And just like that, we are halfway through July. How is everyone doing? Like, really doing? With the province opening up this Friday, and vaccination numbers gaining incredible speed, take a moment to check in with yourself about your safety and health needs. Some of us are bursting at the seams to hug every single person we’ve ever met, and others are feeling the strangeness of coming out of hiding very acutely. Take care of one another. Check in with your loved ones, your friends who live alone, your parents and neighbours. It’s going to be a beautiful weekend, and our beautiful city is ready for us to enjoy! Whether you have a weekend of museum and patio hopping planned, or a quiet picnic in your neighbourhood park, stay safe, stay hydrated, support local businesses, and take a deep breath of that July air, friends. We’ve gotten this far together. Let’s keep one another safe.
The National Gallery reopens this weekend after a long closure. There is something for everyone, with a full season of programming for us all to enjoy. Rembrandt in Amsterdam features works spanning the artist’s career, some of which have never been seen in Canada. In the Rotunda, Symphony is a contemporary installation piece by Canadian artist Tau Lewis using recycled and found fabric, leather and other organic materials. For safety reasons, timed tickets need to be purchased ahead of time, online here. The perfect air-conditioned escape from the real world is just a few clicks away!
View this post on Instagram
The Canadian Museum of History is now open as well, but its summer exhibition Queens of Egypt is only on until August 22, so if you have been tempted by the buzz around this event, it’s probably smart to get your tickets now! The War Museum also reopens this weekend, if you’re looking for a cool, shady place to have a safe wander. Tickets need to be purchased ahead of time.
If you prefer your culture a little bit more local, then Ottawa Art City is the event for you. A free augmented-reality art festival in Ottawa’s downtown core, the event runs until Sunday, July 18. Anyone with an iPhone can take part by downloading the free app (developed by artist Paul Sharp) and peruse local artists’ creations in situ, virtually. Think Pokémon Go, but with cool local art. The outdoor art exhibit will take place within the ByWard Market, so it is the perfect summer weekend walkabout. Read more about it in our interview with the artist here.
Start your weekend early with some live music at the second annual Stittsville front porch concert series. From 6–9pm, Stittsville residents are encouraged to perform live music from their front porches, garages, driveways or whatever to fill the streets with life and song. According to the Facebook event, music can heal, but sometimes we need a little extra help, so they will be accepting donations to the Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa. Donations can be made online or at performance locations, with 100% of proceeds donated on behalf of the residents of Stittsville. Check the discussion tab on the Facebook event for the latest list of performers.
Encore Ottawa continues to rock us virtually with their season two offerings. Friday night you can catch local legends MonkeyJunk for some classic blues/funk that will get your night started right. They play at 8pm, followed by Rory Taillon at 8:30pm. If you’re currently in your feelings, be warned—Taillon will pull every heart string. Just a man and his guitar. And all of our broken hearts.
Local Instagram book hero @secondhandstories is holding their next charity book sale this Saturday from 8am–4pm on their Carlington front lawn (address in their Instagram stories). The entire inventory of over 2,000 books will sell for $2 each. There will also be cookies and coffee for sale on site, all in support of The Sweet Sanctuary. This insta-based bookseller is sharing her love for books, animals, and the circular economy regularly, and if you can’t make it this weekend, but you love books, give her a follow.
View this post on Instagram
After a year at home, do you think your yard could use some more green? How about a free tree? On Saturday from 11am–1pm Ecology Ottawa will be handing out free saplings to anyone who wants to help green the capital and rebuild our urban canopy! Find them at the Vanier Community Hub event in the parking lot across from 270 Marier Avenue! The Free Tree Giveaway hopes to give away 15,000 trees this year, beating 2019’s total of 12,000. Trees will all be species native to the region, to encourage ecological balance and rebuilding of our local ecosystems.
NACO Brass continue to dazzle us with the Music on the Canal series, a free concert from a boat! The concert begins at the docks located on the Rideau Canal outside the NAC at 4:30pm. The boat arrives at Dow’s Lake approximately 45 minutes later and then turns back. The entire trip is 90 minutes, and the musicians perform on the boat while it is moving. Find a spot along the canal to enjoy the music as they stream by! The event is free, of course!
Origin Kitchen Concerts and CRANIUM present Dwayne Morgan and BLAKDENIM, in association with GCTC, in-person at the Brass Monkey and streaming live on YouTube on Saturday at 8:30pm. This evening of poetry and music with local Filipino catering company Lola’s Kitchen and visual artist An Nguyen will be a feast for all the senses. Whether you attend in person or watch from home, ticket prices for this event run from $5 to $40, depending entirely on what you would like to pay. All ticket holders will be placed in a draw at 8pm on Friday, July 16, and seven winners will receive a free meal from Lola’s Kitchen the following evening right on time for the concert!
Breakfast on The Farm is exactly what it sounds like. Since 2014, local farm families have opened their gates to thousands of Ontarians for Breakfast on the Farm. This year on Sunday, July 18, they have changed course for a drive-through event at the Carp Fairgrounds. This contactless, family-friendly event will give visitors a glimpse of what farming is all about from the comfort of your own vehicle! Tickets are $20 per vehicle and include over $50 of locally made breakfast ingredients including pancake mix, eggs, maple syrup, milk, butter, mushrooms, greenhouse tomatoes and more! Tickets must be purchased online ahead of time here.
Live music, hot dogs and a view? You betcha. Beginning at 3pm on Sunday you can catch local sensations The Hornettes at Tavern on the Hill for your jazzy Sunday evening delight. Tavern on the Hill is featuring live music on a regular basis through the summer now that we are opening up further, so keep your eyes on this space.