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Weekend roundup: Things to do in Ottawa

By Trevor Pritchard on July 21, 2011

Photo courtesy chma fm on Flickr

Hey Ottawans, looking for some weekend plans? The Weekend Roundup has its magnifying glass out, its trusty bloodhound at its side, and is on the case. This is one mystery we’re not going to let go unsolved.

Starting with music: there ain’t no party like a B.A. Johnston party, because a B.A. Johnston party just might end with partial nudity, if the above photo’s any indication. You can catch the Hamilton indie rocker/shirt eschewer this Friday night at Irene’s. Guitar virtuoso Luke Doucet brings his White Falcon to the Black Sheep Inn that same evening, while up in Wakefield the next night it’s Rompre Stomp 2011, the town’s “biggest and happiest event of the summer” (at least, according to the Sheep’s website). On Friday at Raw Sugar it’s Pitch Black, their new experimental-noise-meets-a-completely-dark-cafe project. And Saturday brings Toronto singer-songwriter Pink Moth (Evolutionarily speaking, wouldn’t a pink moth be a terrible idea? As if the fact they spend most of their lives circling light fixtures doesn’t make them obvious enough to predators.) to the Chinatown cafe. On Friday at Mavericks it’s Dream Jefferson’s EP release party. And for the classical music snob in you, Chamberfest 2011 kicks off on Saturday.

Switching from live to recorded music, this Saturday is The Record Shaap’s one-year anniversary party. The Gilmour St. music store is promising deals on CDs and vinyl, a bunch of free giveaways, and possibly even chips and punch. Les Ateliers is known for its creative, quirky workshops (I’m still bitter I missed out on the cheesemaking course earlier this year), and on Saturday they’re teaching the Soderberghs and Miyazakis of tomorrow how to make their own film, using a process called cameraless animation. Perhaps occupying the exact opposite space on the cultural spectrum is Babylon’s beer pong tournament, featuring DJ Brains4Breakfast, on Friday night.

For the Amazing Race fans out there (or fans of heat exhaustion, given the forecast) the Mitsubishi City Chase on Saturday is your chance to race through the capital in a city-wide scavenger hunt/obstacle course. If you want to get outdoors, but take things a bit more easy Saturday also marks the sixth annual Urban Art Show in Minto Park. You could also haul your blanket or lawn chair to Confederation Park and soak in the sounds and smells of Istanbul as the Ottawa Turkish Festival swings into gear. There are also Lebanese and Haitian festivals kicking off – but don’t take my word for it; check out Vera Grbic’s excellent guide to the city’s cultural celebrations.

Seeking some intellectual stimulation? Cube Gallery’s month-long Nuit Noire festival continues Thursday with lectures on black holes and the search for life on other planets. That same night, Blink Gallery artist Uta Riccius unveils her series of large-scale artificial habitats built out of insulation foam at Major Hill’s Park; the exhibition, “The Home Show,” runs all weekend.  And on Sunday afternoon, Ottawa Urban Wild Tours will take walkers on a jaunt along Sawmill Creek and discuss urban streams.

What are you up to this weekend, Ottawa? Leave us a comment.


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