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Ottawa

The Power of Nature

(Stephen Hutchings, Towards the Picturesque, oil and charcoal on canvas, 30x66in. Courtesy of Galerie St. Laurent + Hill)

(Stephen Hutchings, Towards the Picturesque, oil and charcoal on canvas, 30x66in. Courtesy of Galerie St. Laurent + Hill)

Stormy, awe-inspiring, and evocative, Stephen Hutchings’ landscape paintings are more than what they seem. Layers of charcoal and paint give character to these images of craggy cliffs, dense forests, ominous rainstorms, misty rivers, and rays of light breaking through dark clouds. They are a reminder that life carries on around — and after — us and that the natural world survives without the help of humankind. On display at Galerie St. Laurent + Hill until September 13.
•Galerie St. Laurent + Hill, 293 Dalhousie St., 613-789-7145. galeriestlaurentplushill.com
Map and reviews

For the Fashionable Man: Frank & Oak

Frank & Oak

With its line of classic apparel, high end accessories, and top notch grooming services, Ottawa’s Frank & Oak location will appeal to stylish shoppers.

An upscale yet affordable men’s apparel line that began in Montreal, Frank & Oak offers a unique experience to the discerning shopper. Nestled just west of downtown in trendy Westboro, the shop caters to the fashionable man: racks of high quality sweaters, shirts, and pants line the walls, while assorted grooming supplies occupy the shelves. At the back, local barbershop House of Barons serves patrons looking for a shave or a trim.
•297 Richmond Rd., 613-288-5798. frankandoak.com

Ottawa Weekend Calendar: Aug. 27 to 29

BY AMY ALLEN

Moonface, the solo project of singer-songwriter Spencer Krug, performs at Pressed on Friday night. (Photo: Tero Ahonen)

Moonface, the solo project of singer-songwriter Spencer Krug, performs at Pressed on Thursday night. (Photo: Tero Ahonen)

Moonface
Frog Eyes, Wolf Parade, Fifths of Seven — these are just a few of the music projects songwriter and keyboardist Spencer Krug has been involved with over his career. He’s an amazingly prolific musician who has been credited on almost two dozen releases since 2003. So it’s safe to say he knows a few things about making good music.

His latest project, Moonface, is a (mostly) solo endeavor. In several of his albums, he relies heavily on the piano as he waxes lonesome about everything from the collapse of a relationship to disillusionment with a once-loved city. He also collaborated with Finnish band Siinai to create Heartbreaking Bravery, an indie rock-tinged album with a brooding, melancholic atmosphere.

He performs at Pressed on Thursday, Aug. 27. Tickets are from $13. See Facebook event page for more info. Pressed, 750 Gladstone Ave., 613-680-9294, pressed-ottawa.com.

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Chic Finds at Kate Spade New York

Kate Spade's chic apparel and accessories will appeal to

Find trendy apparel and chic accessories at Canada’s eighth Kate Spade location in the Rideau Centre.

After launching in 1993 with a line of just six handbags, Kate Spade New York quickly grew to become a coveted name in fashion. The company now designs and markets chic apparel and footwear, colourful accessories, timeless home décor, and whimsical stationery. Its new location at the Rideau Centre is only the eighth to open in Canada. Why not bring a little Kate Spade into your life? Pictured: the All-Occasions Card Set, $30.
•Kate Spade in the Rideau Centre, 50 Rideau St., 613-567-2500. katespade.com
Map and reviews

Archery Games Opens in Ottawa

Mixing dodgeball and foam-tipped arrows, Archery Games opens its doors to the public this weekend.

Mixing dodgeball and foam-tipped arrows, Archery Games opens its doors to the public this weekend.

Channel your inner Robin Hood and Katniss Everdeen at Archery Games, a new attraction that’s celebrating its grand opening this weekend. The premise of the game is simple: it’s just like dodgeball (and paintball), except you’re lobbing arrows rather than plastic balls at the opposing team. The turf is divided by two lines marking a “safe” area, where players are immune from enemy fire while they grab arrows, and it’s also scattered with inflatable bunkers that can be used to take cover.

The games are fast-paced, and the rules change each round, so you’ll need to be quick on your toes. But the learning curve isn’t very steep — you’ll be firing away at your loved ones like a pro in no time.

The owners say they’re opening some escape rooms in the near future, too, so keep an eye out for that!

•Archery Games, 1860 Bank St., Unit 3B, 613-523-2282. archerygames.ca

Mötley Crüe Brings Farewell Tour to Ottawa

Mötley Crüe stops in Ottawa as part of their farewell tour.

Mötley Crüe stops in Ottawa as part of their farewell tour.

AUG. 23 Another chapter in heavy metal history comes to a close when the iconic Mötley Crüe embarks on their farewell tour. Sporting hairstyles as big as their hits, the Crüe helped pioneer the second wave of glam metal, producing classic singles such as “Dr. Feelgood” and “Girls, Girls, Girls.” Now that the band has signed an agreement to cease touring, this is your last chance to see them live. Don’t miss it!
•Canadian Tire Centre, 1000 Palladium Dr., 613-599-0100. canadiantirecentre.com

Ottawa Weekend Calendar: Aug. 19 to 23

BY AMY ALLEN AND NICOLINA LEONE

The Dead Lands, a Maori film about a young man seeking revenge for the massacre of his tribe, screens at Asinabka Film and Media Arts Festival on opening night.

The Dead Lands, a Maori film about a young man seeking revenge for the massacre of his tribe, screens at Asinabka Film and Media Arts Festival on opening night.

Asinabka Film & Media Arts Festival
Asinabka. It’s an Algonquin word that means “place of glare rock.” It’s also a word the Algonquin people use to describe Victoria Island and the Chaudière Falls in the Ottawa River — a sacred space where ceremonial offerings were once made. It’s a fitting name for a festival dedicated to indigenous arts in the capital.

Now in its fourth year, the festival begins on Wednesday, Aug. 19 with eight short films by Maori and Pacific Islander filmmakers, followed by a screening of The Dead Lands, a Maori film about a young man who embarks on a quest to avenge the slaughter of his tribe.

In the ensuing days, the festival covers a multitude of topics and issues facing indigenous peoples today. An anthology of shorts commissioned by the Embargo Project gives Canadian indigenous women the chance to shine, while a film by a Sami director explores the lives of reindeer herders in Scandinavia’s far north. There are also films based on the theme of displacement, stories told by survivors of residential schools, an examination of indigenous masculinity, a retrospective on the fight for political freedom, and a spotlight on indigenous arts.

Kaha:wi shines a spotlight on the traditional song and dance of the Iroquois Nation, as interpreted by choreographer Santee Smith.

Kaha:wi shines a spotlight on the traditional song and dance of the Iroquois Nation, as interpreted by choreographer Santee Smith.

Mikwenim, an exhibition at Gallery 101 that features installation work by Melissa General and Jo SiMalaya Alcampo, plays on the theme of remembering as a way to reclaim culture.

The festival ends on Sunday, Aug. 23 with another outdoor film screening at Club SAW. All events are free or pay-what-you-can. See website for venues and schedule. asinabkafestival.org.

The Arboretum Festival brings together music, cultural events, food, and more.

The Arboretum Festival brings together music, cultural events, food, and more.

Arboretum 
Music Festival
“He…embodies the transformation of Ottawa’s arts and culture scene.”

In 2013, that’s what Ottawa Magazine had to say of The Acorn’s Rolf Klausener, back when he was a co-organizer of the Arboretum Music Festival. Now that he’s been promoted to Artistic Director, the quote also reflects what has become of the festival.

Not only will there be musical acts such as Ottawa’s own New Swears, there will also be talks about the relationship of the Algonquin to the Outaouais region, media and visual arts, and food and drink to keep you nourished during your stay (such as barbecue from the likes of Murray Street’s chef, Steve Mitton, among others).

But why “Arboretum”? And why not hold the festival at Ottawa’s own tree museum?

According to their website: “We know it’s confusing. Latin for ‘Tree Garden’, the name Arboretum is a great metaphor for the diversity of artists we present and creative seeds we sow; more importantly, it pays homage to the natural resource honoured by our region’s Algonquin community and other First Nations. It’s also the title of a great book on the interconnectedness of ideas by Talking Heads’ David Byrne.”

There you have it.

Located at Albert Island, the event kicks off on Wednesday, Aug. 19. Advance day passes start at $15, or you can get your weekend island pass for $40. Free admission for kids aged 10 and under. Tickets can be found at Top of the World Skateshop, Compact Music, Vertigo Records, and at ticketweb.ca. See website for schedule and info. Albert Island, 6 Booth St., arboretumfestival.com.

Get a taste of the Middle East at 1001 Nights.

Get a taste of the Middle East at 1001 Nights.

1001 Nights: An Arabian Night
The International Group — the same people that brought us Latin on Sparks — is presenting 1001 Nights: An Arabian night on Friday, Aug. 21, starting at 9.30pm.

From 10.30pm to 2am, enjoy a night of dancing to music from all across the Middle East, including baladi, dabke, and khaliji music. There will also be some international hits and top 40s. Hit the bazaar to purchase a variety of treats and take in performances such as a belly dancing show at midnight.

The International Group hosts events and festivals to celebrate all cultures in Ottawa. “We dance together, we feast together, and somewhere in between we make a whole lot of new friends.”

Tickets are $40 each; $30 if purchased in advance at Bab El Hara Cafe (1818 Bank St.) or online. See website for more info. The Canadian War Museum, 1 Vimy Pl., 613-818-8787, theinternationalca.weebly.com/1001-nights.html.

Jessica Bell: All Things Being Equal
Jessica Bell, MFA candidate in the Visual Arts Department at the University of Ottawa, created All Things Being Equal. In this display, Bell addresses formalist concerns (the practice of adherence to external forms, such as religion or art) and turning to her surrounding environment, she mines the possibility in items that she sees around her: canvas stretchers, textiles, and wood fragments — a tribute to the aesthetic of discarded objects.

Her works in painting, collage, fibre, installation, photography, and video function as encounters between these items and her willingness to engage with them. Using natural light and the effects of gravity, Bell also welcomes accident and failure as a party of her exhibit.

On display from Friday, Aug. 21 to Sunday, Sept. 13, with an opening reception on Thursday, Aug. 20 at 6pm. Admission is free, but a $5 donation is recommended. See website for more info. Ottawa Art Gallery, 2 Daly Ave., ottawaartgallery.ca.

One Tree Hill star Kate Voegele brings her pop-rock music to Ritual Nightclub.

One Tree Hill star Kate Voegele brings her pop-rock music to Ritual Nightclub.

Kate Voegele
They say life imitates art, but in the case of Kate Voegele, one might say it’s the other way around.

Shortly after releasing her debut album, Don’t Look Away, she scored the role of Mia Catalano — also a musician — on the television show One Tree Hill. It would prove a valuable opportunity for Voegele to propel herself to further popularity; after her debut on the show, sales of her album skyrocketed and she even got to perform her own music on the show.

She appears on Saturday, Aug. 22 at Ritual Nightclub, joined by Tyler Hilton, her former One Tree Hill co-star and a singer-songwriter in his own right. Tickets from $20. See Facebook event page for more info. 137 Besserer St., 613-680-7661.

North Lanark Highland Games
No one knows for sure when the Highland Games began. Was it in the 11th century, when King Malcolm III of Scotland presided over a footrace at Craig Choinnich to find the fastest runner to be his royal messenger? Or was it the Victorian-era Scots, who wanted to revive their culture after decades of suppression by the English in the wake of the Jacobite uprisings?

Either way, the Highland Games have come to signify the celebration of Scottish culture around the world. Dozens of games now take place everywhere from Bermuda to New Zealand, and the North Lanark Highland Games in Almonte (located an hour west of downtown Ottawa) is but one of them.

Athletes from around the country convene for events such as the caber toss, stone put, and hammer throw, but that’s not the only competition you’ll find — be sure to catch the dancing, piping, and drumming contests, too.

Restaurants, pubs, and bakeries will be on the scene to fuel guests up with Scottish treats such as pasties, pies, and shortbread, while vendors sell everything from pottery to crafts to bagpipe supplies.

The games begin on Saturday, Aug. 22 in Almonte. Tickets from $14. See website for more info. N.L.A.S Fairgrounds, 215 Water St., Almonte, almontehighlandgames.com.

Wizard of Oz at the Drive-In
Drive-ins with your guy (or gal) used to be the thing to do on weekends. The novelty and nostalgia has returned (as all things do, don’t they?) and on Saturday, Aug. 22, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy the drive-in again.

The Cumberland Heritage Village Museum is showing a classic (and one of our favourites): The Wizard of Oz, on the big screen, outside, and under the stars. Just like old times, tune in and hear “Over the Rainbow” through your car radio.

Actors dressed as Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, the Wicked Witch of the West, and the Munchkins will be on hand to take photos (costumes are encouraged!) before the start of the film. You will also have the opportunity to learn about the technology that changed the film industry in the ‘20s and ‘30s and make your own animation flip book.

Vintage-themed concessions will be available to enjoy in your car. The activities start at 6.30pm and the pre-show starts at 8.30pm. Tickets are $10. Free admission for children under five. Cumberland Heritage Village Museum , 2940 Old Montreal Rd., 613-833-3059 ext. 221, ottawamuseumnetwork.com.

 

Four Ottawa Day Trips

Travel back in time to at Upper Canada Village, where you can visit a faithful recreation of an 1860s Ontario village.

Travel back in time to at Upper Canada Village, where you can visit a faithful recreation of an 1860s Ontario village.

It’s hard to believe, but summer is almost over. Make the most of these last weeks with a day trip to one of Ottawa’s surrounding attractions. Here, we’ve rounded up four of our top picks.

Upper Canada Village
Take a trip back in time to 1860s Ontario! Located in Morrisburg, an hour south of Ottawa, Upper Canada Village is comprised of historical buildings that include working mills, a blacksmith, a bakery, a cabinetmaker, a tavern, a chapel, and a hotel. Actors clad in period costumes wander the village to get you even more immersed in the experience. Take a guided tour of the village (you can even do it in costume, if you like), hop on a horse drawn wagon ride, or cruise down the village canal on a tow scow, a special barge powered by horses. At the family activity centre, you can get some hands-on experience in writing with a quill, carding wool, sewing a pin cushion, and more. Open daily, 9.30am to 5pm. •13740 County Rd. 2, Morrisburg, 1-800-437-2233, uppercanadavillage.com

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Refreshing Retreat: Holtz Spa

Relax with massages, body treatments, and more at Holtz Spa.

Relax with massages, body treatments, and more at Holtz Spa.

Just a stone’s throw from the historic Fairmont Chateau Laurier, Holtz Spa is an oasis in the middle of the bustling downtown core. In the mood for a little relaxation? Choose from an assortment of packages that include Swedish, Thai, aromatherapy, and reiki massages. For a truly decadent experience, try the full body maple scrub and moisturizing wrap that incorporates local products. And afterwards, when you’re bundled up comfortably in your fluffy white bathrobe, pop into the adjoining Santé Restaurant for a delicious, wholesome meal.
•45 Rideau St., 877-241-8889. holtzspa.com

Ottawa Weekend Calendar: Aug. 13 to 16

Aurélie Guillaume, Madame au chien rose. Brooch, with enamel on copper, cloisonné fine silver wire, powder coated copper, fresh water pearls, enamel paint, steel, and micro glass beads, 9 x 17 x 1.5 cm. Courtesy of L.A. Pai Gallery.)

Aurélie Guillaume, NSCAD,  Madame au chien rose, 2014, Brooch, with enamel on copper, cloisonné fine silver wire, powder coated copper, fresh water pearls, enamel paint, steel, and micro glass beads, 9 x 17 x 1.5 cm. Photo: Jacob Mailman)

TD South Asian Fest

If there was ever doubt that there is a variety of culture in Ottawa, this Thursday marks the opening ceremony for TD South Asian Fest, the largest South Asian gathering in Ottawa.

On Thursday, Aug. 13, the festival opens with an art exhibition, followed by a boat cruise on Friday. Saturday will be a family-friendly, free outdoor event held at City Hall. There will be live performances from local artists, an opportunity to try a variety of South Asian cuisine, a kids’ zone, henna, clothing, jewellery, and an after party on Saturday at Club Discoteka on Dalhousie Street. See website for more info. Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Ave. W., 613-291-8624, southasianfest.net.

Greekfest

Zorba dancers perform at Ottawa Greek Fest.

GreekFest
Greece holds a romantic place in my heart. The community, family, food, people, and the country itself are beautiful. I still remember my first visit to GreekFest — I was just old enough to go out on my own, dressed up with my girlfriends, enjoying a little piece of Greece. The Zorba show, Greek food, jewelry, clothing, art, family, culture — and, of course, the dancers.

This year will be no different for me, as I intend to join the many other Ottawans who will take in the festival when it opens on Thursday, Aug. 13. Take advantage of the free shuttle to avoid parking around Prince of Wales Drive. See the website for the schedule, there is something going on every day, but rumour has it that the closing ceremony is not to be missed! See you there, I’ll be at the Loukoumades tent. Opa!

The festival continues until Sunday, Aug. 23. Admission is free. See website for more info. Hellenic Meeting and Reception Centre, 1315 Prince of Wales Dr., ottawagreekfest.com.

Calabogie Blues and Ribfest
Guitarist and singer Keb’ Mo’ is frequently hailed as one of the last living links to Delta blues, a musical genre that emerged in rural Mississippi in the early 20th century. He’s just one of many performers slated to take the stage at Calabogie Blues and Ribfest this weekend.

Others include Shemekia Copeland, an electric blues vocalist and the daughter of the late blues artist Johnny Copeland; Steve Strongman, a blues guitarist from Kitchener; and Jack de Keyzer, a two-time Juno Award-winning singer-songwriter.

Meanwhile, a host of barbecues from Canada and the United States are on site to grill up juicy ribs and compete for prizes, including Best Ribs, Best Chicken, and Consumers’ Choice.

The festival gets started on Friday, Aug. 14 and continues until Sunday, Aug. 16. Camping for tents and RVs is available on site. See website for more info. Tickets from $25. Calabogie Peaks Resort, 30 Barrett Chute Rd., Calabogie, 1-800-669-4861, calabogieblues.com.

2015 Student Jewellery Competition Finalists
The art of cloisonné — a painstaking technique by which coloured glass, gemstones, or enamel are sectioned into elaborate designs using thin strips of wire — has been around since the time of the Egyptian pharaohs. Back then, cloisonné was used to make trinkets such as rings and buttons, but over the centuries, it began to appear in larger objects. The Chinese, for example, used it to beautify everything from bowls to vases to pots.

Art jeweller and NSCAD student Aurélie Guillaume takes this ancient technique and does something quite modern with it in her intricate, whimsical brooches of unusual characters. Beginning on Saturday, Aug. 15, L.A. Pai displays her work, along with that of five other jewellery students, in the 2015 Student Jewellery Competition Finalists exhibition.

The six finalists will be at the gallery from 2pm to 5pm on Aug. 15, and the award will be presented to the winner at 3pm.

The exhibition runs until September 4. Admission is free. See website for more info. L.A. Pai Gallery, 13 Murray St., 613-241-2767, lapaigallery.com.

Ottawa indie rockers Amos the Transparent play the Black Sheep Inn on Saturday night.

Ottawa indie rockers Amos the Transparent play the Black Sheep Inn on Saturday night.

Amos the Transparent
Making a name for oneself as an artist can be an uphill battle. Being constantly on the road and playing gig after gig with no guarantee it will pay off can take a mental and physical toll. This is what Jonathan Chandler, frontman for Ottawa indie rock band Amos the Transparent, endured before he found himself ready to give up on a career in music altogether.

Instead, he used the experience as material for the band’s latest album, This Cold Escape. The concept album travels the landscape of indie musicianship, tackling everything from youthful dreams of fame to the fragile balance of public and private life.

The band performs at the Black Sheep Inn on Saturday, Aug. 15. Tickets are from $12. The Black Sheep Inn, 753 Riverside Dr., Wakefield, 819-459-3228, theblacksheepinn.com.

Lumière Festival
The “Festival of Lights” has origins dating back to 1643 in Lyon, France, when the city was stricken by plague. The municipality promised a tribute to Mary, mother of Jesus, to rid them of the plague and, in thanks, a festival is held on December 8 of each year (this also ties in to the reasoning behind Christmas lights). But variations of this event take place all over the world at different times of the year.

This weekend, starting Saturday, Aug. 15 at 5pm, Ottawa will hold its own Lumière Festival in New Edinburgh Park.

Whether you attend with friends, family, or on your own, it will be a special, one-of-a-kind experience. Everything will be entirely lit by lanterns, including a labyrinth and live performances. Artists will be performing for donations, so don’t forget to bring some spare change in addition to your lantern. Costumes are also welcome.

Keep in mind that any lights brought to the park must be battery operated flash-lights or glow-sticks. Candles and open flames are prohibited.

Admission is free. See website for more info. New Edinburgh Park, 193 Stanley Ave., 613-745-2742, lumiereottawa.ca.

Ottawa Weekend Calendar: Aug. 6 to 9

BY AMY ALLEN AND NICOLINA LEONE

Reggae artist Gyptian is just one of many notable names performing at this year's JAMDAY.

Reggae artist Gyptian is just one of many notable names performing at this year’s JAMDAY.

Distraction — the truth and the media
They say a picture is worth a thousand words — but artist Lilly Koltun wants us all to stop and think very hard about what some pictures are telling us.

In her exhibition Distraction, which begins on Thursday, Aug. 6 at the newly opened Studio Sixty Six, Koltun appropriates photos and video of recent and past tragedies to question whether the truth is really being told by the media. What techniques does the media use to influence public opinion? And by looking at these images, how are we involved in creating public passivity towards violence?

The exhibition continues until August 17. See website for more info. Studio Sixty Six, 66 Muriel St., Unit 202, 613-800-1641, studiosixtysix.ca.

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Night on the Town

Stop by Town for a  welcoming atmosphere and mouth-watering menu.

Stop by Town for a welcoming atmosphere and mouth-watering menu.

Town’s distinctive menu and welcoming atmosphere will have you feeling at home in no time. Get your meal started with a delicious slice of salted bread, followed by its famous ricotta-stuffed meatballs or perhaps the oven-roasted bone marrow. If you can, make a reservation, as this intimate restaurant fills up quickly.
•296 Elgin St., 613-695-8696, townlovesyou.ca