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Photo: Kiersten Vuorimaki.

Weekend Roundup: Quoi faire?

By Kiersten Vuorimaki on March 25, 2021

Well 613ers, we have made it through a full year of pandemic-style living, and this pretty little city of ours just keeps on keeping on. The weather has taken a major turn for the better, so despite the shifting restrictions of the red zone, we can enjoy ourselves a little bit in the valley this weekend. Whether you are headed out for a muddy hike, a sunny day on a patio, or some quality time at home with your wine and your live streams, take a moment to smell the spring thaw!

This is also your reminder that despite the fact that time has no actual meaning, next weekend is suddenly Easter – so start planning accordingly! I hope we can stay healthy, isolated, and cheerful while the Easter Bunny visits this year, so keep washing your hands, wearing your masks, and keeping safely in touch with the people who matter!

All Weekend

SPAO’s A+ Exhibition is an annual celebration of Ottawa’s photographic excellence in SPAO’s part-time community! Featuring local professionals and hobbyist photographers alike, from all different fields of the medium, the exhibition is a fan favourite. Available to view in-person (local regulations permitting) and virtually, enjoy the exhibit and find the nine award-winning projects that have been announced throughout this week. Be sure to submit your vote for the People’s Choice Award, which will be announced at the end of the exhibition.


The amazing folx at Creative Mornings are offering a later-than-breakfast-thank-goodness event this Friday from 11:30am–1pm. Ripple is being held in partnership with CBC Ottawa and the National Arts Centre to bring you music, keynotes, and conversations led by CBC Ottawa host Robyn Bresnahan. As part of CBC Ottawa’s In Her Words series, which was launched on International Women’s Day 2021, this event will explore how transformative change can come from the ripple of simple, small actions. Plan your lunch break around this discussion with Robyn and other fantastic Ottawa-area creatives.

Tune in to RogersTV Channel 22 (cable and free streaming) to watch two amazing local music performances this Friday. Filmed at the Shenkman Arts Centre in Fall 2020, Encore Ottawa set the stage for 16 local acts to record a live set with professional crew support and those performances are now available on Rogers. Crystalena, a soulful solo act, will introduce some jazz-like originals, while Harea Band, with their own style of pop, funk, and R&B, will get you dancing around the living room. Live music in the red zone!!

At 7pm on Friday check out Arts and Abolition, an event to raise funds through art and collaboration. A coalition of passionate citizen groups are launching their collaborative mutual aid project: Starter Packs for Newly Released Neighbours. This initiative will work with current and former prisoners in the region to provide essential items and services to community members who are released from detention facilities. This event will consist of live art performances, an auction, a raffle, and door prizes from local favourites like Venus Envy and Octopus Books.


We have all been doing our part to support local restaurants by ordering takeout and dining in when it was safe (hooray!) but what about dipping back into that productive Spring 2020 energy and learning to cook at home? The City of Ottawa Culture and Recreation people are offering an online paella cooking course this Saturday at 4pm. Cost is $29.25 through the city website and you are supplied with a shopping list, detailed instructions, and a streamed class. If tickets sell out, keep checking back for other events in the future!

To close out International Women’s Month, GCTC and Origin Arts present Haviah Mighty, streaming live from Ottawa on March 27 at 7:30pm. Haviah won the Polaris Prize for her 2019 album 13th Floor, making her the first hip hop artist and the first Black woman to do so. Tickets are available from $5 to $40. You decide the price that makes the most sense for you, and jam along!

Are you already missing Jazzfest? Well, I have a treat for you. The NAC is offering a free international jazz event Saturday night from 8-9:30pm. Northern Cadence is a special 90-minute jazz concert featuring the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, the Manhattan School of Music in New York, and McGill University’s Schulich School of Music in Montreal. Three mini-concerts will offer a range of original compositions and jazz standards. This is a perfectly swanky end to a great evening.


With clear sidewalks and sunny skies comes the beloved spring activity of… running! (yay….?) The Mill Street Milers are holding their first meetup of the 2021 season this Sunday at 11am. The club is free to join for runners of all fitness levels who are 19+. Beers are enjoyed after the run, and this week they are asking runners to bring two pairs of new socks that will be donated to the Shepherds Of Good Hope and Chrysalis House after the event. Distances are 3K/6K/12K so if you’re looking for a socially distanced running group that does good deeds and drinks beer, check them out!

The Ottawa Farmers’ Market continues to provide us with a nice little Sunday errand to run, and this weekend is no different! Pick up some of those chocolate-covered dates that we were all obsessed with at Christmas, and most importantly, don’t forget that is is also the most wonderful time of the year….

Bonus Monday!

Nope, it’s not a long weekend, but cool things are not limited to weekends anymore! The Ottawa Tool Library is offering a helpful and timely webinar: Start your Seeds and get Ready for Spring Gardening Monday at 7pm. For $6.66 the library’s resident gardening expert will outline the pros and cons of starting your seedlings indoors, what seeds are best to start with, the materials you’ll need, and answer any question you might have. If you missed the good news, the Tool Library is also opening up in its new location on Boyd Avenue in Carlington on April 1!


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