May 4 has for long been a landmark date for Star Wars fans. But recently, it’s moved beyond being a reason for private snickering between sci-fi devotees with a penchant for wordplay, becoming a holiday of sorts for geeks of all stripes. If this sounds like you, be sure to take part in a double dosage of geeky revelry by hitting local comic book stores for Free Comic Book Day on Saturday, May 4. The Comic Book Shoppe promises to give away a selection of free comics, complete with photo opportunities with cosplayers and store-wide discounts. Silver Snail is also getting in on the action with artist appearances and discounts as they celebrate their 37th anniversary. I can’t think of a better way to get psyched for Comiccon next week.
This weekend also marks the last hurrah for Northern Scene. In keeping with the science fiction theme, check out Sci-Fi Double Feature on Saturday, a live performance by a theatre director with a love for sci-fi and a filmmaker with a passion for puppetry. This one takes place at the NAC Fourth Stage. Saturday will also see a live performance by Tanya Tagaq during a screening of Nanook of the North at the Mayfair. Though it’s wrapping up, Northern Scene still has a lot to offer this weekend so be sure to check the schedule here.
Centrepointe Theatre is celebrating its 25th anniversary this weekend, and they’re planning big things with an appearance by Rick Mercer, the free Alive@25 Block Party and more. The block party on Saturday sounds particularly interesting, with musical and theatrical performances, as well as workshops on how to make your own remote control robots, laser cardboard cut-outs and DIY elephant sculptures. Word on the street is that you’ll want to be there at 11:30am, as the whole building is set to come alive. Mysterious!
This weekend will also be a big one for visual arts. Tonight, Galerie St-Laurent + Hill will kick off an exhibition of new works by Ottawa artist Michael Harrington. On Saturday, Patrick Gordon Framing Studio presents a retrospective of Claude Marquis portraits. The event will feature a performance by Marquis’ band The PepTides. Sunday’s Art Battle Ottawa at Arts Court will pit eight visual artists against each other in a war where the only weapons are creative skill, artistic inspiration and, perhaps, water colours.
This year’s rendition of the Tulip Festival will launch on Friday with a performance by Manotick’s Hollerado. This is the first year that the fest will run independently of the National Capital Commission. Many of the festivities will move to Marion Dewar Plaza (confusingly renamed Tulip Plaza during the festival) at City Hall.
Dance rock trio Fire and Neon will release their new ep Intentions on Friday at Ritual with The Love Machine and Zoo Legacy. Just a few doors down and 24 hours later on Saturday, Peterborough’s Hello Babies will join locals Adam Saikaley and H. de Heutz at the Avant-Garde Bar.
If it’s a swing dance party you’re craving, you’re in luck! Not one but two local swing parties (the clean kind) take place in the Ottawa area this weekend: Saturday Night Swing takes place in Ottawa proper, while you’ll have to make your way out to Perth to catch the Swing Big Band Dance Night at the same time. Those looking for something a little more traditional (dubstep, dancehall, industrial, maybe a little bit of trap) can check out Frenzy, Tropikalo or Death Disco.
This weekend’s Jane’s Walk activities will be perfect for those who are looking for a little bit of urban exploration. Our very own Ryan Saxby-Hill is running a walk through Somerset Street West on Saturday. Visit the Jane’s Walk website for a full list of scheduled walks taking place this weekend.
Foodies will want to check out this year’s debut of the Ottawa Farmers’ Market on Sunday, which is setting up shop at Brewer Park again this year during the reconstruction of Lansdowne.
There’s a lot going on out there, so make sure to experience some local culture this weekend. And let us know about events we might have missed in the comments.