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Grab a book, pick a chair – enjoy the sunshine, or the shade at the Capital Reading Garden

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Photo courtesy of the Capital Reading Garden.Photo courtesy of the Capital Reading Garden.

This story starts in New York City. Mary Beth Baker and her partner’s family were in the Big Apple and Mary Beth wanted to see the lions at the New York City library. They passed through Bryant Park to get to the library – and to their surprise – right at street level, they found a bunch of books, chairs and tables.  ”The open air library was a beautiful space.” says Baker, who unfortunately didn’t get to spend that much time there. But the idea stuck in her head… Fast... | Continue reading article

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Filed in: Books & Lit, News

Video of the Week: Kalle Mattson’s Water Falls

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Waterfalls are mesmerizing. Watching them, listening to their soothing lull, it’s easy to lose track of time. You may find watching the new video for local musician Kalle Mattson’s single, “Water Falls,” similar. It’s directed by Kevin Parry, who’s also responsible for the “Thick as Thieves” video that went viral last November (if you haven’t seen it you’re probably the only one – check it out here). The stop motion animation in “Thick as Thieves” is beyond awesome, but not something Kalle Mattson wants to be defined by. The new... | Continue reading article

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Filed in: Music

Bridgehead’s New Roastery: Willy Wonka for the Coffee Geek

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From left to right--Gina Becker, Linda Kruuz, Ian Clark, Kevin Lake, Tracey Clark, and Cliff HansenFrom left to right--Gina Becker, Linda Kruuz, Ian Clark, Kevin Lake, Tracey Clark, and Cliff Hansen

During my extensive research for this article, I stumbled upon this clip from 1971’s Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. In the clip, the children are welcomed into the factory by a strange and rather morally ambiguous Gene Wilder. Now, I would contend, and I think anyone who has toured any candy factory, that this scene is somewhat removed from reality. I once toured the now-no-more Hershey’s factory in Smiths Falls, and at the time I was struck by the lack of whimsy, majesty and creepy men singing “come with... | Continue reading article

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Weekend roundup: What to do in Ottawa

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Photo of Feral Children courtesy their myspace page.Photo of Feral Children courtesy their myspace page.

It’s another sunny one ahead, friends. And while our coverage of all things local at Bluesfest continues (did you know Kelly from the Claytones can do an awesome Cher impression? Or that The Flats want to head to Pluto? We’ve got the inside scoop, folks), there’s more than just music happening this weekend. First of all, grab a summery novel and head down to the canal downtown to check out the Capital Reading Garden, a popup space that’s perfect for bookworms. Shakespeare fans should head to Prescott for their annual... | Continue reading article

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Worth the hype? Grimes, Big Boi and Rich Aucoin

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Photo courtesy of Blurasis.Photo courtesy of Blurasis.

Out of all the days of Bluesfest, yesterday’s was the one I was most looking forward to, and I’ll be honest, I was a little bit disappointed. It’s not that the artists didn’t deliver on their promise, but I think all, save one, could have used a little extra somethin’ somethin’ to make their show better. Below are my thoughts and feelings on last night’s performances of Grimes, Big Boi and Rich Aucoin. I got to Lebreton Flats early because I wanted to check out Grimes, the Montreal via Vancouverite... | Continue reading article

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Filed in: Bluesfest, Music

mother tongue books closes its doors

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Photo of rob mclennan doing a reading at mother tongue books courtesy pesbo on Flickr. mother tongue books has been an Ottawa bookstore institution for 18 years – many young and future feminists passed through its doors. A community hub ever since it opened in 1994, mother tongue books has served as a creative, safe space for people to meet, chat and share life. They’re not going out quietly, though – they’ve been throwing regular events since they announced the closing, and have a few more events to go before... | Continue reading article

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Meet Megan Smith, Artengine’s Critical Resident Blogger

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Megan Smith. As I become an avatar and Edwige becomes me. (2010) Digital video still.Megan Smith. As I become an avatar and Edwige becomes me. (2010) Digital video still.

For the last three years, Ottawa-based new media collective Artengine has hosted a Critical Blogging Residency, with the aim to bolster critical writing about technologically-based art within the city. The organization, which brings to Ottawa events like Electric Fields, the Mini Maker Faire, and bimonthly meet-ups at the Mod Lab (they have a 3D printer!), has recently selected Megan Smith for the year-long residency. I met up with Megan and Artengine’s Artistic Director Ryan Stec over coffee a short while ago to chat about the residency and their plans for the upcoming... | Continue reading article

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Filed in: Visual art

One soundtrack to bring them all and in the darkness bind them!

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Photo by Yasmin Nissim.Photo by Yasmin Nissim.

The low driving bass notes that told you Jaws was on his way, the nerve-jangling screeching of strings from Hitchcock’s Psycho that changed showering forever, the brazen trumpets of the Star Wars theme that gave you hope for the rebel alliance, these are all quintessential examples of the importance of music in spinning a tale.  Without music, these iconic films lack the same emotive quality they have when backed by a well-executed score. Music helps set the tone, foreshadow events – in essence, tell the story. One such epic saga... | Continue reading article

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Nuit Noire celebrates the night sky

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Work by Anna Edels courtesy of cubegallery.caWork by Anna Edels courtesy of cubegallery.ca

“Get inside!  It’s about to start.” “What is?” “The best fucking thing ever!” These were the words yelled into a crowded sidewalk by Cube Gallery owner, Don Monet, last Thursday evening to kick-off their annual dark-sky festival, Nuit Noire.  The festival, which runs until July 29th, is characterized by a wide range of activities with the night sky as their theme.  These activities include lectures by physicists and astronomers, telescope facilitated stargazing. At Nuit Noir’s core is a month-long art exhibition. At the vernissage last Thursday, throngs of art enthusiasts sought... | Continue reading article

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Filed in: Visual art
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