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Photo courtesy The Hidden Cameras website. They're playing Westfest Friday night.

Weekend roundup: What to do in Ottawa

By Karen Diepeveen on June 7, 2012

And we’re (almost) back to the weekend! It’s hard to believe that it’s already time for Westfest, but indeed, this free music festival has crept up on us once again. Sure, we’ve known the lineup for a while, but that’s only built up the excitement. Plus, getting a head start on music festival enthusiasm can only be a good thing – or at least that’s what the organizers of the Arboretum music+arts festival are convinced of. Head down to Babylon tonight to get a taste of what this newest festival will bring later this fall.

In a bit of a retro mood? You’re in luck – Pressed Cafe has teamed up with a few Apt613 editors to bring you Saturday morning cartoons. Revel in the mellow days of yore when all you had to do was get up, eat breakfast, and settle in front of the telly, before all of these grownup chores took over. Although being older does have its merits – it means you can head over to Dom Polski and buy cool vintage items for your wicked apartment at the Idle Hands Craft and Vintage Sale.

If you’d rather play outside, head up to the Hill to help break the largest boot camp ever world record. Sure, you might sweat a bit, but your name could go down in history! Channel that energy into dancing at the Kitchen Party down at the Rochester Pub Friday night. At SAW Gallery on Friday, you can meet the photographers who have taken the images for CIPHERS, their latest exhibit, and can stick around for extra dancing and crafting with Spins and Needles later that night.

To check out new and emerging local film talent, head to JumpstART’s screenings of works from the latest participants in their video mentorship program. Local musical talent can be found down at the Elmdale Tavern, with a triple bill of Ottawa’s finest. Ottawa’s own Marc Adornato manages to be in three places at once (perhaps he’s a time traveler in addition to being an artist?) with his new show that launches this Friday night.

For a bit of an intimate music scene, Faraway Neighbours will be playing a house show tonight. PS I Love You will be dropping in from nearby Kingston on Friday, along with Army Girls. The Digmobile will be parking at the Mercury Lounge, while music and poetry lovers can get their fill with Ian Keteku, Moe Clark, and Brandon Wint. And Ottawa Explosion is kick starting their festival (the music portion of which starts Wednesday) with a bit of funny-bone tickling at Ottawa Comedy Explosion this Saturday night. For you country lovers, Lucky Ron is hosting his annual hoedown out at the Black Sheep all day Sunday. The Sheep also has Sunparlour Players and Matt Barber rounding out their weekend headliners.

What else is missing from this list that must be seen, heard or experienced this weekend, Ottawa?


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  • Hey Apt 615 – it’s also a major dance weekend! The 9-day Canada Dance Festival (CDF), celebrating its twenty-fifth year advancing Canadian dance, opens this Friday night at the NAC. The CDF balances expanding artistic boundaries with popular dance programming. There is something for everyone to see! And, for experienced dancers, free morning dance workshops are on next week at Arts Court, being taught by Festival artists. Check it all out here:

    And, for a hoofin’ good time, the Ottawa Rhythm Initiative -supporting tap artistry and the voice of Ottawa tappers – is hosting their third tap jam and rhythm tap workshop at Dance With Alana studios, 1800 Bank Street, Suite lucky #13. Canadian tap artists Allison Toffan and Dianne Montgomery, who hail from Toronto, are in town hosting the ORI Tap jam on June 8, with classes and workshop on June 8 & 10. Dancers also get to hang and collaborate with musicians from the Ottawa jazz music scene, which is also very cool.