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Ottawa's Latest and Greatest on Sights & Sounds

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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The GCTC celebrates 40 years with six Canadian plays

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With the coming of fall, theatres in Ottawa are preparing to launch their 2014-15 season.  Last week we previewed what audiences can expect at The Gladstone, while today we look at the upcoming shows at the Great Canadian Theatre Company. For four decades, local theatre lovers have been able to see fantastic performances at the Great Canadian Theatre Company (1233 Wellington St. W.).  From moving dramas to hilarious comedies to clever fringe shows, audiences have come to expect excellent acting from this local institution. The 2014-15 season continues this proud tradition... | 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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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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Filed in: Food & Drink, Meet up

Stompa your heart out: Serena Ryder warms the crowd at Folk Fest

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Photo by Mark Horton, courtesy of Ottawa Folk Festival.Photo by Mark Horton, courtesy of Ottawa Folk Festival.

There was definitely no lack of participation as the crowd clappa-ed their hands and stompa-ed their feet to Canadian singer-songwriter Serena Ryder’s performance at the Ottawa Folk Fest on Thursday night. Ryder, whose set followed an unforgettable performance by New Zealand teen sensation Lorde, unleashed her hit single “Stompa” to kick off her concert. I was expecting her to save the triple platinum song for her encore, but then I realized just how crucial it was for her to play it right off the bat. It’s the way the lineup... | Continue reading article

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Portland’s Black Prairie a “must-see” at Folk Fest tonight

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Photo from blackprairie.com.Photo from blackprairie.com.

It’s impossible to put this eclectic 6-piece band from Portland, Oregon into a genre slot – their music is that diverse. From the first time I heard them, I was delighted by their originality and creativity, and immediately check marked this band as one to see at this year’s Ottawa Folkfest. Black Prairie began as a side project by bassist, Nate Query and dobro/banjo/guitarist, Chris Funk of indie folk rock band, The Decemberists, who also hail from Portland, Oregon. They were later joined by pianist/accordionist, Jenny Conlee, also from The... | Continue reading article

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A Baker’s Dozen: The 2014-15 season at The Gladstone Theatre

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The nine theatre companies which are sharing The Gladstone Theatre are offering a wide variety of plays for the 2014-15 season – everything from gentle family fare to head-banging punk rock.  Lots of traditional theatrical classics, too, from Moliere to Tennessee Williams to The Rocky Horror Picture Show.  Well, the latter IS a tradition, or shall we say a cult? Here’s what’s in store at The Gladstone this season… The season kicks off in mid-September with a new translation of Moliere’s well-loved comedy, The School for Wives, directed by John... | Continue reading article

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