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Ottawa's Latest and Greatest on Sights & Sounds

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet to perform at NAC + tix giveaway

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Photo by Rosalie O'ConnorPhoto by Rosalie O'Connor

We are giving away a pair of tickets to the performance this Saturday, May 23, by the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet at the National Arts Centre.  To enter, email apartment613@gmail.com by noon Thursday, May 21, with the subject line “Aspen Santa Fe Ballet – Contest”.  A winner will be picked by random draw and notified on Thursday afternoon. The 2014-15 dance season at the National Arts Centre ends this Saturday with a performance by the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. Founded almost two decades ago, the company brings together creative choreography,... | Continue reading article

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Filed in: Dance, Sights & Sounds

Ottawa composer Colin Mack debuts violin concerto

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Colin MackColin Mack

Colin Mack has an impressive musical resume.  In addition to composing numerous chamber music works, he has also written — among other things  — a symphonic poem for orchestra, film scores for two short documentaries, and a choral anthem. What the Ottawa-born composer had never done until recently, however, was create a concerto. This will change on Friday when Thirteen Strings, Ottawa’s premiere chamber orchestra, perform the world debut of his violin concerto Elegy. Also on the programme is Distant Light by Latvian composer Peteris Vasks, who was born in 1946, an Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber,... | Continue reading article

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Filed in: Music, Sights & Sounds

End of Civilization: A terrific Ottawa premiere at The Gladstone

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Geoff McBride, Catriona Leger and Brad Long in George F. Walker's, The End of Civilization. All photos by Julie Le Gal.Geoff McBride, Catriona Leger and Brad Long in George F. Walker's, The End of Civilization. All photos by Julie Le Gal.

Either you love Toronto playwright George F. Walker’s gritty dramas with their oh-so-dysfunctional characters or you hate his pitch-black works littered with f-bombs, guns and booze.  Personally, I can’t get enough – there aren’t many other writers who explore the underbelly of Canadian society with so much empathy.  And humour. So I was thrilled that Same Day Theatre was presenting The End of Civilization, which is the one play of his 1990s 6-play Suburban Motel series that I hadn’t seen.  For some reason, it’s never been performed in Ottawa.  And it very... | Continue reading article

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Be part of le pARTy and support local art(y)

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Fountain by Cara Tierney. Photo courtesy of the Ottawa Art Gallery.Fountain by Cara Tierney. Photo courtesy of the Ottawa Art Gallery.

If you’ve ever been inside a local bookstore, bar, coffee-shop…anywhere really in town that’s embracing the ‘local’ mentality you’ll likely have seen local artists’ work on display and, just as likely, up for sale.  Chances are that if you’re anything like me you’ve fallen for a piece but then seeing the price tag quickly dismissed it as puppy love. Such is the unfortunate nature of the art market.  It’s hard to sell art. And I don’t mean mass-produced photos or prints that serve to decorate bare walls the world over.... | Continue reading article

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An engaging evening of orchestral enchantment

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Melissa McClelland singing through her telephone effect mic. All photos by Terry Steeves.Melissa McClelland singing through her telephone effect mic. All photos by Terry Steeves.

A drum kit, a collection of guitars and amps, bass, keyboards, and a series of mics on stands, stood in a tight formation in the center of the NAC’S Theatre stage. Naturally, one would have thought such a set-up was to be manned by several band members, but instead, a man and woman emerged from out of the darkness to take their place among the cluster of musical instruments. The two immediately got to work building a foundation of looped sounds – he on the drum kit, laying down a... | Continue reading article

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Musical chameleon Lindsay Ferguson releases album

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Photo of Lindsay Ferguson by David IrvinePhoto of Lindsay Ferguson by David Irvine

A month ago I was not familiar with Lindsay Ferguson.  Flash forward to today, and numerous times happily bebopping to her music, and I can say that I am officially a fan. Born in Bermuda to Canadian parents, the talented singer-songwriter writes melodic and catchy tunes.  Drawing from folk, pop, acoustic rock and other influences, her work is a pleasure to listen to.  (In fact, the past few days has seen me eagerly talk about her to my wife and children). Splitting her time between Bern, Switzerland and Wakefield, QC... | Continue reading article

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Filed in: Music, Sights & Sounds

Alberta’s reggae winds blow into the Mercury Lounge

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Photo of Tasman Jude courtesy of FritzMediaPhoto of Tasman Jude courtesy of FritzMedia

“Life is a lot like jazz . . . it’s best when you improvise.”  - George Gershwin Musical legend George Gershwin would probably love the story behind Alberta reggae band Tasman Jude.  Two years ago on a January night, friends Caleb Hart and Al Peterson jumped onto a stage for an open mic night and improvised three songs.  The reaction of the crowd was so great, that Hart decided to make a Facebook page with the name Tasman Jude. (Note: Peterson’s 15-year-old birth mother named him Tasman Jude, and when he was later... | Continue reading article

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Filed in: Music, Sights & Sounds

Community art show fundraiser honours mothers

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Joni Campbell and Chris Best. Photo by Marina Irick.Joni Campbell and Chris Best. Photo by Marina Irick.

Unseasonably humid weather didn’t stop about 200 people from crowding into a Westboro home on Saturday night to take part in unique celebration of mothers and a home-based art sale and fundraiser to support the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation (ORCF). Months of planning — and the involvement of 40 Ottawa-area artists — went into organizing the event, hosted by Chris Best and Joni Campbell in memory of Chris’s mother, Doreen Best, who died 23 years ago of cancer. “I lost my Mom to cancer when she was 54. I am... | Continue reading article

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Weekend Roundup: Quoi faire ce long weekend?

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Photos from GLITTERBOMB 2014 by Viktor S. de Vice.Photos from GLITTERBOMB 2014 by Viktor S. de Vice.

This weekend begins the tours and outdoor events that will last the rest of the summer. Music in the park, tours around monuments and of course more music! All weekend long, Decipher is holding their Everyday is Halloween Pop-up Shop full of punk, derby and psychobilly gear. If you love Hot topic, make sure to check out this amazing pop-up shop located in Westboro. Start your weekend tonight with Monopolatte’s 4th Annual Geek Slam – a geeky poetry competition. Or get schooled on disability rights with Ravi Malhotra and Morgan Rowe’s... | Continue reading article

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Breaking the Code: A look into life of Alan Turing + chance to see Enigma machine up close

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All photos by Maria Vartanova, courtesy of Ottawa Little Theatre.All photos by Maria Vartanova, courtesy of Ottawa Little Theatre.

Last year the highly popular movie The Imitation Game introduced the masses to the story of Alan Turing and his work cracking the Nazis’ “unbreakable” Enigma code in WWII. It was estimated that cracking Enigma shortened the war in Europe by two years. But Hollywood demands nonstop edge of your seat excitement and sometimes, especially when the subject is the tedious work of code breaking, that kind of mass appeal comes at the cost of historical accuracy. That’s where the theatre comes in.  Director Klass van Weringh has brought Hugh... | Continue reading article

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