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Gas Light Electric’s handmade marquee signs light up the city

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A custom sign by Gas Light Electric.  All photos by Meg Marshall.A custom sign by Gas Light Electric. All photos by Meg Marshall.

Marquee signs are making a comeback, and you don’t need to travel back in time to get your own. If you drive half an hour west of the city, you will reach Gas Light Electric, run by Scott Adamson. His work can be found all over town. The “C-O-F-F-E-E” sign at Equator Coffee, which I mentioned in my previous Apt613 article about the cafe, the “N-A-M-A-S-T-E” sign at Yogatown and the Union 11 sign are all examples of his bright and fun work. And the best thing about these pieces of art is that they... | Continue reading article

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Write On Ottawa: True Patriot comics tell distinctly Canadian stories

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Image from the True Patriot Facebook pageImage from the True Patriot Facebook page

I remember when I was a little kid I’d always grab one of the comic books off the magazine rack while waiting in line at the grocery store with my parents. I’d devour them, finishing half the book before my parents would be ready to leave. It’s been years since I’ve sat down with a comic book and so it was really a treat to read through True Patriot volumes one and two. True Patriot is a collection of superhero adventures. Each anthology contains about fifteen stories, of which some... | Continue reading article

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Cirque du Soleil’s Varekai a mind blowing experience

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Still from Varekai by Cirque du Soleil – Official Trailer. Other photos courtesy of Cirque du Soleil.Still from Varekai by Cirque du Soleil – Official Trailer. Other photos courtesy of Cirque du Soleil.

Cirque du Soleil is like watching one of your dreams happen as a spectator. The performers are a combination of acrobats, gymnasts and athletes who somehow are also excellent actors. Classic clown-like circus acts meet children’s fairy tales in the latest Cirque installment, titled Varekai. Varekai was in Ottawa over the weekend, but will continue on the road for the upcoming year. When it concludes, over 8 million people will have seen this production. The production alone can be mind boggling. Contortionists and jugglers warm up backstage, demonstrating only 56... | Continue reading article

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Dundonald Park benches get a facelift

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All photos by Trevor Alain.All photos by Trevor Alain.

Somerset is a bustling street. You could be leaving one of the uncountable pho restaurants, Pour Boy or The Daily Grind, but chances are you’ve passed by Dundonald Park. The park doesn’t have a great reputation. One Yelp reviewer claims that it’s “frequented by shady characters after dark.” Another reviewer said, “This isn’t necessarily the prettiest part of the city.” But the Dundonald Park Working Group is looking to change that stigma. On May 13, there was a meeting to discuss a whole mess of things, but most importantly, the Community... | Continue reading article

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Observing music through photographs

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Photo by Jehu Jacob MahautierePhoto by Jehu Jacob Mahautiere

What does music look like?  For local photographer Jehu Jacob Mahautiere this question is at the forefront of his artistic work. “I was a DJ in Montreal, that is where my passion for art comes from,” says Mahautiere, who moved to Ottawa about a decade ago. His time spinning records in night clubs and dance parties, he tells me, led him to make a direct connection between sound and images. “When I listened to music I had an image in my head,” he says in a phone interview.  “When I... | Continue reading article

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Community-driven fest celebrates renewal + change

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Artists scheduled for live painting at Chinatown PREMIXED.Artists scheduled for live painting at Chinatown PREMIXED.

Each May for the past eight years, Ottawa’s Chinatown has come alive for a celebration of the arts – Chinatown Remixed. What began as an initiative of the Somerset Business Improvement Association (BIA), the month long event paired local artists with local businesses in which to display their work. The festival kicks off with a giant party where people mill up and down Somerset Street, checking out the music, installations, and art, all the while enjoying some delicious food and drink. Now in its eighth year, Chinatown Remixed is switching... | Continue reading article

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Ottawa Creatives: Emil Mateja

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Through the Woods, by Emil Mateja. Photo from his website.Through the Woods, by Emil Mateja. Photo from his website.

This June, Ottawa Creatives is looking at emerging artists in the city. This place is full of incredible talent and we hope this space is an opportunity for our readers to discover new artists. Additionally, if you think there is an amazing poet, musician, dj, or artist that we need to hear about, please email us at apartment613@gmail.com. Growing up, Emil Mateja’s favourite thing to do was draw. While other kids had video games and Ninja Turtles, he had pencils, markers, and paper. When not busy with school work, he’d... | Continue reading article

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The Feminist Twins present: Paint Nite

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Jenna and Kayla, the Feminist Twins, photo from  feministtwins.tumblr.comJenna and Kayla, the Feminist Twins, photo from feministtwins.tumblr.com

There are few things more satisfying than the feeling of letting your creativity flow out through a paintbrush and onto a canvas. Add to that the energy of a big ol’ party and you’ve got, in my books, an ideal night out. Painting parties have been happening around the city for a while now and they all work in more or less the same way.  Purchasing a ticket for the event gets you into the venue, puts a drink in your hand, and covers the cost of your painting supplies. ... | 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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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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