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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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Photo of Ptarmigan by Agatha Rowland.Photo of Ptarmigan by Agatha Rowland.

Still recovering from New Year’s? It seems the city is – while there’s not a lot going on this weekend, there’s enough to keep you warm and cozy. Raw Sugar is having an indie music evening on Friday, with Toronto’s Ptarmigan stopping by along with Mara Nesrellah. Out at the Black Sheep, Kelly Sloan will be joining the Dusty Drifters for a bit of bluegrass on Friday. Animal Cash, the Will Hunter Band, and the Ginger Fox Band are all playing at Zaphod’s on Friday night. Saturday, Winchester Warm will take... | 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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Lori Victor’s, How Would Mary Feel? at Wall Space Gallery

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All photos courtesy of Wall Space Gallery.All photos courtesy of Wall Space Gallery.

The first image that came to mind when I heard about Lori Victor’s latest installation, How Would Mary Feel? was an icon of the Virgin Mary. ‘Tis the season. The work, to be displayed at Wall Space Gallery until Dec. 29, is essentially a wall of derogatory words that have been used to disdainfully describe women for centuries. It is intended to generate discussions regarding women’s rights. According to the Artist Statement, each word is cross-stitched by hand using cotton embroidery thread on traditional “Aida” fabric, and framed individually, with... | Continue reading article

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RED HANDED art show – A must-see collection by Ottawa artists

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Photo by Daniel MartelockPhoto by Daniel Martelock

If you want to become acquainted with Ottawa-area artists, visiting the Red Handed art show at Cyclelogik at 1111A Wellington St West is a great place to start. Until December 25,  some 40 artists from the national capital are displaying their works with several intriguing pieces for sale. The vivacious and talented Andrea Stokes, an artist herself, has been curating the show for the last eight years. “I organize this show every year as a love-in for emerging and established local artists.  I usually allow space for a few artists... | Continue reading article

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Filed in: Visual art

Weekend roundup + a theatre ticket giveaway

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Dog Day plays tonight at Pressed.Dog Day plays tonight at Pressed.

‘Tis the season for launch parties, apparently. Tonight Dann Oickle releases his new album Blitzkreig! down at the Mercury Lounge. Tomorrow, Oldam Brand kicks off its existence at IdeaSpace, displaying some of their unique fixtures and makings. Down on Elgin, the new Mags + Fags sister store Boogie and Birdie officially opens, with treats and deals galore. There are plenty of craft shows happening, if you’re still looking for unique handcrafted gifts. Urban Craft is Saturday down in the Glebe, while the Ottawa Farmers Market has a special holiday version.... | Continue reading article

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Ottawa Pop Expo offers endless fun for lovers of comics, science fiction and fantasy

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Ottawa pop expo

If you are a fan of comic books, and love a healthy dose of science fiction and fantasy, then the Ottawa Pop Expo this weekend offers many special treats. Taking place at the Ernst and Young Centre (4899 Uplands Dr), the two-day event will feature a wide range of exhibitors, as well as numerous special guests, including such luminaries as Howard Chaykin of American Flagg! fame, and Tony Moore who co-launched the comic book series The Walking Dead. Marco Rudy, who has worked on such projects as Marvel Knights: Spider-Man, will also be present.  In 2014, Rudy is teaming up... | Continue reading article

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Video of the week? How about video of the year!

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Photo courtesy of House of PainT.Photo courtesy of House of PainT.

When I heard Souljazz Orchestra got commissioned by House of PainT to perform a special set for HoPX’s final event, the bboy finale, I new it was going to be a special treat. Souljazz’s Pierre Chrétien and his bandmates began work on the setlist in July. The final setlist included 16 songs fused breaks and hip hop classics like DJ Kool, James Brown and DJ Shadow, woven in with afro and ethio-jazz compositions by Manu Dibango and Multatu Astatke, topped off by Souljazz originals Agoya and Insurrection. House of PainT is... | Continue reading article

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Filed in: Dance, Music, Visual art

Weekend roundup: What to do in Ottawa

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There’s plenty to keep you going this weekend, whether you want to find unique gifts or get one of your own. Craft shows continue, with Craftalicious and the Hub Market on Saturday and the Chinatown Craftwalk on Sunday afternoon. The Enriched Bread Artists are mixing it up with an 80s dance party and an art sale featuring photographs, textiles, prints and more. Get your share of foodies delights at the Holiday Locavore Artisan Food Fair, happening all day Saturday. And you can make your own gifts with the Make and... | Continue reading article

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Bee Work at Galerie St-Laurent + Hill, one night only

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Portrait of the artist with Florid. All Photos courtesy of Pierre Laporte Photography.Portrait of the artist with Florid. All Photos courtesy of Pierre Laporte Photography.

When Chelsea’s Sarah Hatton was faced with the loss of thousands of honeybees from her hives, she did what she could as an artist. She turned distress into creation. The result is Bee Work, a beautiful and dizzying collection of tableaus composed entirely of glued-on bees. Apartment613 had the opportunity to ask the artist a few questions ahead of Wednesday’s one-night-only exhibit at Galerie St-Laurent + Hill. Apt613: How long have you kept honey bees? Tell us about your hives. Sarah Hatton: I am at the end of my second season keeping honeybees. It... | Continue reading article

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