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Photo: Kiersten Vuorimaki.

Weekend Roundup: Quoi faire?

By Kiersten Vuorimaki on May 12, 2022



Welcome to tulip season, friends! It seems like the whole city has come alive in the last week, with the magnolias exploding off their branches and the tulips suddenly coming out of nowhere. We are solidly heading towards a warm, welcoming spring. This is the first weekend of the Tulip Festival, which means that maybe not all the beds are full yet, but that is the beauty of this festival—the colour keeps building! There is lots of live music to get you energized in the next few days, so take it all in! If the weather forecast is correct, it might be the right weekend to spend some time indoors as well, planning ahead for the future. The provincial election is three weeks away, so have you checked to be sure you have everything you need to vote? Look into the candidates in your area and consider asking them some tough questions. If it’s time for a career shift, check out our arts and culture jobs article.

Stay safe this weekend 613ers! We have a whole summer ahead of us!

All weekend

Ottawa’s favourite flower-based festival is back, in person: Tulip Festival 2022 is back with a bang! Even the pandemic couldn’t keep the bulbs from bursting last year, but all of the extra bells and whistles are making their comeback this weekend. The Opening Ceremony will take place at 11am on Friday May 14 at the Man with Two Hats monument in Commissioners’s Park. In celebration of the 70th anniversary Platinum Jubilee, Princess Margriet of the Netherlands will be in attendance. ( The Dutch Princess, who was born in Ottawa during the Second World War, is part of the reason for the annual generous gift of tulips!) This year the festival is also hinting about night-viewing of the blooms, with more details to come. Check the website for all of the programming and details for the next few weeks!

Shop the Village is a three-week celebration of the retail shops in Westboro Village. The three-week long spring campaign began on May 2 and continues through the May long weekend. This year’s event will tell the stories of local businesses and owners, with an online contest,  street entertainment, and community group engagement each Saturday from 1-4pm. This weekend, don’t miss the Perennial Plant Sale (supporting GrandAid), a bake sale, crafts, and more! The hub for all this activity will be the Churchill Seniors Centre at Churchill and Richmond.

With shows running all weekend, the Ottawa Little Theatre is back with Burn, a contemporary thriller written by OLT alum John Muggleton: “A highly suspenseful ghost story that holds you in its fiery grip right up until the final moments.” Burn is the story of three longtime friends who have had little contact since the death of the fourth member of their close-knit group, a best-selling horror writer. Now his long-lost daughter has turned up, and nobody knows why! Oooooo! Tickets are still available for all shows this week, beginning at $14 for students and $30 for adults.

With four shows over the course of the weekend, head to the NAC for  Sleeping Beauty by Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal opening Thursday night at 8pm. This reimagining of the classic ballet is performed to the music of Piotr Ilitch Tchaïkowsky, interpreted live by the National Arts Centre Orchestra. Tickets are still available online, starting at $29 for anyone under 30, and $57 for some prime seats. Apt613 previewed the show here.


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 Alliance Francaise Ottawa will be hosting the first solo exhibition by Ottawa artist Jose Palacios this Thursday, May 12, starting at 6pm. We Can Start Over Again showcases the stylistic breadth of his intuitive, experimental, and process-based approach to visual art, leading to unexpected interplays of colour, line, and space that invite the viewer to see anew. There is free admission to the exhibition opening, which includes a reception attended by the artist.


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Friday marks the opening of the Ontario Festival of Small Halls! This regional music festival explores the small towns and tiny venues that have been expanding the music scene since 2014. Small Halls is going strong with its vision of bringing big music to small places, with a strong schedule including Great Lake Swimmers, Basia Bulat, Ashley MacIsaac, and Hawksley Workman just to name a few. This weekend catch Chris Murphy in Pakenham or the Great Lake Swimmers in Prescott. Nothing feels more like the beginning of summer than a road trip! Check out the full schedule here.


613flea is back at the Aberdeen Pavilion at Lansdowne Park on Saturday from 10am–4pm, always with free admission. The ever-changing marketplace of local vendors features eclectic goods, handmade, antique and vintage items, food and lots of cool finds. Mother’s Day has passed, but wedding season is upon us, so this might be your chance to get some one-of-a-kind gifts for your summer events.

Building on last year’s success, the new York St. Farmer’s Market has reopened along the east end of York in the ByWard Market from 9am–2pm. Last summer this was the perfect place to shop directly from makers and farmers, with the chance to bring home some local brews as well. The market goes rain or shine, so be ready to stock up on your favourite local goodies.

The Joel Plaskett Emergency is going to fill the Babs Aspers theatre at the NAC at 7:30pm on Saturday. Canadian folk-music darling Plaskett’s new project, 44, is his most detailed musical weave yet. A sprawling box set comprised of four 11-song albums connected visually and thematically, at its heart 44 is an imaginative rumination on trying to slow down and grow up in a rapidly accelerating world. This might be the perfect chill way to cap off your live music plans this weekend.

For something completely different, just around the corner Club SAW is offering a night of “mutant disco, art rock, and indie pop” for the all-ages crowd beginning at 8pm. Canadian artists Jane Inc, Akeem Oh, and FIAMMA will be sharing their funky sounds, instrumentals and something that FIAMMA refers to as “bedroom pop” (please someone report back and tell me all about that). Tickets are still available online for $15 in advance.

Saturday from 8pm to 2am at White Rabbit inside City At Night on Slater, enjoy #hoppyhour with half-price admission, half-price beer, half-price bar rail, featured cocktails, and featured DJs! A limited number of tickets are available online, and you can book a table to be sure of a home base between spins on the dance floor. This cool underground dance bar will be featuring Martin Villeneuve, Rick Laplante, and House of Wayne this weekend.


This Sunday is a bit of a quiet one, but check out the All Weekend section above for some fun things to do today.