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BFF! Burgers n’ Fries Forever in Ottawa


Burgers n’ Fries Forever serve up fresh, never frozen, burgers and fries in Ottawa

Burgerist: The word, defined by two locals, describes a person who believes that burgers are superior to fries. Burger n’ Fries Forever (BFF) in Ottawa, however, operates on the principle that we should live in a world where both are equally awesome. Everything in this young shop is fresh, never frozen, fun, and innovative. Whether you want vegan, halal, sans-gluten, or double the meat, the boys will hook you up.
• Burger n’ Fries Forever, 329 Bank St., 613-230-3456, burgersnfriesforever.com

Anastasia Philopoulos

Harry Potter Fans Rejoice: Potted Potter Comes to Ottawa


Potted Potter: The Unauthorized Harry Experience comes to Ottawa March 10 to 13 at the National Arts Centre (Photo: Brian Friedman)

The Harry Potter series may have ended, but the fascination with the wizard and his friends continues with Potted Potter: The Unauthorized Harry Experience, which comes to Ottawa. Presented by the National Arts Centre, the parody, featuring two-time Oliver Award-nominated actors, Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner, attempts to condense all of the books, including a game of Quidditch, into 70 minutes of hilarity, which is fit for ages 6 and up. Fans of J.K. Rowlings’ fantastical world won’t want to miss this!
Potted Potter: The Unauthorized Harry Experience runs from March 10 to 13 at the National Arts Centre, 53 Elgin St., nac-cna.ca

Matthew Harrison

This Is War at the Great Canadian Theatre Company


Hannah Moscovitch’s play This Is War is on at the Great Canadian Theatre Company from Feb. 4 to 23

Four Canadian soldiers recount their own version of an ill-fated mission in the most volatile region of Afghanistan. More than just a retelling of accounts, the story — on stage at the Great Canadian Theatre Company — reveals how personal relationships can affect the outcome. This Is War provides a glimpse into the devastated psyche of a contemporary soldier. Written by Hannah Moscovitch, a brilliant young playwright, and directed by Eric Coates.
• This Is War runs from Feb. 4 to 23 at the Great Canadian Theatre Company, 1233 Wellington St. W, gctc.ca

The Simply Raw Kitchen in Ottawa


These righteous brownies are one of the delicious recipes in the Simply Raw Kitchen

Need some help with that new healthy routine you’ve vowed to follow this year? Natasha Kyssa’s The Simply Raw Kitchen may be exactly what you’re looking for. Her new cookbook acts as a guide to a new diet consisting of raw, unprocessed foods. The recipes are simple and easy to follow — from delicious salads and dressings, to sumptuous pasta alternatives and desserts. The book is so accessible and inclusive that even the most meat-loving person can get on board, incorporating some of these ideas into their diet. Pick it up from SimplyRaw Express, Kyssa’s restaurant and shop in Ottawa ­— and sample a dish while you’re there!
• SimplyRaw Express, 989 Wellington St. W., 613-234-0806, simplyrawexpress.com

Winterlude 2014 Transforms Ottawa from Jan. 31 to Feb. 17


Confederation Park is turned into a beautiful Crystal Garden during Winterlude 2014 (Photo: Canadian Heritage)

Winterlude 2014 will transform Ottawa into the liveliest city in the country from Jan. 31 to Feb. 17. As you explore Ottawa during the festival you’ll probably end up at one of these three official Winterlude sites. Don’t worry, that’s a good thing — they return each year for a reason.

WHERE: Confederation Park. Within walking distance of Parliament Hill, Rideau Centre, and the National Arts Centre.
WHEN: Open daily, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. | Feb. 17, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
WHAT: This is where world-class ice-carving masters turn blocks of ice into works of art. See them in action during the 27th International Ice-Carving Competition, Jan. 31 to Feb. 2. And definitely plan on walking through the park during the evening — special lighting enhances the sculptures and other artwork displayed during the duration of Winterlude.
MORE: This is also Opening Ceremony central! Festivities kick-off on Jan. 31 at 7 p.m. And the park also hosts Sub-Zero DJ Nights every Friday and Saturday night at 8 p.m. throughout Winterlude.

WHERE: Jacques-Cartier Park. A couple minutes over the Macdonald-Cartier Bridge in Gatineau, down the street from the Canadian Museum of History.
WHEN: Open Mondays and Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sundays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The park is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
WHAT: The largest snow playground in the world! Your kids will fall in love with the variety of snow slides — a tube slide, one built for groups to speed down together, and another for the littlest of kiddies. And there will be special winter sports and games so your kids can join in on the Olympic fever.
MORE: The XTREME Zone opens on weekends, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., for thrill seekers and boundary pushers. The area includes a zip line, pedal go-carts on snow, a bungee trampoline, and a giant maze.


Skate along the Rideau Canal during Winterlude 2014, the world’s largest naturally frozen ice rink (Photo: Canadian Heritage)

WHERE: Throughout Ottawa. Major entrance points include Mackenzie King East and West, across from Confederation Park; Somerset East and West, by the University of Ottawa; and Fifth Avenue in the Glebe neighbourhood
WHEN: Chalets open Sunday to Thursday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.
WHAT: The world’s largest naturally frozen ice rink is one of the centrepieces of Winterlude 2014. Glide along the 7.8 km Skateway, grab a delicious BeaverTail (sold on the Canal!), and grab a seat in one of the chalets to catch your breath and people watch. Didn’t bring your skates? Well, there are rental spots right on the Canal!
MORE: The Giant Tiger Interactive Hockey Zone, every Saturday and Sunday by the Fifth Avenue entrance, lets you test your skills at the hardest shot, most accurate shot, obstacle course, and more.

Kim’s Convenience Comes to Ottawa


Award-winning play Kim’s Convenience runs from Jan. 22 to Feb. 8 at the National Arts Centre (Photo: Cylla von Tiedemann)

Quintessentially Canadian, Kim’s Convenience follows the trials and joys of first-generation Korean immigrants who are trying to navigate western society. The play, which has quickly garnered awards and a loyal following, comes to Ottawa from Jan. 22 to Feb. 8 at the National Arts Centre. The story centres around the family’s convenience store, touching on the interplay of old-world culture bumping up against new-world influence; the pressure of having a strong parental figure; and the enduring strength that only a family can provide. It was a huge hit during the 2011 Toronto Fringe Festival and won Best Canadian Play at the 2012 Toronto Theatre Critics’ Awards.

ZenKitchen Creating Inspiring Cuisine in Ottawa


ZenKitchen creates vegan masterpieces that rival the best dishes in Ottawa (Photo: April Anne Hewens Photography)

ZenKitchen is one of the culinary leaders in Ottawa. The vegan restaurant has taught us that inventive, tasty, and inspiring dishes void of traditional protein can exist — and it exists in abundance at ZenKitchen. The restaurant — located in Ottawa’s Chinatown neighbourhood — recently renovated its menu to include such dishes as pecan-crusted seitan and hand cut ravioli filled with tasty ingredients like nut parmesan and tempeh-caramelized onions. Much of the menu is gluten-free — that includes such tempting desserts as their caramel bourbon pecan pie, and peanut butter and chocolate pie — and the restaurant can meet the needs of virtually any dietary requirement.
• ZenKitchen, 634 Somerset St. W., 613-233-6404. zenkitchen.ca
Map and reviews

Christmas Events in Ottawa: 11 Must-See Performances This Holiday Season



Soprano Measha Brueggergosman is joined by a number of choirs for her special Christmas concert on Dec. 19 at the National Arts Centre (Photo: Mat Dunlop)

Christmas is just around the corner and tis’ the season to attend concerts! Ottawa hosts some great performances this holiday season and WHERE Ottawa wants to help you by offering our picks of the must-see Christmas shows this season.

Ottawa Christmas Events: The Messiah
Nov. 22 and 23
The first is a 20th anniversary performance by the combined choirs (Men and Boys, Women and Girls) of St. Matthew’s Anglican Church. Conducted by Kirkland Adsett and accompanied by a professional orchestra, the choirs will sing with the finesse and intelligence the last 20 years of Messiah performances have taught them.

Dec. 17 and 18
The National Arts Centre Orchestra’s production of Messiah features choristers from across the city, including the Cantata Singers of Ottawa. A highlight of this performance will be the Bass arias sung by Ottawa native and rising superstar Philippe Sly.

Ottawa Christmas Events: The Glory of Baroque
Nov. 30
Lisette Canton and her Ottawa Bach Choir, accompanied by Montreal-based period-instrument specialists Ensemble Caprice, present The Glory of Baroque at St. Matthew’s Anglican Church. The concert features works by many masters of the era, including a fantastic Magnificat by Marc-Antoine Chapentier and the cantata Meine Seel Erhebt den Herren by that greatest of Baroque composers, J.S. Bach.


The Royal Winnipeg Ballet presents a special rendition of The Nutcracker from Dec. 4 to 8

Ottawa Christmas Events: The Nutcracker
Dec. 4 to 8
Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker is the ballet everyone associates with Christmas. The Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Canada’s premiere ballet company, performs the timeless story of a young child’s Christmas fantasy at the National Arts Centre. Expect several Canadian twists choreographed by Galina Yordanova and Nina Menon.

Ottawa Christmas Events: Big Soul Project Holiday Concert
Dec. 4
If you’re looking for great Christmas music but are tired of the same old stuffy carols, then Big Soul Project has the concert for you.  The self-described “gospel and groove choir and band,” directed by Roxanne Goodman and featuring steel pans virtuoso Bert Boldon, is bringing gospel and reggae Christmas music to Dominion-Chalmers Church.

Ottawa Christmas Events: Requiem et Lux
Dec. 6
Recently formed in 2009, the Capital Chamber Choir has been making a name for themselves in Ottawa with their excellent performances and repertoire of modern music. Their concert at Knox Presbyterian Church, Requiem et Lux, explores the transition at this time of year from darkness into light. Pieces include Herbert Howells’ Requiem and the premiere of a new work by Ottawa composer Timothy Mott.


The Barenaked Ladies share some of their hits, alongside Christmas classics, on Dec. 13 and 14

Ottawa Christmas Events: Barenaked Ladies
Dec. 13 and 14

It won’t cost you a million dollars to see the biggest holiday pop concert in Ottawa this season, but it may be worth it. The Barenaked Ladies peroform on back-to-back nights at the National Arts Centre.  The band will perform many of their massive hits as well as some holiday favourites, many likely originating from their Barenaked for the Holidays album.

Ottawa Christmas Events: Centralaires Concert Band
Dec. 15
The Centralaires Concert Band, directed by Peter Archibald and comprised of former military band members as well local musicians, will perform their annual Christmas and Holiday Favourites concert in the beautiful hanger of the Canada Aviation and Space Museum.

Ottawa Christmas Events: Measha’s Magical Christmas
Dec. 19

World-class Canadian Soprano Measha Brueggergosman will be joined by the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Ottawa Choral Society, and the Boys Choir of Christ Church Cathedral for a night of beautiful holiday favourites including White Christmas, O Holy Night, and Little Drummer Boy. The audience will also be invited to join Measha and friends in some sing-along caroling.


The Tenors take over the National Arts Centre on Dec. 23 for a special Christmas concert

Ottawa Christmas Events: Nine Lessons and Carols
Dec. 22

Experience the magic of an English Christmas without the plane ticket. Matthew Larkin and the combined choirs of Christ Church Cathedral present their annual Nine Lessons and Carols service, England’s favourite Christmas rite. Listen to the classic Christmas lessons accompanied by timeless English carols and such modern masterpieces as A Hymn to the Mother of God by the late John Tavener.

Ottawa Christmas Events: The Tenors Christmas show
Dec. 23

The Tenors Christmas show at the National Arts Centre will be a night of beautifully arranged Christmas carols and holiday songs sung by one of Canada’s premiere quartets. These four young Canadian tenors bring an adult contemporary pop sound to their vocal arrangements which, combined with their beautiful voices and Grecian good looks, create a night of fun music at high classical music standards.

H&M Opens at Bayshore Shopping Centre in Ottawa

H&M Ottawa

H&M’s first store in Ottawa at Bayshore Shopping Centre

Retail giant H&M opens its first store in Ottawa at Bayshore Shopping Centre. The store, known for stylish threads at bargain prices, takes over a 23,000 sq. ft. space inside the west-end Ottawa mall. It may have taken H&M over nine years to enter Ottawa, but they made up for it with a wide array of women’s, men’s, and children’s clothing and accessories.

Start our slideshow of H&M’s first Ottawa store at Bayshore Shopping Centre»

Izakaya Serving Modern Japanese in Ottawa


Izakaya‘s slaw, made with 15 fresh ingredients, has become one of the Japanese restaurant’s most popular dishes

This Asian kitchen and bar in Ottawa lifts its name directly from the Japanese term that means an establishment that serves food to accompany drinks. So, there’s certainly no ambiguity as to what to expect when you go to Izakaya. However, if not well-versed in Japanese cuisine, you may be surprised to find more than just sushi and tempura vegetables. And that’s a good thing. Izakaya’s slaw (made with more than 15 fresh ingredients, including mango, jicama and avocado) and their bibimbap, a fresh recreation of the classic Korean rice bowl, have quickly become favourites. They also have an extensive raw menu and a number of creative cocktails. Plus, DJs change the vibe on weekends, and they host live music on Thursday nights.
• 339 Elgin St., 613-627-4140, izakayaottawa.com
Map and review

Ottawa Beer Guide: The National Capital Region’s Breweries and Brew Pubs



Ottawa Brewery: Beyond The Pale‘s brewmaster Shane Clark walks past a pint of Pink Fuzz, their grapefruit wheat beer that has become one of their best sellers (Photo: Marc Fowler/Metropolis Studio)

These are the spots in Ottawa that brew beer and serve food. Sounds like the perfect business plan.

OTTAWA BREW PUB: Ashton Brewing Company
Art Hodgins is well versed when it comes to Ottawa’s drinking scene. He currently owns Quinn’s and Patty’s Pub and has owned a number of other watering holes in the past. The Old Mill at Ashton, about 30 minutes west of Ottawa, is his first foray into brewing, though. Colloquially known as the Ashton Brew Pub, the quaint English-style pub pumps out a number of brews, which are made on-site and served at the bar. The Vanilla Stout and HopStravaganza are worthwhile choices. They also sell growlers, so you can enjoy their beer at home.
• The Old Mill at Ashton, 113 Old Mill Rd., Ashton, 613-257-4423, ashtonbrewpub.ca
Map and reviews Read more…

Quality Knits at Ça Va De Soi In The ByWard Market


ça va de soi in Ottawa’s ByWard Market sells high-end knits, perfect for chilly weather, that will last a lifetime

Keep warm with quality knits this fall and winter. ça va de soi, a family-owned company, operated for years as a wholesaler before opening boutique stores in Ottawa, in the ByWard Market, and Montreal. Their mission: bring the best materials from Italy and Egypt, assemble with top-notch spinning techniques, and deliver a product that survives trends. Prices are on the high end, but with simple care instructions and built-to-last design, these pieces will become wardrobe staples. Run your hands over the luxurious knits, and you’ll understand why their name means “it goes without saying.”
• ça va de soi, 459 Sussex Dr., 613-789-2828, cavadesoi.com
Map and reviews