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Ottawa

M.C. Escher Distorts Reality at the National Gallery of Canada

(Photo: M.C. Escher, Relativity, July 1953, lithograph on cream laid japan paper, 39.3 x 40.3 cm; image: 27.9 x 28.9 cm, Gift of George Escher, Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia, 1990, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. M.C. Escher’s “Relativity” © 2014 The M.C. Escher Company-The Netherlands. All rights reserved. www.mcescher.com. Photo © NGC)

(Photo: M.C. Escher, Relativity, July 1953, lithograph on cream laid japan paper, 39.3 x 40.3 cm; image: 27.9 x 28.9 cm, Gift of George Escher, Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia, 1990, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. M.C. Escher’s “Relativity” © 2014 The M.C. Escher Company-The Netherlands. All rights reserved. www.mcescher.com. Photo © NGC)

Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher is one of the world’s most recognizable illustrators, and his portfolio has been influential on science, art, and pop culture. Many of his works turn perspective on its head and portray impossible realities; others play with the idea of 2-D and 3-D, sometimes combining the two into trompe l’oeil images. On at the National Gallery of Canada until May 3.
•National Gallery of Canada, 380 Sussex Dr., 613-990-1985. gallery.ca
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Historic Moments: Canadian Confederation at the Museum of History

Take a trip back in time and explore the events that led to Canadian Confederation. (Photos: Steven Darby, © Canadian Museum of History)

Take a trip back in time and explore the events that led to Canadian Confederation. (Photos: Steven Darby, © Canadian Museum of History)

July 1, 1867 marked the culmination of a 30-year effort to unite Canada’s colonies under one flag. 1867: Rebellion and Confederation explores the moments that led to the drafting of the British North America Act — moments of violence, negotiation, and compromise that helped lay the foundation for the Canada we know today. Using over 200 historical artifacts, the exhibition covers key events such as the Charlottetown, Quebec, and London Conferences. On at the Canadian Museum of History until January 2016.
•Canadian Museum of History, 100, rue Laurier, Gatineau, 819-776-7000. historymuseum.ca
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Ottawa Weekend Calendar for March 27 to 29

Vancouver's Celtic punk rockers The Real McKenzies perform at Mavericks on Friday night. (Photo: Kitt Woodland)

Vancouver’s Celtic punk rockers The Real McKenzies perform at Mavericks on Friday night. (Photo: Kitt Woodland)

Friday, March 27

The spring edition of the Ottawa Geek Market is back, and it’s equipped to meet all your geeky needs. Besides browsing the wares of dozens of exhibitors, you can also participate in a costume contest, test your superhero skills in the bouncy castle obstacle course, and join in on scavenger hunts and trivia nights. The event runs until March 29 at the Nepean Sportsplex. Ticket prices vary; see website for details.

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Wholesome Cuisine: Clover in Ottawa

Clover serves up light and wholesome fare for lunch and dinner.

Clover serves up light and wholesome fare for lunch and dinner.

Clover is a quaint little spot in the heart of Centretown that serves up light, refreshing lunch fare. The menu has broad appeal — from soups to salads to wraps packed with protein, vegetarians and omnivores alike will find themselves satisfied here. Dinner service is offered on Friday and Saturday evenings only.
•155 Bank St., 613-680-8803, cloverottawa.ca

Self-Portraiture at the Karsh-Masson Gallery

Three Ottawa-area artists explore self-portraiture.

In Selfie, three artists explore self-portraiture.

Selfies get a bad rap in today’s society, but self-portraiture has been a popular mode of expression for millennia. Frida Kahlo, Albrecht Dürer, and Vincent Van Gogh are just a few famous artists who frequently immortalized themselves in paint; if you go back further, to antiquity, you’ll even find a self-portrait by Bak, the pharaoh Akhenaten’s chief sculptor. In Selfie, three artists explore how the self-portrait has evolved over the years, and investigate how it figures into their own bodies of work. On at the Karsh-Masson Gallery from March 17 to April 19.
•Karsh-Masson Gallery, City Hall, 110 Laurier Ave. W., 613-850-2424 ext. 14167. ottawa.ca/arts
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Climbing at Altitude Gym

The innovative Clip N' Climb activity space at Altitude Gym is a great place to bring the kids for spring break.

The innovative Clip N’ Climb activity space at Altitude Gym is a great place to bring the kids for spring break.

A climber’s paradise, Altitude Gym offers bouldering walls, outdoor climbing structures, and space for belaying. Plus, it boasts Clip N’ Climb, an innovative activity space that started in New Zealand that’s part climbing wall, part theme park. The brightly-coloured obstacles and climbing challenges are perfect for kids — and they’ll love dropping safely from the top of each climbing wall using the gym’s self-belaying system.
•Altitude Gym, 35, boul. Saint-Raymond, Gatineau, 819-205-0959. altitudegym.ca
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Nordstrom Now Open at the Rideau Centre

Nordstrom opened in Ottawa on March 6.

Nordstrom, now open in Ottawa, carries high end names in apparel, beauty, footwear, and more.

Now open in Ottawa, Nordstrom is one of North America’s biggest names in retail. Covering apparel for women, men, and children, along with accessories, shoes, and beauty products, Nordstrom also offers services that run the gamut from personal stylists to beauty specialists to certified shoe fitters. And if you’re hungry after all that shopping, its full service restaurant, Bazille, will help you fuel up again.
•Nordstrom in the Rideau Centre, 50 Rideau St., 613-567-7005. ca.nordstrom.com

Off the Beaten Path

Hintonburg's Railbender Tattoo Studio & Art Gallery displays works by local artists. (Photo: Kristina Corre)

In Hintonburg, Railbender Tattoo Studio & Art Gallery displays works by local artists. (Photo: Kristina Corre)

That transition period between winter and spring is a great time to step outside your comfort zone and try something new — and Ottawa, a veritable treasure trove of unique and unusual entertainment, is the perfect place to do it.

ESCAPE MANOR

Picture this: you’re locked in a prison cell with a group of friends, and the only way out is to solve a series of complicated and arcane puzzles — all within a time limit of 45 minutes. It may not seem at first like an obvious plan for a Friday evening, but it’s a great way to challenge your intellect, strengthen your teamwork skills, and create memories with friends. Escape Manor currently offers several theme rooms, each with its own unique challenges. 201 Queen St., escapemanor.com

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Feel the Beat: Kodo Drummers

One of the most esteemed taiko troupes in Japan, the Kodo Drummers bring their Mystery tour to Ottawa. (Photo: Takashi Okamoto)

One of the most esteemed taiko troupes in Japan, the Kodo Drummers bring their Mystery tour to Ottawa. (Photo: Takashi Okamoto)

MARCH 9 Kodo is the Japanese word for “heartbeat” and “children of the drum”, so it’s only appropriate that the world’s most successful and influential taiko drumming troupe should carry the name. Created by famed Kabuki actor Tamasaburo Bando, Kodo One Earth Tour: Mystery explores percussion as the source of all rhythm and movement.
•National Arts Centre, 53 Elgin St., 866-850-2787, nac-cna.ca
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The Diefenbunker Explores the Berlin Wall

This photo installation by Leslie Hossack simulates a walk along a stretch of the Berlin Wall. (Photo: Leslie Hossack, courtesy of the Diefenbunker)

This photo installation by Leslie Hossack simulates a walk along a stretch of the Berlin Wall. (Photo: Leslie Hossack, courtesy of the Diefenbunker)

The Diefenbunker’s 25 | Berlin commemorates the thousands of acts of civil courage that led to the fall of the Berlin Wall — and, in consequence, the end of the Cold War. It includes three exhibitions: one uses rare photographs, newspaper clippings, and political cartoons to delve into Europe’s 20th century conflicts; another is a mural painted by Canadian and German graffiti artists; and the last is a photo installation that simulates a walk along a stretch of the Berlin Wall. On at the Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum until March 31,
•Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum, 3929 Carp Rd., Carp, 613-839-0007. diefenbunker.ca
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Old World Italian: Allegro Ristorante

Allegro Ristorante in the heart of Little Italy

Allegro Ristorante in the heart of Little Italy serves up classic Italian fare.

Allegro Ristorante is a long-running Ottawa establishment that recently changed ownership. One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is its chef, which means you too can sample the hearty Italian food Ottawans have been enjoying for 20 years. They offer all your Italian favourites: fettuccine in pesto alfredo, linguine with shrimp, tortellini and prosciutto in a mushroom sauce, and good old spaghetti carbonara. The service is exceptional, too. —Amy Allen
•422 Preston St., 613-235-7454, allegroristorante.ca

The Written Word: Akram Zaatari at the Carleton U Art Gallery

Lebanese artist Akram Zaatari explores the act of letter writing during the Lebanese Civil War.

Lebanese artist Akram Zaatari explores the act of letter writing during the Lebanese Civil War. (Photo: Akram Zaatari, Letters From Askalan (2007), C-print, courtesy of the artist and Sfeir-Semler Gallery)

Written correspondence may be a dying art in this day and age, but Lebanese artist Akram Zaatari brings it to the forefront in a new exhibition at the Carleton University Art Gallery. All Is Well explores themes of friendship, love, historical events, and political resistance in Lebanon from the early 1990s to the present, with a special focus on letters received by political detainee Nabih Awada during his time in an Israeli prison. On display until March 29.
•Carleton University Art Gallery, St. Patrick’s Building,1125 Colonel By Dr., 613-520-2120. cuag.carleton.ca
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