February may be a short month, but the weekends are making up for lost time by being chock full of fun things to do. A word of advice before reading the Roundup this week: make sure you’ve got a pen and paper ready, because making the most out of this busy weekend requires a bit of careful planning.
There are more weekend-long events happening this weekend in Ottawa than we can count on one hand!
Winterlude makes its way into its second weekend here in the Capital. Saturday and Sunday promise to bring along some colder temperatures that should have the Rideau Canal Skateway back in action, for all to enjoy. However, there are several other ways to enjoy Winterlude that do not involve a skate along the Canal, or even an infamous Beavertail. Check out the winter playground that is Snowflake Kingdom in Jacques-Cartier Park or Crystal Garden’s ice sculptures which, it is important to note, have moved from Confederation Park to the ByWard Market, new as a Winterlude destination this year.
This year’s first ever WinterPride takes place this weekend. There is an Ice Cabaret with Capital Tease Burlesque and drag queen Mado on Sparks Street this Friday. Bring the family to a day of fun winter activities at Sparks and Bank on Saturday. On Sunday, Let’s March & make NOISE during WinterPride’s Pride March, beginning at Parliament Hill at noon.
While checking out Winterlude, why not take a skate down to Dow’s Lake for the Ottawa Ice Dragon Boat Festival? With 125 teams competing over two days, it is the largest festival of its kind in the world! There is more than just the dragon boats to take in as well, including a series of free concerts in the Dow’s Lake Pavillion.
The Art House Café turns two this weekend! To celebrate, they’ll be hosting a slew of fun goings on. Stop by this Saturday and have your Table Portrait drawn, or join them for an evening performance by Justin Duhamie’s Gypsy Muse Trio. If you can’t make it on Saturday, don’t worry, the Table Portraits continue through the vernissage of Faces of Art House on Sunday.
Another exciting new festival this year is Bank Street’s Fire & Ice Festival. Take a stroll down Bank Street this weekend and you will find 14 interactive ice sculptures lining the blocks from Argyle to Slater. Once night time rolls around, Snider Plaza turns into a Silent Disco. Worried you’ll be too cold to dance? Fret not: there will be a heated tent and libations by Flora Hall to keep you cozy.
Ottawa is host to not one but two great musical festivals this weekend: Winter Jazz Fest and MEGAPHONO. Winter Jazz Fest takes place at La Nouvelle Scene at 333 King Edward. Taking place over the course of three days, Winter Jazz Fest is full of great musical performances by artists such as Kevin Breit’s Bona Fide Scoundrels, Pugs & Crows, and the Joey Calderazzo Trio.
MEGAPHONO is an opportunity for Ottawa to strut its stuff. Each year the festival invites a host of music industry professionals to come pay witness to this city’s incredible talent and connect with local artists. This year’s festival boasts performances by 70 artists, in 20 unique venues, over the span of three days – including performances by Sparklesaurus, Inland Island, Moonfruits, and Teke Teke.
Take advantage of free Thursday evenings at the Canadian Museum of Nature and check out their special slow-moving creature showcase. Meet their celebrity sloth and a host of other unhurried friends including hedgehogs, rattlesnakes, and bats.
In conjunction with WinterPride, the Ottawa Art Gallery is hosting On the Rocks: Pride Edition this Friday night. Join them for an evening of drag and beats by DJ Sweet Cheeks. There will be also by live art, some tasty treats, and drinks from Top Shelf Distillers at the event.
Big Love Craft Market takes a tour through City Centre this Saturday. Check out their family-friendly market at Makerspace North during the day and their special Valentine’s Night Market at Beyond the Pale Brewery in the evening. With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, it’s the perfect opportunity to pick up that special something for that special someone.
Celebrate the Year of the Pig at the Chinese New Year Festival at the Horticulture Building in Lansdowne Park this Sunday. Learn about the culture and traditions while enjoying art and music.
A busy weekend winds down with Empow(her) – an evening of poetry at The Art House Café. In conjunction with Her Campus at Carleton, the show features performances by Marissa Matthews, Taylor Arnt, and Victoria Gravesande, as well as an open mic session for those wanting to share their craft.
Well there you have it, folks: the down low on what is up this weekend in our fine city. With so many fun events taking place this weekend, it is impossible to do it all. One thing we know for certain is that no matter what you choose to get up to, it is bound to be an awesome time. Get out there and enjoy your weekend! Take lots of photos and hashtag them with #APT613: we love to see what you all get up to!
For more of what’s happening in Ottawa, check out our events calendar. Out snapping photos? Tag us on Instagram @apt613 for a chance to be featured on our feed. Be sure to use the hashtag #APT613 so we can share your photos!