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Ottawa

Ottawa Weekend Calendar for April 24 to 26

Singer-songwriter Gabrielle Papillon brings her moody folk-pop songs to Raw Sugar Cafe on Saturday night.

Singer-songwriter Gabrielle Papillon brings her moody folk-pop songs to Raw Sugar Cafe on Saturday night.

Friday, April 24

At PoutineFest, various food trucks from around the region bring unique and tasty takes on everyone’s favourite Quebecois comfort food. The toppings go beyond mere cheese curds and gravy — think bacon, mushrooms, pulled pork, and so much more. The festival runs until April 26 on Sparks Street. Admission is free, but you pay for what you eat.

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The Sweet Stuff: Holland’s Cake and Shake

(Photo: Erica Filippelli)

Holland’s Cake and Shake specializes in artisanal mini cakes, delightful pastries, and hearty themed sandwiches. (Photo: Erica Filippelli)

Dessert lovers will feel right at home at Holland’s Cake and Shake. Although the menu changes weekly, you can expect to see cakes inspired by such culinary delights as cinnamon buns and popcorn. For a few bucks extra, you can have a cake of your choice blended into a milkshake; those with formidable stomachs may be tempted by the Overlord, a 16-ounce shake topped with a cake, a cookie, and a brownie. Brown bag lunches are also available; they include a hot or cold sandwich, a drink, and a treat.
•229 Armstrong St., 613-695-3311, cakeandshake.ca

In the Spotlight: April Theatre

The story of Baby and Johnny, made famous by Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze in the movie of the same name, comes to life on the stage. (Photo: David Scheinmann)

The story of Baby and Johnny, made famous by Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze in the movie of the same name, comes to life on the stage. (Photo: David Scheinmann)

From comedies to dramas, to tragedies and Broadway musicals, we bet you’ll have the time of your life at one of Ottawa’s many stages. The National Arts Centre hosts two productions throughout the month of April, including the timeless classic Dirty Dancing, which follows the love story of Baby and Johnny at a resort in the Catskill Mountains. On from April 14 to 19. From $39.
•National Arts Centre, Southam Hall, 53 Elgin St., 866-850-2787. nac-cna.ca
Map and reviews

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Second Skin: ça va de soi on Sussex Drive

The family owned ça va de soi designs cozy, lightweight knitwear.

The family owned ça va de soi designs cozy, lightweight knitwear.

The family-owned ça va de soi specializes in natural fibers, including Egyptian cotton and Merino wool, and the knitwear they produce is tasteful, timeless, and cozy. Simply stopping in at the boutique to browse is an experience in and of itself. The staff is knowledgeable and friendly, so don’t be surprised when they spend an hour helping you choose the products that are best suited to your body type.
•459 Sussex Dr., 613-789-2828, cavadesoi.com
Map and reviews

Fresco Bistro Italiano on Elgin Street

Fresco Bistro Italiano on Elgin Street serves up scrumptious Italian fare.

Fresco Bistro Italiano on Elgin Street serves up scrumptious Italian fare.

On what is arguably one of Ottawa’s most popular dining strips, Fresco Bistro Italiano brings jazzed up Italian cuisine to the table. Their food — including their popular veal meatballs — is made fresh in-house, and served in a chic, cozy dining room. Another plus: they serve brunch complete with traditional breakfast items, sandwiches, pizzas, and pastas.
•354 Elgin St., 613-235-7541, frescobistro.ca
Map and reviews

Ottawa Weekend Calendar for April 10 to 12

Synth-pop artist Valery Gore performs at the National Arts Centre on Saturday night. (Photo: Valery Gore)

Synth-pop artist Valery Gore performs at the National Arts Centre on Saturday night. (Photo: Valery Gore)

Friday, April 10

Jane Urquhart is one of Canada’s most beloved writers, and her novels and poems touch on themes of love, loss, family attachments, art, and war. At the Writers Festival’s Literary Luncheon, Urquhart chats about her latest novel, The Night Stages, in which a woman reflects on her affair with a man obsessed by the disappearance of his brother. Tickets are $85, and includes lunch at the Metropolitain Brasserie and a signed copy of The Night Stages.

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Down the Rabbit Hole: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

The National Ballet of Canada brings Alice's Adventures in Wonderland to the capital. (Photo: Bruce Zinger)

The National Ballet of Canada brings Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to the capital. (Photo: Bruce Zinger)

APRIL 9 TO 12 Using puppets, cinematic projection, and other optical illusions, the National Ballet of Canada breathes new life into Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Part of the charm of the production is its breathtaking special effects — thanks to a team of dancers (made invisible by their black leotards), the Cheshire Cat can detach its limbs and head and put them back together again.
•National Arts Centre, Southam Hall, 53 Elgin St., 866-850-2787. nac-cna.ca
Map and reviews

Windows to Memory at La Petite Mort Gallery

The Windows From Prison Project portrays locations that hold meaning to U.S. federal inmates. (Photo: Mark Strandquist, Windows From Prison Project, Courtesy of La Petite Mort Gallery)

The Windows From Prison Project portrays locations that hold meaning to U.S. federal inmates. (Photo: Mark Strandquist, Windows From Prison Project, Courtesy of La Petite Mort Gallery)

In 2012, artist Mark Strandquist embarked on a project called Windows From Prison, with a goal of showing inmates in a more humane light. He asked them one simple question: “If you could have a window in your cell, what place from your past would it look out to?” Photographers then went out to capture those places, and the resulting images — both surprising and touching — ranged from supermarkets to hallways in childhood homes. On at La Petite Mort Gallery from April 3 to 26.
•La Petite Mort Gallery, 306 Cumberland St., 613-860-1555. lapetitemortgallery.com
Map and reviews

Gerry Dee at the National Arts Centre

Stand-up comic Gerry Dee, star of the CBC show "Mr. Dee", performs at the National Arts Centre.

Stand-up comic Gerry Dee, star of the CBC show “Mr. Dee”, performs at the National Arts Centre.

MARCH 31 Prior to his career in stand-up comedy, Gerry Dee was a high school phys ed teacher. It’s an experience that is echoed in a lot of his work: in his CBC sitcom, Mr. D, he portrays a social studies teacher locked in an imaginary feud with another member of staff who is well-liked by his students. He relies on similar experiences to fuel his stand-up shows.
•National Arts Centre, Southam Hall, 53 Elgin St., 866-850-2787. nac-cna.ca
Map and reviews

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
Map and reviews

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
Map and reviews

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