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Ottawa

Ottawa Weekend Calendar for May 29 to 31

Robert Lepage's Needles and Opium is performed in English for the first time ever. The play juxtaposes the story of a heartbroken Quebecois man with those of Miles Davis and Jean Cocteau. (Photo: Nicolas-Frank Vachon)

Robert Lepage’s Needles and Opium is performed in English for the first time ever. The play juxtaposes the story of a heartbroken Quebecois man with those of Miles Davis and Jean Cocteau. (Photo: Nicolas-Frank Vachon)

Friday, May 29

Now in its second year, the European Union Short Film Festival showcases some of the best in European documentary, drama, and animation. Run times range from seven minutes to half an hour, and film topics include an encounter with Death in an Irish park, the dynamic between an elderly Hungarian couple stuck in traffic, and an unlikely relationship between a chef and a young would-be criminal in Italy. The films screen at Saw Gallery until May 30; see website for schedule. Admission is free.

Read more…

Man and Nature at the Carleton University Art Gallery

Currently on view at the Carleton University Art Gallery, Human Nature explores humanity's complex relationship with the natural world. (Gavin Lynch, The Pass (1794-present), 2014-15. Detail of multi-part installation comprised of oil and acrylic paintings on canvas and wood panel. Photo: Gavin Lynch)

Currently on view at the Carleton University Art Gallery, Human Nature explores humanity’s complex relationship with the natural world. (Gavin Lynch, The Pass (1794-present), 2014-15. Detail of multi-part installation comprised of oil and acrylic paintings on canvas and wood panel. Photo: Gavin Lynch)

In recent years, humanity’s impact on nature has been a popular topic in the news. From fracking to greenhouse gases to floating garbage in the ocean, it’s clear that human beings have had a deleterious effect on the environment. But the opposite is also true: as easily as they destroy, people create and innovate, and Human Nature explores both sides of the issue, presenting artworks by 14 contemporary Canadian artists. On at the Carleton University Art Gallery until August 23.
•Carleton University Art Gallery, St. Patrick’s Building, 1125 Colonel By Dr., 613-520-2120. cuag.carleton.ca
Map and reviews

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Performs at the National Arts Centre

The Aspen Santa Fe Ballet performs Last, just one of three routines they present at the National Arts Centre on May 23. (Photo: Rosalie O'Connor)

The Aspen Santa Fe Ballet performs Last, just one of three routines they present at the National Arts Centre on May 23. (Photo: Rosalie O’Connor)

MAY 23 An independent troupe based in New Mexico and Colorado, the Aspen Sante Fe Ballet‘s adventurous repertoire and regular acquisition of new pieces has made it a mainstay of contemporary-classic dance. The company performs three of its commissioned works: Last, a romantic routine choreographed by Alejandro Cerrudo; Norbert De La Cruz III’s Square None, a piece set to electronica and Handel’s arias; and The Heart(s)pace, an original piece by Nicolo Fonte that’s washed in red light.
•National Arts Centre, Southam Hall, 53 Elgin St., 866-850-2787. nac-cna.ca
Map and reviews

Pancake Heaven at Flapjack’s

Delicious pancakes await you at Flapjack's Pancake Shake, a food truck located in the Glebe.

Delicious pancakes await you at Flapjack’s Pancake Shake, a food truck located in the Glebe.

The sugar bush comes to the city at Flapjack’s Pancake Shack, a food truck that delivers create takes on the breakfast staple. Its panwiches are perhaps the most popular items on the menu: as the name suggests, you’ll find crammed between a stack of fluffy pancakes a variety of fillings, including bacon and eggs, marshmallows, Nutella, or strawberries. Their dine-in restaurant recently opened in Little Italy.
•Truck: 809 Bank St. (in the courtyard behind Mrs. Tiggy Winkle’s); Restaurant: 354A Preston St., flapjacks.ca

Scents and Sensibility: Saje in the Rideau Centre

Saje's aromatherapy products can help heal everything from headaches to sleep disturbances.

Saje’s aromatherapy products can help heal everything from headaches to sleep disturbances.

Ancient wisdom suggests that certain aromas can alter mood and trigger healing in the body and mind. Saje Natural Wellness operates on this principle, stocking its shelves with an array of soothing sprays, mists, oils, and lotions that claim to remedy everything from stress to headaches to sleep disturbances. They also have diffusers, nebulizers, and jewellery to help you disperse your scents.
•Rideau Centre, 50 Rideau St., 613-789-0440, saje.ca

Canadian Icon Alex Colville at the National Gallery of Canada

(Photo: Alex Colville, Church and Horse, 1954, glazed oil on hardboard, 41.2 x54.2 cm. Art Gallery of Hamilton, Gift of Dominion Foundries and Steel Limited (Dofasco), 1957. © A.C. Fine Art Inc. Photo: Robert McNair)

Many of Alex Colville’s paintings give a sense of danger or foreboding. (Photo: Alex Colville, Train and Horse, 1954, glazed oil on hardboard, 41.2 x54.2 cm. Art Gallery of Hamilton, Gift of Dominion Foundries and Steel Limited (Dofasco), 1957. © A.C. Fine Art Inc. Photo: Robert McNair)

Alex Colville‘s paintings portray two extremes: the warmth and safety of family life, and the foreboding sense that danger is just around the corner. Many images that seem straightforward or pastoral belie an element of unease, be it between humans, man and nature, or man and animal. It’s a dichotomy that has inspired filmmakers, writers, and other artists of all stripes, and the exhibition pairs their work with Colville’s to highlight his impact on culture not just in Canada, but around the world. On display at the National Gallery of Canada until September 7.
•National Gallery of Canada, 380 Sussex Dr., 613-990-1985. gallery.ca
Map and reviews

Best of the Fests: The Canadian Tulip Festival and More

The Canadian Tulip Festival celebrates Canada's friendship with the Netherlands. On from May 8 to 18. (Photo: Sarah Fischer)

The Canadian Tulip Festival celebrates Canada’s friendship with the Netherlands. On from May 8 to 18. (Photo: Sarah Fischer)

MAY 8 TO 18 Would you believe it if we told you the Canadian Tulip Festival has its roots in World War II? It’s true: when war broke out in 1939, the Netherlands proclaimed itself neutral, refusing to take part or pick sides in the conflict. Despite this, the German army invaded in 1940, and the Dutch royal family was whisked out of the country to be sheltered in safer harbours. Queen Wilhelmina remained in the United Kingdom to rule from afar, while her eldest daughter, Princess Juliana, continued on to Canada with her family — and it was in Ottawa that she gave birth to her daughter, Princess Margriet, in 1943. To ensure that the princess retained exclusively Dutch citizenship — and, thus, her place in the line of succession to the Dutch throne — the Canadian government declared her room at the Ottawa Civic Hospital temporarily extraterritorial.

It was the beginning of a friendship between the Netherlands and Canada that continues to this day. Shortly after the end of the war, Princess Juliana sent Canadians 100,000 tulip bulbs in thanks for their hospitality, and continued to send a gift of bulbs on an annual basis.

Canadians were captivated by the thousands of colourful blooms, and so the festival has endured for more than half a century. The tulips can be seen at three major locations throughout Ottawa: Dows Lake, Major’s Hill Park, and the Olympic Garden at Lansdowne Park. They can also be seen at several sites across the river in Gatineau. No car? Don’t worry — the Tulip Shuttle transports visitors between the main sites within the city.

This year, the festival marks its 70th anniversary with a special flower-inspired fireworks show over Dows Lake on May 8,9, 15, and 16. Live music, cultural presentations, buskers, and assorted family-friendly activities round out the experience.

Visit tulipfestival.ca for more information.

Upcoming Festivals:

Festibière
MAY 29 TO 31 
Enjoy beers from more than 35 Quebec-based microbreweries — plus offerings from several Ontario breweries — at the fifth annual edition of Festibière in Jacques-Cartier Park. Star-studded musical programming, delectable food by local vendors, and activities for the whole family (think face painting, rock climbing, and an inflatable kids’ zone) mean there’s something for everyone. festibiere.ca

Magnetic North
JUNE 4 TO 13 Magnetic North travels to other Canadian cities every second year to bring thought-provoking performances to the rest of the nation. Now back in Ottawa, this year’s lineup includes a solo show by Kids in the Hall member Bruce McCulloch that blends comedy, music, and autobiographical elements. Other highlights include a plan chronicling the 18,000-year history of an Anishinaabeg First Nations family, and a humorous take on new-age medicine that’s presented as an interactive yoga class. magneticnorthfestival.ca

Edmonton's Mercury Opera performs the classic La Fiamma at Magnetic North. (Photo: Mercury Opera)

Edmonton’s Mercury Opera performs the classic La Fiamma at Magnetic North. (Photo: Mercury Opera)

Canada Dance Festival
JUNE 6 TO 13 
This year, the festival challenges our ideas of what dance can be, bringing performances by the Toronto Dance Theatre and Byron Chief Moon, as well as the Ottawa premiere of Porch View Dances. canadadance.ca

Westfest
JUNE 13 AND 14 
Richmond Road, the strip of land that’s home to trendy Westboro village, closes down for two days in this celebration of the neighbourhood’s arts community. Two Ontario folk singer-songwriters headline the festival: Sarah Harmer takes the stage on June 13 in a rare performance, while Lynn Miles closes the festival on June 14. Other attractions include buskers, food vendors, shopping, and a kids’ zone. The best part: admission is free! westfest.ca

Geeks Unite at Ottawa Comiccon

Rub elbows with celebrity guests and browse the geek market at Ottawa Comiccon.

Rub elbows with celebrity guests and browse the geek market at Ottawa Comiccon.

MAY 8 TO 10 Ottawa Comiccon is the place to be if you want to high-five Batman and rub elbows with Darth Vader. A host of celebrity guests — namely Billie Piper from Doctor Who, Lance Henriksen of Aliens, and Billy Boyd from The Lord of the Rings trilogy — are the main attraction, but you’ll also have access to loads of activities, including workshops, panels, concerts, photo ops, and tabletop games.
•EY Centre, 4899 Uplands Dr., 888-822-9221. ottawacomiccon.com

Animals Up Close at the Canadian Museum of Nature

Animal Inside Out puts on display the complex biology of various organisms.

Animal Inside Out puts on display the complex biology of various organisms.

In the late 1970s, anatomist Gunther von Hagens patented a process by which human, animal, and vegetable tissue could be preserved in their original state without decaying. The resulting specimens have been shown in exhibitions all around the world, and in Animal Inside Out, you can see for yourself the unique skeletal, vascular, and muscular systems that make up everything from squids to rabbits, caribou to giraffes, and bulls to ostriches. On at the Canadian Museum of Nature until Sept. 20.
•Canadian Museum of Nature, 240 McLeod St., 613-566-4700. nature.ca
Map and reviews

Rowan Corkill at La Petite Mort Gallery

The elevation of everyday objects into symbols of the occult is at the heart of Rowan Corkill‘s work. Taxidermy animals, skulls, human hair, teeth from various creatures, and cockroaches are just a few of the elements the artist incorporates into his pieces, as he explores the role fantasy and fiction play when we question our place on this planet. On at La Petite Mort Gallery until May 31.
•La Petite Mort Gallery, 306 Cumberland St., 613-860-1555. lapetitemortgallery.com
Map and reviews

Festival Season Kicks Off with Ontario Scene

Shad

A rapper and newly-minted host of CBC’s Q, Shad performs at Ontario Scene.

 

APRIL 28 TO MAY 10 Ontario Scene is the latest addition to an ambitious festival series hosted by the National Arts Centre (NAC). With a goal of showcasing the best artists that each region of Canada has to offer, over the past 12 years the NAC has brought in artists from Atlantic Canada, Quebec, the Prairies, Alberta, British Columbia, and Canada’s North. This year, it’s Ontario’s turn. Read more…

Brothers Beer Bistro in the ByWard Market

At Brothers Beer Bistro, upscale pub food is given a boost with infusions of beer. (Photo: Alexander Vlad)

At Brothers Beer Bistro, upscale pub food is given a boost with infusions of beer. (Photo: Alexander Vlad)

Brothers Beer Bistro is an innovative restaurant in the ByWard Market that brings together beer and upscale pub cuisine. Almost every item on the menu is infused with beer in some way, and the extensive beer menu includes dozens of local and imported brews. The menu suggests pairings for food and drink, and knowledgeable servers are on hand to help patrons who may feel overwhelmed by the choice.
•366 Dalhousie St., 613-695-6300, brothersbeerbistro.ca