Did March come in like a lion, or a lamb? Someone told me with confidence that it definitely came in like a lion, so if we can hold the universe to its end of that bargain, we are in for a mellow and calm March. I’m not honestly sure if a few days of light snow are considered a “lion” anymore, but the world is an ugly place, so we’re going to take the win. As more cultural spaces and events come back to life, keep your ear to the ground about adjustments to COVID restrictions, and make informed decisions about the businesses and venues that you want to support! The clocks move forward next weekend, so embrace this last weekend of “winter” and take back the little parts of our city that bring you joy.
The NAC is hosting some really interesting stuff this weekend, including Violence, a French-language creation with English subtitles. The NAC website describes it thus: ” Exploring the abyss in search of glimmers of light, working alongside creators she met in Japan, Marie Brassard presents the fruit of a poetic reflection on the perception of time and the learning of brutality. She reveals unsuspected worlds in a surreal tale rich in sound and images[…] an ode to the gravity and beauty of children’s imagination, an exploration of catastrophe and the power of art, and a reflection on the violence of nature protecting itself from humanity.” So, I mean, we all obviously need tickets to this.
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In the Azrieli Dance Studio down the hall, you’ll find an entirely different production all weekend: La Goddam Voie Lactée peformed by MAYDAY. “Five women, united by the chaos and order of our galaxy, come together to celebrate all that is feminine in today’s callous and harsh world, through an unusually fierce pagan mass. Camped out at their own observation post, they jump into the arena and grab hold of gestures, words, and music, draping them around themselves like a costume. They sketch and erase, create and destroy, in perpetuity.” There are still tickets left online for this high energy event, beginning at $17 for General Admission. Watch this space for a review of the production by one of our very own Apt613ers before the weekend begins!
The National Gallery has been closed for reasons of COVID and convoys for far too long. Last week it finally reopened its doors just in time for everyone to get one last look at the 2021 Sobey Art Award Shortlist exhibition. This exhibition shares work from artists across Canada in a variety of mediums, offering a glimpse of the emerging talent in our own homegrown artists. Everything from film and performance to painting, installation, and photography is represented here, and can hopefully light up our sleepy senses and spark some joy.
Between shutdowns and an occupation, it’s been some time since we could take advantage of the Thursday evening free museum access! The Museum of History and Canadian War Museum are free from 5–7pm, the National Gallery is open and free until 8pm, and the Museum of Nature is free from 4–7pm. The OAG is always free and open from 10am–6pm every day.
Gardening season is right around the corner! Get a head start on your planning this Saturday at the Seedy Saturday Ottawa seed sale. With a focus on heritage, open-pollinated seeds from local growers, the sale also includes supportive sustainable, local businesses and groups related to local food and gardening. This year, the event will also feature online webinars and a film related to gardening and seed saving. Admission is free to the sale at Ron Kolbus Centre from 10am–3pm.
Before we can plant our gardens, we have to harvest our maple syrup! It’s about to be that glorious time of the year again when sugar shacks all over the valley start churning out our nation’s favourite condiment, and we can all eat hardened syrup off of snow again. Parc Omega is getting a head start on the maple season with their own Sugar Festival this Saturday from 6-9pm at the zoo. This evening event will feature live music and fireworks as well as the illuminated skating rink and tube slide. Tickets at $18 each for adults, and I assume it includes as much maple sugar as you can handle. Just remember—the COVID requirements in Quebec are not necessarily the same as Ontario right now, so be sure to double-check before you cross the bridge!
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Horizon Ottawa and PSAC are hosting a Community Solidarity Rally and March beginning at Marion Dewar Plaza on Saturday at 1pm. This peaceful event will encourage COVID safety while demanding accountability from multiple levels of government for the convoy occupation in February. At the time of this post going live, it is still scheduled to happen. However, with the increasing protest activity in response to the Russian attack on Ukraine, this event may be moved or rescheduled.
With over 125 vendors offering their own unique temptations to shoppers, 613flea will be packed with awesome finds and one-of-a-kinds from creators and crafters, makers and bakers, antique dealers and vintage clothing boutiques. Admission is always free, and the event runs from 10am–4pm in the Aberdeen Pavilion at Lansdowne Park. This week, Sri Lankan rotis and rolls will appear next to Pad Thai and curry chicken. Dog bowties and bandanas will materialize next to knit cacti, clay earrings, and toy soldiers. Golden honey will be nestled between sugary mini doughnuts and hand-painted cookies.
Sunday, March 6 is International Women’s Day! With all of the ugliness in the world, this seems like a great opportunity to just celebrate the women in your life. Call your mothers, go for brunch with the girls, and donate to a women’s organization doing good work in our community. Some of my personal favourites are Minwaashin Lodge, Dress for Success, Cornerstone Housing for Women, Shelter Movers, and Girls+Rock, just to name a few.
To further celebrate the big day, treat yourself to an incredible dinner for two, compliments of a roster of impressive local chefs. The annual Women’s Day Tasting Menu is a fundraising opportunity for a local women’s organization chosen by the collaborating chefs. This year’s event hosts six local chefs, a bartender, and a sommelier, all of whom identify as women, and all of whom are totally badass. Last year the event raised $10,000, and this year the organizers are hopeful that they can raise that again, this year in support of Minwaashin Lodge. Order right now for your meal to be picked up at Stofa Restaurant on Wellington on Sunday. They had me at gold dust and sea buckthorn jelly.
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The Ottawa Symphony Orchestra, in a monumental pivot, has shifted some of its programming from large-scale full orchestral productions (impossible during the COVID era) to smaller chamber arrangements, to allow the show to go on. This Sunday, check out It’s a Party! at Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Centre, the headquarters of all things chamber. Tickets begin at $35 for this “uplifting” programme including Bohuslav Martinů, Camille Saint-Saëns and Franz Schubert beginning at 3:30. Live music is BACK in Centretown, in all its forms.
The Farmers’ Market is still our favourite low-key thing to do on a “productive” Sunday at Lansdowne, no doubt. But one key missing ingredient is coming back this weekend—we can eat inside again! I hope this means a few more hot lunch food vendors to tide us over until we get home and actually cook with our market finds. No more crouching on the curbs outside with a rapidly deteriorating arepa in your mittenless hand, or waiting until you get to the car to eat your significantly chilled Pad Thai. This is a small return to normalcy, and should be celebrated. With yums.