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National Arts Centre. Photo: Hannah Manning

Weekend Roundup: Quoi faire ?

By Kiersten Vuorimaki on May 23, 2019

The month of May has just blown by, and this weekend is going to be just as packed as every other weekend since the sun reappeared! The Tulip Festival is officially over, but tulips are still blooming all over the city, making for another colourful spring weekend. Get out there to enjoy them, and check out different corners of the city for some cool happenings.

All Weekend

This weekend the city welcomes athletes from around the world to Ottawa Race Weekend, so maybe you are hosting a runner, cheering on an ambitious friend, or just wondering why the city is suddenly full of spandex. There are some special events surrounding the runs to check out, but also keep in mind that there will be some road closures throughout the city both Saturday and Sunday, so plan ahead!

Wellington West is kicking off The Happening Festival 2019 this weekend with a launch party at Vimy Brewing Company on Friday at 7pm. The week long celebration of arts and culture in the community includes special events, pricing, and menus at businesses in Wellington West (the neighbourhood between Island Park and the Bayview Bridge). This is as good a reason as any to give the area a thorough wander!

Writers Fete 2019 is happening in Wakefield all weekend, featuring a variety of Canadian talent in multiple languages. The ticketed events include a pub crawl with juno award winner Tom Wilson, cocktails with Esi Edugyan and a presentation by Waub Rice. This is an excellent excuse for a road trip through Gatineau Park.

Would you rather spend the weekend eating ribs? That was obviously rhetorical. Kanata RibFest is happening at Community Hub on March Road. The festival opens Friday morning and runs until after dinner on Sunday. Load up the car. Load up your face.


At 7pm on Friday night check out the opening of Reconstructing Selves at Possible Worlds on Somerset Street West. The multi artist show explores the complexities of cultural identities and concepts of belonging in the diaspora. The entire show runs until July 28, to coincide with Asian Heritage Month (May), Filipino Heritage Month (June), and the Ottawa Chinatown Asian Night Market (July 26-28).

If you’ve been on as many ridiculous dates as the rest of us, you might as well laugh about it, right? Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at The 27 Club international storytellers Story Party will bring their show about the trials and tribulations of dating to Ottawa and perform some local tragedies live. “True Dating Stories” tickets can be purchased online, and you can submit your own story before the show as well.

Black Squirrel Books is hosting Book Club Comedy Friday Night. They promote the event as a comedy showcase “with booze and literature and riffs and raffs and rigmarole and music and dancing”. I cannot do a better job at selling it. The event is 19+ and tickets at $10. Doors open at 8pm.

If Barrhaven is more your style, check out Jazz Night at Anabia Cupcakes. This cute joint doesn’t just serve up cupcakes and coffee, but also charcuterie, wine and local beer. Treat yourself to a chill night in the ‘burbs with buds.


Once a year, everyone descends on The Glebe for some good old fashioned bargain hunting. This Saturday from 8am to 3pm is the Great Glebe Garage Sale! Parking is limited, so OC Transpo is your best option. Put on your most comfortable shoes, fill your wallet with cash and good luck with all of your finds!

The National Gallery of Canada is opening the new Gauguin portraiture exhibit this weekend, and guest Curator Cornelia Homberg is offering a lecture Saturday afternoon at 2pm. “Defining his Art, Honing his Vision, Articulating his Ambitions: Gauguin’s Models” will explore the contradictions in Gauguin’s colonial attitudes and the life he lived with the models of his famous portraits. Admission to the lecture is free and open to the general public.

Take a road trip out to Perth for a day of good old fashioned Ottawa Valley Moonshine. The Ontario Moonshine Festival runs from 12-8pm on Saturday, and is hosted by local fave Top Shelf Distillers. There will be live music, outdoor activities, food vendors and a variety of Ontario Moonshine to try. You can also buy tickets for a return trip bus ride to the festival, if you can’t rustle up a willing D.D.

Saturday night at Pressed on Gladstone check out Language Arts, Cedric Noel, and mal/aimé in an eclectic and innovative show of Canadian talent. Expect beckoning choruses,improvisational soundscapes, subtle nuances and experimental chamber sounds. Tickets are $10 at the door, but go early and grab a sammy.


When you head to the Farmer’s Market at Lansdowne on Sunday, bring along the books you’ve decided no longer spark joy during your spring cleaning, and donate them to the Friends of the Ottawa Public Library Association. The books will be resold during one of their Mammoth Book Sales and go towards library programming in our community. They will be collecting books at Lansdowne from 9am-2pm.

If it turns out to be more of an indoors kind of day, head to the Canada Aviation and Space Museum for 2-3pm for the final instalment of their Music at the Museum series. This bilingual presentation is free with admission to the museum, and this weekend’s theme is “Canada Takes Flight”.

Whatever you end up doing, and however you celebrate another week in our beautiful city, stay safe, stay hydrated and wear your sunscreen! Tag us in your adventures!

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!