October has somehow raced to an end, and I hope we’ve all had our fill of sunny days and beautiful fall leaves as the wind gets colder and the nights get longer. Speaking of longer nights – don’t forget that the clocks fall back one hour this Saturday night! Even if time seems to have lost most of its meaning in recent months, this seemingly arbitrary moving of the clocks can’t be cancelled by COVID!
This weekend is mostly about Halloween, and the final hurrah of all the spooky wagon rides, haunted mazes, flaming pumpkins, and trick-or-treat debates. Whatever you plan to do this weekend, please follow the current provincial safety guidelines, limit your exposure to strangers, stick to your smallest and most fun bubble, wash your hands, and wear your mask! Even if Halloween is mostly cancelled, there is still Halloween candy and scary movies to get us through the weekend!
C’est l’Halloween! If you were a young anglophone learning French in the last two decades, you might have this song stuck in your head lately. I couldn’t resist the temptation to share this pretty excellent music video to get you into the nostalgic bilingual spooky spirit. #Sorrynotsorry.
Saturday is the final night for most of the popular spooky events around the valley, so make a plan RIGHT NOW if you have missed out on something you wanted to do! Saunders Farm has some great activities both during the day and at FrightFest after dark. Visits are limited to two hours, and tickets must be reserved ahead of time online for the terrifying drive-thru! Cannamore Orchard’s Acres of Terror is also finishing up this weekend on a scary note. You can visit during the day for a milder dose of terror, while those who appreciate a good fright should head out after dark. In order to ensure everyone’s safety, tickets must be purchased in advance and masks must be worn throughout your visit.
For other virtual scares, turn to our old friends at Haunted Walks for their Virtual Haunted Campfires stories. Each campfire session is live streamed through a Zoom link, and costs $10 per household. Support creators and storytellers by paying for what we all know to be excellent content! You can also purchase access to sessions that have already passed, so why not start spooking yourself right now? Thursday night at 7:30pm, catch Canada from Ghost to Ghost, and Saturday there are two campfires, one in the afternoon for the kiddos, and one at 11:30pm literally called Midnight Ghost Stories. Something about staying up late to listen to ghost stories is making me very twitchy. I love it.Hopefully much less terrifying, Square Lemon is hosting a Wicked Virtual Market. Over 30 local vendors will be selling their cool wares online, from Thursday at 10am to Saturday at 6pm. There will be games and events during the market, and they will also be hosting pop-up hours on Friday and Saturday for those of us who prefer to see the items in person.
In case you missed our Video of the Week this week: Holy moly. In the search for locally made movies that showcased Ottawa, Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter came to light, and it blew the socks off our contributor. I just… cannot do it justice. Put it in your weekend movie lineup between Rocky Horror and Scream. Trust us.
Marvest, the free online festival featuring CityFolk musicians, is featuring local act Hopper on Friday night. Described as “Modest Mouse meets Young Empires,” these fellas sure do make some catchy tunes! Alternative indie rock, this five-piece band seems like they put on a very energetic and fun show, with crisp vocals and major dance party vibes. Crank the volume and jump around like it’s an undergrad basement party rager. While you’re at it, subscribe to the #ottmusic weekly playlist that the cool music people here at the blog keep fresh and fun for us all. (I promise I am not one of the cool music people.)
Hear me out: How about a bag of trash instead of a bag of candy? Enter a new tradition – Trick or Trash. The idea is simple – it’s a Halloween-costumed cleanup anywhere in Canada where there is pollution. Gather your circle, put on your costumes and get some fresh air on Saturday while cleaning up a local park, beach, or playground. Organized by Ocean Bridge, an Ocean Wise initiative, you can track your trash and share your progress online. Since so many cleanups were cancelled this year, this is the perfect way to earn all those mini chocolate bars waiting for you at home! Learn all about it here!
Join Rag & Bone Puppet Theatre and MASC for STRANGE SNIPPETS, a virtual Halloween Party featuring spooky (yet family-friendly) tales from Ottawa puppeteers Kathy MacLellan and John Nolan. Families are invited to dress up and celebrate Halloween from the comfort and safety of their homes. The first Zoom performance at 1:30pm has already sold out, so another performance at 3:30pm has just been added. Tickets are free and may be reserved here.
This is the final weekend for the Drive In Experience at Wesley Clover, which is heartbreaking. Make the most of the final weekend by seeing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 2 on Friday, or Halloween (1978) on Saturday at 8:30pm. Tickets are still available, but limited! Get into costume, pack the car with ghouls and enjoy a scary night out under the stars! Tickets are $36.45 per vehicle and need to be purchased online!
Dance Party. Have I got your attention back? Together Apart is BACK with another virtual dance party kicking off at 9:30pm. Pink Veil and DJ Hobo will be spinning the tracks and expect you to log on in costume and ready to cut a rug. This ongoing party was one of the highlights of the summer shutdown weekends, and we are excited for its revival! Funds will be raised to support the Ottawa Food Bank as well, which might feel better than handing out candy to strange children.
If you are looking for some non-spooky content, look no further than this Saturday’s episode of Absolutely Canadian on CBC. This ongoing series features filmmakers from Ottawa/Gatineau, and especially talent you may recognize from 613Tv! Ottawa Reels plays at 8pm featuring a selection of shorts exploring a range of relevant topics. Stream it online as well on CBC Gem.
One more step removed from the shenanigans of Halloween is the first NAC Orchestra live streamed performance EVER. Solace will feature a selection of works celebrating diverse composers and performers in a thoughtful, peaceful reflection on the turmoil of 2020. It will rely heavily on the string sections, including classical guitar, so I can imagine this would go perfectly with a fire, a glass of wine and a bowl of Halloween candy. This event will be free and begins at 8pm live from Southam Hall.
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On October 8th, we got to capture the full orchestra reuniting for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic. The enthusiasm and excitement was palpable, musicians could not have been happier to return to stage. We were able to witness the incredible resilience our musicians and staff have demonstrated in this video, where the orchestra is seen rehearsing Prokofiev’s Classical Symphony at a slower tempo, adjusting carefully to the new circumstances. The Orchestra will perform its season opening live-streamed concert featuring music by George Walker, Jessie Montgomery, Jacques Hétu, Samuel Barber, Carlos Simon and Jocelyn Morlock on October 31 at 8 p.m.! https://nac-cna.ca/en/event/27450 — Le 8 octobre dernier, nous avons eu la chance de filmer l’orchestre complet qui se réunissait pour la première fois depuis le début de la pandémie. L’enthousiasme et l’excitation étaient palpables, les musiciens n’auraient pas pu être plus heureux de revenir sur scène. Nous avons pu constater l’incroyable résilience dont nos musiciens et employés ont fait preuve dans cette vidéo, où l’on voit l’orchestre répéter la Symphonie classique de Prokofiev à un rythme plus lent, en s’adaptant soigneusement aux nouvelles circonstances. L’orchestre présentera le 31 octobre à 20 h son concert d’ouverture de saison (virtuel) avec des musiques de George Walker, Jessie Montgomery, Jacques Hétu, Samuel Barber, Carlos Simon et Jocelyn Morlock! https://nac-cna.ca/fr/event/27450
Stay safe and spooky friends!!!