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Photo: Kiersten Vuorimaki.

Weekend Roundup: Quoi faire?

By Kiersten Vuorimaki on April 21, 2022



We are one work week closer to real spring now, friends. Can you feel it? While the blossoms are slower to arrive than last year, we are counting our blessings and watching closely for the next perfect moment to hit a patio! This weekend is one for the books, with the launch of undercurrents—back in person!—and the Ottawa Grassroots Festival bringing new musical voices to downtown. The NAC is hitting it out of the park, as usual, and there is some great eco-conscious ultra-local shopping to do to round out the perfect spring weekend. Just a friendly reminder that Mothers’ Day is just around the corner, so start the brainstorming and window shopping now! I hope this weekend is relaxing and rejuvenating for everyone. Stay safe and take care of one another!

All Weekend

From Thursday to Saturday, Anne Plamondon Productions will be at the NAC to offer a dance double-header: Only You / Seulement toi and Counter Cantor (a co-creation with Emma Portner). These two contemporary pieces are complex and exquisite.

Everyone’s favourite winter version of Fringe is finally here! Undercurrents runs from April 20–30 at Arts Court, with 14 performances this weekend alone. Watch this space for reviews and suggestions over the course of the festival. Ticket prices begin at $5, and roll upwards on a pay-what-you-can sliding scale.


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Speaking of festivals, the Ottawa Grassroots Festival is kicking off this weekend in a couple of venues across town. The festival is a non-profit, community-based, volunteer-run organization dedicated to cultivating community at the local level through a vibrant annual festival of concerts and participatory workshops. The majority of the shows will take place at the beautiful St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church at Kent and Wellington, including performances by Jim Bryson, Twin Flames, and Rick Fines. Irene’s Pub will host some shows on Sunday, beginning with a Gospel hour and concluding with the Vanier Playboys—Ottawa’s only Zydeco band. Tickets begin at $16.93 for evening events and slide up, on a pay-what-you-can scale.

If you’re considering catching a movie this weekend, check out our regular piece Magic in the Dark for recommendations and reviews of everything playing at our favourite local independent cinemas, from Canadian indie hits to international classics and award winners. This is an excellent roundup for titles to look forward to and introductions to films that you simply cannot miss.

Will you start your own poetry writing project? Will you write your first poem? Will you share your poetry for the first time? That’s what National Poetry Month in Canada is all about. We did it in 2020 and we’re back again for 2022! In the spirit of inspiring conversation about local poets and poetry in Ottawa, and in celebration of National Poetry Month, Apartment613 is inviting its readers and writers to submit their original poetry to be published in a digital chapbook later this year. Poetry in all languages, genres, and styles is welcomed. Everybody is invited to Apartment613’s digital slam, whether you’re an established artist or just starting out. Find out more about submitting here.


You can find some of the most impressive young talent in classical music at the NAC this Thursday at 8pm for Appalachian Spring. A NAC Orchestra production featuring a work by Caroline Shaw, the youngest-ever composer awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Music, and the Canadian premiere of Derrick Skye’s Prisms, Cycles, Leaps, a “dazzling musical travelogue that links North Indian Hindustani classical music with the music of the Balkans and the Volta region of Ghana.” Tickets are still available for this groundbreaking event, both in person and as a livestream.


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Friday is Earth Day! What are you doing to celebrate this year?

A new season has sprung at the Ottawa Art Gallery! Friday night, they are celebrating the Spring Exhibitions Opening event. Beginning at 6:40pm with opening remarks, followed by a performance by the legendary China Doll, this is the art opening event we’ve been waiting for! The OAG is also hosting a conversation about the new exhibition, ᓯᑯ ᕿᕐᓂᖅᓯᓯᒪᔪᖅ / Dark Ice: A Conversation on Climate Change.  The cross-disciplinary panel will feature speakers and knowledge experts who reflect on and consider the effects of climate change in the Arctic and more widely. The exhibition opens on Saturday. Dark Ice demonstrates the intersections between the unique artistic, studio, and land-based practices of Leslie Reid of Ottawa and Robert Kautuk of Kangiqtugaapik (Clyde River), Nunavut. The Dark Ice event will run from 7:30-8:30pm and is free of charge, just like admission to the OAG!

LIVE On Elgin is hosting some great music this weekend, including the Friday night lineup of Kosmavermo, an Ottawa instrumental psych rock three-piece, drawing deeply from shoegaze and krautrock.  You will also be able to catch ce qui nous traverse, a Montreal ensemble “seeking to capture the intensive vibrations that compose the surrounding ambiances. The group presents ‘Le sacre de Sainte-Barbe’, an experimental sound study on the ambiances of a small North American village.” To round it out,  Nathanael Larochette, guitarist, writer, composer and member of the chamber folk trio Musk Ox and the instrumental chamber metal band The Night Watch will change the pace and set the weekend up right. Doors open at 8pm, and tickets are $12 online in advance and $15 at the door.


After doing your spring cleaning, have you found yourself with some space on the bookshelf? The Mammoth Book Sale held by the Friends of the Ottawa Public Library is happening Saturday at the Ottawa City Archives on Tallwood Drive in Nepean. From 10am–2pm you can find used books, DVDs, and audiobooks for sale in support of OPL. Beach reading season is also just around the corner, as is Mother’s Day, so make it a part of your Saturday shopping rounds!

Celebrate Earth Month, Earth Day and the emergence of Spring! Join Eco Market 2022 at Re4m’s Workshop and Neighbouring Partners on Saturday from 9:30am to 4pm. The family-friendly event will be indoor/outdoor with local eco vendors, makers, and up-cyclers. Expect unique items, delicious food vendors, recycling efforts, and educational activities. A portion of the proceeds from the market will be donated to a local Ottawa eco-charity.

Maybe it’s too soon to talk about truckers anywhere near downtown, but can’t-miss folk/country/honky-tonk/rock band Drive-By Truckers are performing at the Bronson Centre this Saturday, with tickets starting at $29.50 online. The band are celebrating their 14th studio album Welcome 2 Club XIII, so you can expect to hear a mix of old and new songs by the American band. The Bronson Centre is still asking for proof of vaccination and masks for this 19+ show, so be prepared to be safe and have a much better time with these truckers than the last ones who took over Centretown.

Show Tune Showdown, the popular musical theatre performance competition and game show, is taking place on April 23 starting at  7:30pm at Meridian Theatres @ Centrepointe. The Showdown combines musical theatre performances and team competition. It’s a unique blend of the best of Broadway, musical trivia similar to Name That Tune, with loads of Broadway glitz thrown into the mix. Tickets are available now for $35.  Apt613’s resident Broadway Friends Forever caught up with Show Tune Showdown Producer Rob Bowman and one of the organizers, Heather Daley, to see what this year’s production has in store. Read all about it here. 


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The Senators season is wrapping up, and they will face the Montréal Canadiens in a classic Canadian match-up on Saturday night at 7pm. Tickets are still available beginning at $65.

Alliance Française Ottawa will be opening its doors on Saturday, April 23 from 2pm for you to discover all of its programs, meet its team, and take part in cultural and social activities. This will be an opportunity for you to ask questions, make comments, give suggestions, visit the media library and learn more about the French language. There will be games and snacks! At 6pm, expect a performance from Vanille, evoking nostalgia and pop rhythms of the ’60s.

L’Alliance Française Ottawa vous ouvrira ses portes le samedi 23 avril à partir de 14h pour découvrir tous ses programmes, rencontrer son équipe et participer à des activités culturelles et sociales dans ses locaux. Ce sera l’occasion pour vous de poser vos questions, faire des commentaires, donner des suggestions, visiter le médiathèque et en apprendre plus sur la langue française.

Bruce Cockburn is in town this weekend, so take notice! He kicks off with a live show at the NAC on Saturday evening. Playing from his 50-year catalogue of music, the show promises to be an anniversary celebration of the 34 albums he’s made. The Ottawa-born artist has been honoured with 13 Juno Awards, an induction into both the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award, and is an Officer of the Order of Canada. Tickets are still available online. On Monday he will be attending the Canada’s Walk of Fame Hometown Stars event which will be free to attend in person. “Gotta kick at the darkness, ’til it bleeds daylight.” *chef’s kiss*



Freewheeling Craft is back in person, with their first major craft fair in a long time. Sunday from 11am–4pm, the NAC will host this free event featuring over 70 local artists selling their goods. Masks will be required for all vendors and attendees.

The weekend of live music continues with a packed night of entertainment at LIVE On Elgin. NO WAVES from Montréal will headline, a self-described “group of teenagers from Montreal who miss summer a bit too much,” with a cool, aggressive surfer sound. Bummer Camp from New York will follow up, with local support from Guest Room Status and Matty Grace. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door, and doors open at 6pm. No one will be turned away for lack of funds, though!