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Photo: Kiersten Vuorimaki.

Weekend Roundup: Quoi faire?

By Kiersten Vuorimaki on May 6, 2021

Despite the recent ugly temperatures, the tulips are putting on their annual spring show for us, so the only mood in Ottawa right now can be hopeful! I’m channeling hopefulness this weekend, friends, as we face another one in lockdown, but inching closer to warmer weather, herd immunity, and that sweet, sweet freedom of the red zone! Special events on the weekends are dwindling, as so many of us shrink back into hibernation, but do not fear!! We have you covered! This weekend you can take in some incredible art, attend an awards gala, enjoy an evening at the theatre, take in the best views the city has to offer, and eat like kings and queens. Call your family, and check in on your loved ones who live alone. Chin up, gang. We got this. Together.

All Weekend

For the 23rd year in Ottawa, but the first year online, The Ottawa Youth Infringement Festival takes place from May 6–9 virtually. Created to showcase original theatrical works by local youth, the festival is offering six shows this year by local talent. The festival alternates three shows each night with shows starting at 7pm, along with two matinée performances of To Be Honest on the weekend. Tickets are pay-what-you-choose starting at $5 and are currently available for sale on the YIF website. Our favourite theatre-goers the BFFs have a full breakdown here for you.

Every spring, Cheerfully Made Market has a major sale of locally made goodies, and for the second year it has moved online. Featuring more than 100 Canadian makers, this is a great opportunity to shop this Almonte treasure from the comfort of your Ottawa couch. Simply join online May 6–9 and shop the selection of makers with a single checkout and flat-rate shipping fee.

The Tulip Festival doesn’t open until next weekend, but all true Ottawans know that we don’t need a festival to celebrate our iconic blooms! With spring arriving early this year, we have the gift  of early tulips! Take a wander to the display nearest to you, and enjoy the riots of colour without the busloads of tourists who usually take over the capital this time every year. Tag us in your photos. Share the joy!

The NCC has expanded their Weekend BikeDays program to include not only the Parkways, but both Colonel By and Queen Elizabeth drives and extended closures in Gatineau. If cycling, running, walking, or skating is your thing, take advantage of these opportunities to explore the city’s most scenic vistas without the interference of car traffic.


A new phase of the overly complicated Ontario vaccination rollout begins Thursday, with an expanded group of essential workers and high-risk individuals becoming eligible at the provincial vaccination sites. Check the provincial website here for updates. If you or someone you know is eligible, please do everything you can to get an appointment booked! Good luck!

Remember quiet afternoons strolling through art galleries? Thoughtful conversations about art, existence and aesthetic? We can capture a sliver of that idyllic past time this Thursday as the National Gallery opens its newest exhibition: “Rembrandt in Amsterdam.” This is the first major Rembrandt exhibition in Canada since 1969, and the first-ever to be presented at the National Gallery of Canada. Thursday at 6pm you can hear the gallery’s curatorial team discuss the exhibition in a free Zoom event: “Rembrandt in Ottawa: New Context, New Perspectives” in preparation for re-opening to the public as soon as possible. This will also be the first new exhibition to open since the beginning of the pandemic, so get excited, art lovers!


Friday night is the biggest night in local music: The Capital Music Awards! The awards show recognizes artists and members of the community who contribute to Ottawa’s music scene. This second edition of the awards will showcase some of the most exciting talent in the city with five exclusive pre-recorded performances. Artists performing in the virtual gala show will include The CommotionsLeFLOFRANCOBaëbe RuthCéleste Lévis, and JW-Jones. The awards results will be aired on Friday, May 7 at 8pm. This one-hour special will broadcast on RogersTV (channel 22 in Ottawa) and streaming via YouTube. Check out Apt613’s breakdown of the categories and artists here. Looking for new music? Check out this listening party of the full albums shortlisted for the awards here. I also dare you not to fall in love with Céleste Lévis.

Friday is clearly for music. Lost Baggage Musical Theatre is offering A Quarantunes Cabaret: Disney Edition on Friday, May 7 at 7:00pm. This will be a free event via YouTube featuring local artists performing songs from our favourite Disney musicals. Tune in for this delightful evening of nostalgic hits, perfect for a silly night in with a bottle of wine and your loudest sing-along voice. I, for one, will be there on the edge of my seat waiting for my big number—Under The Sea.


This Saturday, you can catch the York Street Farmers’ Market on its opening weekend! This new producers-only market will be running down both the North and South sides of York Street every Saturday until November from 8am–1pm. Add this market to your weekend circuit if you’re in the area!

Cycling is taking the city by storm, but do you really know where to go? Join city councillor Laura Dudas for Discover Your City by Bike , a virtual workshop presented by EnviroCentre’s Let’s Bike! Discover some of the interesting destinations in Ottawa that are easily accessible by bicycle. Heritage sites, nature areas and public art are a few of the destinations that will be covered. Route planning resources will also be highlighted to help you plan your own adventure! This workshop is intended for people of all ages and cycling abilities.


Sunday is Mother’s Day! This could be a difficult celebration for many of us this year, for so many reasons, so take the time to celebrate the mothers around you! It’s not too late to order a delicious brunch or dinner delivered to a special mom wherever she is, or a delivery of last-minute flowers from her favourite florist. Think about the moms in your friend circle, and the moms-to-be, and send some love and support. Our Takeout Talks are a great place for dinner inspiration, and the #Support613 gift guides from the holiday season still offer fantastic gift ideas!


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