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Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for November 16 to 18

Friday, November 16

Brian Gore leads a group of impressive guitarists at The International Guitar Night at Shenkman Arts Centre

Founded in 1995 by San Francisco guitarist Brian Gore, The International Guitar Night has grown to be the world’s premier touring guitar festival. Every year, Gore invites a handful of groundbreaking musicians to join him in a series of solos, duets and quartets, each highlighting the impressive range of the acoustic guitar. The 12th North American tour, on now, features Scotland’s Martin Taylor, Madagascar’s Solorazaf and Brazil’s Guinga. Catch them all this weekend at the Shenkman Arts Centre.

The annual Signatures Ottawa Christmas Show returns this week with five back-to-back days of holiday shopping at its finest. Hosted by the Ottawa Convention Centre, this year’s showing will feature 180 outstanding Canadian artists, artisans and designers. Whether you’re looking for handcrafted jewelry, visual art, home decor, or delicious treats, you’re sure to tick at least a few names off your Christmas list. 

The NACO presents All Gershwin, All Pops! Featuring Michael Chertock on piano, and with Broadway sensation Judy McLane providing vocals, audiences will be treated to all the hits from George and Ira Gershwin’s impressive songbook. From the toe-tapping “I Got Rhythm” to the sombre “Rhapsody in Blue,” there will be a little something for everyone at this unforgettable night of classic jazz.

Saturday, November 17

The Sheepdogs play three sold-out shows at Ritual Nightclub this weekend

A little over a year ago, Saskatoon’s The Sheepdogs won a contest that saw them becoming the first unsigned band in history to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. Since then, the Canadian roots rockers have been hard at work touring throughout  Canada and the U.S. This weekend, they will play three sold-out shows at Ottawa’s Ritual Nightclub, alongside Kelowna’s Yukon Blonde (you can read our interview with them here). For those lucky enough to get tickets, this is sure to be one heck of a show.

Presented by the Small Press Action Network — Ottawa (Span-O), the bi-annual Ottawa Small Press Book Fair returns to the Jack Purcell Community Centre this Saturday. Though the full list of vendors has not yet been posted, past exhibitors have included Bywords, Dusty Owl, The Ottawa Arts Review, BuschekBooks, and The Grunge Papers, to name a few. The fair features a wide range of content, including poetry books, novels, T-shirts, graphic novels, comic books, magazines, cookbooks and posters.

The Help Santa Toy Parade – hosted annually by the Ottawa Professional Fire Fighters Association – kicks off this Saturday at Library and Archives Canada. This exceptional display of holiday spirit will make its way down Wellington Street, Bank Street and Laurier Avenue, before finishing up at the corner of Elgin Street. Along the way, firefighters will collect new toys and cash donations for the Salvation Army. If you’d like to help out but can’t make it to the parade, donations are currently being accepted at all Ottawa fire stations.

Sunday, November 18

Margo MacDonald and Mary Ellis star in Fly Me to the Moon. Today’s your last chance to experience this performance.

Today’s your last chance to experience the Great Canadian Theatre Company‘s performance of Fly Me To the Moon. Written by Marie Jones (Stones in his Pockets) and directed by John P. Kelly, this hilariously dark comedy follows the lives of Francis and Loretta, two home care workers in Belfast forced to make a tough decision when one of their patients unexpectedly dies. The final run hits stage at 2 p.m. Tickets range from $35.77 to $36.90.

The Ottawa International Storytelling Festival is taking place Nov. 15 to 18 at Saint Brigid’s Centre for the Arts. Operating under the theme Naked Narrative, the motto for this year’s event is simple: “No books, no props, just stories.” The bill features an impressive lineup of performers from throughout Canada and the U.S., including renowned character actor Stephen Tobolowsky (Glee, Groundhog Day), Newfoundland fiddler Kelly Russell, and contemporary dancer Peggy Baker.

Friends of the Central Experimental Farm is hosting its annual Craft and Bake Sale this weekend at the farm’s Arboretum. Though an exceptional spread of handmade crafts and delicious baked goods will no doubt be the main draw, this event also offers guests the chance to explore the Arboretum’s gorgeous spring blossoms. Admission and on-site parking are free.

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