Hi friends, how are you holding up? We’ve come to another weekend in our beautiful city, and this was originally going to be a post all about the hundreds of fantastic things that we can do again, now that Ontario has entered Step 1 of our gradual winter re-opening. In some parts of the city we can get back into restaurants and theatres, and enjoy live events to a certain extent as well. Unfortunately, with the ongoing occupation of the downtown core, lots of our favourite places have yet to reopen, and businesses are hesitating to plan too far into the future. Nevertheless, it is the weekend, so check out some of the postive and interesting things that we can get up to in the next few days.
Social media is a bit of a minefield this week, so be gentle with yourself and be sure to get your information from trusted, verified sources. Check on your friends and family who live in the downtown core, and if you can offer them a quiet, safe place to rest this weekend I am sure they would be grateful. Stay safe, friends. Take care of one another.
This time of year we are usually getting ourselves bundled up for Winterlude, but we’ll have to wait another year for our favourite annual winter festival. That doesn’t mean that all the fun is cancelled, though. The Rideau Canal has already been open for a record number of days at this point, and the Beavertails and drinks are still being served along the canal. With the possible snowfall this weekend, keep checking the NCC’s conditions report on how the ice is faring, and where it is clear.
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Supporting local businesses continues to be a priority, especially as downtown continues to suffer. So why not combine that support with that little walk we all take for our mental health? Apt613 has launched a new series of Urban Retail Walks , a guide to walking and shopping some of the city’s favourite neighbourhoods. Contributor Bruce Burwell has suggestions for Chinatown and Little Italy, as well as the Glebe, which are all accessible right now. Strap on your best snow boots and explore some of our coolest ‘hoods on foot.
Saturday at 8:30 at Queen Street Fare you can catch ERU-ERA, a seven-piece piece local “hyper-funk” group. The band delivers a relentless blend of hard groove, funk, soul, and fusion that will leave you craving a second dose. They’re led by a powerhouse three-piece horn section and backed up by a rock-solid four-piece rhythm section. Tickets are $16.93 online, and watch the event page for updates on the downtown situation.
The ByTowne has reopened, and this weekend you can catch House of Gucci, Dune and Belfast, among a few other interesting-looking options. Getting to and from the cinema may not the simplest, but if you are up for a challenge, a calming evening in the darkened theatre with some popcorn and local beer will make it all worth your efforts. Show your love, and maybe consider getting a membership, to be sure your support counts even when there is nothing on the big screen.
It’s Black History Month, and CBC Ottawa is sharing stories of local Leading Black Voices all month long. The digital series on their website can also be viewed on their Instagram and is introducing us to a variety of individuals and experiences in our city. Spend some educational and enriching screen time, why not?
Ottawa Jazz Fest has had to cancel its winter edition again this year, but they have decided to open the vaults of pre-recorded performances for some premium at-home viewing. You can purchase a full festival pass for $49, and enjoy unlimited access to over 20 performances from February 4–13. Individual streams are $10 each. This is the perfect way to spend a weekend evening in. Why not a fabulous dinner and jazz night in with the likes of iskwē and Tom Wilson? Yes please. I’m listening to this song on repeat.
Monday evening at 7pm, join Broadway Workout for fun, Encanto-themed choreography. The event is a fundraiser for Galentine’s Day 613, a women-led yearly donation drive based in Ottawa that provides essential items and self-care treats to women and their families who are experiencing homelessness. This is definitely the moment to support our community members in need, and maybe get some dancing in?
Order in! We’ve rounded up some of the best takeout in the city here, building on a list that was started in the spring of 2020. Try a new cuisine or revisit an old favourite this weekend.
Do some online shopping! Valentine’s Day is coming up faster than you know, and regardless of your relationship status, wouldn’t it be nice to send/receive something this year? Most local florists like Flower to the People, Fleurissant, and Capital Florist are exclusively taking preorders for their blooms, so time is essential! Making a dinner reservation or planning a getaway are also great gestures – take your parents out for a fun night on the town, or plan a girls’ weekend in a nearby cabin to celebrate loving one another! Still want something to wrap? Check out the gift guides here that some of Apt613’s coolest and most connected contributors put together for all of your gift-giving needs.
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