photo by Jared Davidson.Photo by Jared Davidson.

The West End Well is many things. From the outside it looks like a normal grocery store, its stoop adorned with all manner of fruits and vegetables to entice the hungry passerby. But it is so much more than a simple grocery. A step inside reveals a space that is devoted half to produce and boxed foods and half to tables and chairs. Most days, these chairs are filled with patrons of The Well’s café, which serves local, fresh, organic food. But at other times, The Well transforms into a... | Continue reading article

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Who needs Queen St. West? Dress like a pop star at your local boutique

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Lorde performs at the Ottawa Folk Festival on Thursday, September 11. Photo by Marc DesRosiers.Lorde performs at the Ottawa Folk Festival on Thursday, September 11. Photo by Marc DesRosiers.

The unaffectedly cool anti-pop star and chanteuse of the wildly popular Royals, Lorde, performed in Ottawa this past Thursday, September 11th as part of this year’s Ottawa Folk Fest line-up. With surprisingly relatable lyrics, I’m a fan of Lorde not only for her haunting music but her subtle confidence. Without relying on barely-there clothing or abiding by every style rule, she proves that modesty and a strong sense of self can be chic, too. Though the singer first shot to stardom as a result of her entirely unique sound comprised... | Continue reading article

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An overview of Folk Fest 2014

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Ottawa’s own, The Peptides, perform on the Hill Stage Friday night. All photos by Terry Steeves.Ottawa’s own, The Peptides, perform on the Hill Stage Friday night. All photos by Terry Steeves.

September’s Ottawa Folk Fest marks the end of a summer of wonderful outdoor music festivals. Here is an account of its sights and sounds. Wednesday On a slightly cooler than usual September night, I arrived on the grounds as they were just opening. As I entered, workers were just putting the finishing touches on the Hill stage, located on the north side. There was also a delightful trolling gypsy vaudeville act offering free wedding ceremonies, complete with musical accompaniment of accordion, bass drum, and violin. Also at this end was... | Continue reading article

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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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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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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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Harvest Noir, Ottawa’s stealth sustainability party is back September 27

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Photo courtesy of Harvest Noir.Photo courtesy of Harvest Noir.

Photos by Steve Gerecke, Ottawa Velo Vogue and Jean Lapointe. After three years of celebrating local food and farms in secret locations, Harvest Noir - Ottawa’s homegrown version of the Dîner en Blanc - still has a few surprises. Importantly for an outdoor event that hasn’t always been lucky in the weather department, it also booked a rain date. Over a hot bowl of soup and a beer, I got the lowdown on what to expect from Harvest Noir 2014 from its co-founder, Greg Searle. Harvest Noir is a self-described stealth sustainability... | Continue reading article

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