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Ottawa's Latest and Greatest on Spoken Word

Poetry meets pop culture at A Dramatic Reading of Pop Songs

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Screen shot from The Science Fiction Film Awards, William Shatner's performance of Elton John's Rocket Man.Screen shot from The Science Fiction Film Awards, William Shatner's performance of Elton John's Rocket Man.

Just in time for National Poetry Month, Ottawa VERSeFest and IdeaSpace invite you to come celebrate the sillier side of this art form. Dramatic pop song readings have a long history (think Peter Seller’s cover of A Hard Day’s Night, or William Shatner’s utterly bizarre rendition of Rocket Man). On April 17th, Ottawa’s top poetic talent will be on hand at IdeaSpace to carry on the tradition. If you’re curious about Ottawa’s poetry scene, this fundraiser will be a fun and approachable way to get your feet wet. Hosted by... | Continue reading article

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Art and politics converge at the People’s Social Forum

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All photos by Lisa Levesque.All photos by Lisa Levesque.

On Tuesday April 8th at Gallery 101, the People’s Social Forum held its official Ottawa launch. To celebrate the budding activist movement, the event featured a potluck, social justice speakers, slam poetry, and local musicians, all in the context of the gallery’s exhibit of international art. The People’s Social Forum bills itself as an attempt to assemble together left-leaning activists for the sake of dialogue and unity. Environmental, indigenous, feminist, student, worker, and youth – they’re all a part of this political movement. The launch served as a rally for... | Continue reading article

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(un)told: An Open Mic Event Dedicated to Ottawa’s Stories

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Graphic taken from Ottawa StoryTellers web site Graphic taken from Ottawa StoryTellers web site

Attention Ottawans with stories to tell: Monday will see the launch of (un)told, a new monthly series that allows budding storytellers to try their hand in public. The series is organized by Ottawa StoryTellers, an organization dedicated to raising the profile of storytelling in our nation’s capital. Why care about storytelling? In addition to being, arguably, the world’s oldest art form, stories are crucially important in how we understand the world. According to Caitlyn Paxson, Managing Artistic Director at Ottawa StoryTellers, storytelling comes naturally to everyone. “People have an internalized yearning... | Continue reading article

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Basement 819 du 19 février 2014 :: Mois de l’histoire des Noirs : Speaking Black Hockey, Art Battle 99, Kandle, Jeremy Fischer, Cinéma: Here Comes The Devils!

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Via Facebook Art Battle Via Facebook Art Battle

Yeah! C’était la sixième édition de BASEMENT 819! Cette semaine, les arts visuels envahissent l’actualité culturelle! Ah! Et on vous propose aussi une fête de nouilles…! – Dans le cadre du Mois de l’histoire des Noirs, nous avons présenté David Deliska, slamer torontois. Il performera à l’Auditorium Alumni ce samedi 22 février dans le cadre de l’événement Speaking Black Hockey. Parce que l’histoire du hockey n’appartient pas qu’aux Blancs! – À Basement 819, on aime vraiment beaucoup l’art du Spoken Words, on vous présente un amalgame de slam, musique et... | Continue reading article

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Weekend roundup: What to do in Ottawa

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Photo of Olenka by Patrick Schmidt.Photo of Olenka by Patrick Schmidt.

2014: the Year of the Horse! Yup, it’s Chinese New Year this weekend – celebrate down in Chinatown at Shanghai or party with jazz group Bamboo Groove Saturday night. At Babylon Thursday night, it’s another edition of “I can’t believe it’s not“, with Nirvana’s Nevermind being played full-out with more than a dozen local musicians. In other covers, Jonesey and The GreyTones continue their quest to cover the Beatles’ 1964 content. On Friday, it’s a night of folk at Pressed with Olenka, Bosveld and Jos Fortin, while The Standstills are down at... | Continue reading article

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Umi Café: An energizer for the soul and for the stomach

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A performer steps up to the mic at the Umi Café.A performer steps up to the mic at the Umi Café.

Umi (pronounced oo-me) means “mother” in Arabic and “life” in Egyptian, embodying the atmosphere of the Umi Café in downtown Ottawa. Both the warm and open café, though a bit run down, is clearly full of life and laughs on Friday nights, when the café hosts an “Open Mic” night. People from all walks of life can read their own poetry, sing an original song and many other endless possibilities. As a youth in the city, I often struggle to find entertainment besides going to the movies, and for anyone... | Continue reading article

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Weekend roundup: What to do in Ottawa

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So things are getting quieter as the holidays inch closer, but there’s still plenty of fun to be had. Thursday night, head to Pressed for a night of zines, featuring the Toronto Queer Zine Fair. The Fast Romantics are over in Wakefield tonight, and, because it’s the third Thursday of the month, Hip Hop Karaoke takes over Babylon. On Friday, head to the Black Sheep for The Weber Brothers, with opening guests Suns of Stone and Miss Polygamy. The Haig are celebrating their album release at Avant Garde, while the... | Continue reading article

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Weekend roundup + giveaway to Inside Out Film Fest

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Suuns are in town Friday. Photo courtesy their website.Suuns are in town Friday. Photo courtesy their website.

Music, movies, and specialized markets – we’ve got it all this weekend in Ottawa. Film buffs have a lot to choose from: a documentary on the secret world of modular synthesizers in Ottawa, home movies (you can even bring your own), and Nosferatu with the traditional live accompaniment. There’s also the Inside Out Film Festival (plus a dance party) – and we’re giving away 2 pairs of tickets for Blue is the Warmest Color, playing at the festival Sunday at 8pm. Just leave a comment below with your favourite movie (LGBT or... | Continue reading article

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Only two more sleeps until Nuit Blanche Ottawa+Gatineau

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Marc Adornato will be showing Wood; The artwork of Marc Adornato at Greyarea in the Hintonburg zone. Photo from the NBOG website.Marc Adornato will be showing Wood; The artwork of Marc Adornato at Greyarea in the Hintonburg zone. Photo from the NBOG website.

Rest up, friends. Starting at 6:21pm this Saturday, the city will be hosting Nuit Blanche Ottawa+Gatineau (NBOG) – it’s the biggest all-night art party you’ve been waiting for! With over 100 projects from local, national and international artists working in animation, audio, film, fine craft, installation, new media, performance, photography, sculpture, spoken word, textile, and a variety of other visual art forms – it’s the perfect opportunity to engage with the city and catch some innovative artistic practices at the same time (and stay up ’til 4:22am with 30,000 of your... | Continue reading article

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House of PainT kicks off with the 2nd annual Ottawa Grand 500 Poetry Slam

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D'bi Young.D'bi Young.

House of PainT kicks off this week with a multitude of events . The festival that celebrates the four elements of hip hop – graffiti writing, bboy/bgirl, DJing and MCing is kicking things off on Wednesday at Babylon with the Ottawa Grand 500, its second annual poetry slam night. There will be special performances by a number of artists from Ottawa and beyond including the legendary Jesse Dangerously, poet master Ian Keteku with the Hilotrons’ Mike Dubue, Missing Linx , DJ Prufrock and internationally known dub poet and story teller,... | Continue reading article

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