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Dig Into Canadiana at Smoke’s Poutinerie

Smoke's (Photo: Amy Allen)

Drop in at Smoke’s Poutinerie for some truly Canadian comfort food. (Photo: Amy Allen)

Fries, gravy, and cheese curds — put them together and you get poutine, that quintessential French Canadian staple. Smoke’s Poutinerie takes it to another level, though, with their creative toppings. More than two dozen are on offer, including bacon, sausage, pulled pork, chicken, beef, steak, mushrooms, peas, and onions. They also have sauces you can drizzle on top: sriracha, guacamole, and salsa, to name just a few. Vegetarian options are available. —Amy Allen
•Smoke’s Poutinerie, 407 Dalhousie St., 613-789-2873. smokespoutinerie.com
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Sword of Wisdom: An Extraordinary Journey

Sword of Wisdom is a breathtaking tale of courage and discipline. (Photo: Courtesy of U-Theatre)

Sword of Wisdom is a soaring, spectacular tale of courage and discipline. (Photo: Courtesy of U-Theatre)

NOV. 24 Sword of Wisdom, a lavish, breathtaking production by Taiwanese dance company U-Theatre, blends drama, dance, and music to tell the story of the Brave One as he faces his fears and overcomes adversity. Set to the beating of many drums, the story traces the Brave One’s traces journey through precise movements and gestures commonly found in the sacred dances of India and Central Asia. The dancers’ soaring movements, the incredible beauty of the performances, and the discipline of the entire company make it a must-see. —Amy Allen
•National Arts Centre, Southam Hall, 53 Elgin St., 866-850-2787. nac-cna.ca
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Hit the Slopes!

Located just two hours northeast of Ottawa, Mont Tremblant opens for ski season on November 20. (Photo: Mont Tremblant)

Located just two hours northeast of Ottawa, Mont Tremblant opens for ski season on November 20. (Photo: Mont Tremblant)

Come November, many enthusiastic skiers eagerly anticipate the first significant snowfall of the season. But there’s really no reason to wait — not when Mont Tremblant, located just two hours northeast of Ottawa, gets a head start on the season with its snow-making machines. The mountain’s ski season opens on November 26. With 96 downhill runs geared toward skiers of varying skill levels, we’re confident you’ll find something to get your blood pumping — whether you’re taking your first steps on the mountain or skiing for the thousandth time. —Amy Allen
•Mont Tremblant, 1000, ch. des Voyageurs, Mont Tremblant, 866-356-2233. tremblant.ca
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Say Yes to the Dress at The Handmade Bride


(Photo: Gaby Bayona)

Truvelle Bridal dresses overlook the street at The Handmade Bride’s new showroom location. (Photo: Gaby Bayona)

(Photo: Kelsey Kromodimoeljo)

A rack of dresses in The Handmade Bride’s sophisticated new space. (Photo: Kelsey Kromodimoeljo)

Finding the right dress is a personalized experience at The Handmade Bride, where the bride’s vision is kept in mind from design to creation. Popular for its vintage-inspired aesthetics and one-of-a-kind dresses, the bridal fashion boutique has moved from its cozy New Edinburgh home to its new flagship location in the Byward Market. Formerly home to La Petite Mort Gallery, the shop still holds the showroom ambience of its predecessor, and the relaxed and sophisticated space is filled with beautiful wedding dresses and accessories.

The Handmade Bride carefully curates an in-store collection of independent designers who create their dresses as original works of art. During our visit to the store, we met Gaby Bayona, owner and creative director of Truvelle Bridal. Though the Vancouver-based line is now available worldwide, The Handmade Bride was the first retailer to carry it, after discovering Bayona’s creations on Etsy back in 2013. Like many of the dresses at The Handmade Bride, Truvelle’s designs are modern, refined and effortless to wear.

(Photo: Kelsey Kromodimoeljo)

Find handmade accessories to complement your wedding day look. (Photo: Kelsey Kromodimoeljo)

All dresses at The Handmade Bride can be customized and made-to-measure with the help of the boutique’s bridal stylists. Brides-to-be can also bring in a dress from elsewhere for alterations and other personal touches. Besides gowns, the shop also carries plenty of exquisite accessories, such as jewel-encrusted sashes, lace boleros, floral crowns, and bridal clutches, to complete your wedding day look.

•The Handmade Bride, 306 Cumberland St., 613-695-8247, handmadebride.ca


Six things to do the weekend of Nov. 19 to 22


Basia Bulat performs at Library and Archives Canada on Thursday, Nov. 18.

Basia Bulat performs at Library and Archives Canada on Thursday, Nov. 19.

Basia Bulat at the Ottawa Jazz Fest’s Benefit Concert
Basia Bulat is a rising star in the Canadian folk scene. She has been nominated for two Juno Awards — in 2011 for New Artist of the Year and again in 2014 for her album Tall Tall Shadow. On Thursday, Nov. 19, she performs songs from her upcoming album, Good Advice, at the Ottawa Jazz Festival’s annual benefit concert and live auction. Prizes at the live auction include vacations, spa packages, gift cards, concert tickets, shopping trips, and more. Tickets $50. See website for more info. Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington St., ottawajazzfestival.com.

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10 Holiday Events in Ottawa


(Photo: Samantha Katz)

Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet pirouettes into town with its beloved interpretation of The Nutcracker. (Photo: Samantha Katz)

Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet: The Nutcracker
DEC. 2 TO 6 Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker has been a holiday classic since the 1950s, and Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet stages a thoroughly Canadian version by setting it in early 1900s Winnipeg. You’ll see more than just sugar plum fairies dancing across the stage this time around — think hockey players, Mounties, and a pack of adorable polar bears. From $20. National Arts Centre, Southam Hall, 53 Elgin St., 866-850-2787, nac-cna.ca.

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A Life in Pictures: nichola feldman-kiss

(nichola feldman-kiss, a yard of ashes, video still from after Africa, 2012, HD video triptych.  ©nichola feldman-kiss and CARCC, 2015.)

(nichola feldman-kiss, a yard of ashes, video still from after Africa, 2012, HD video triptych. ©nichola feldman-kiss and CARCC, 2015)

Identity, global conflict, and trauma — nichola feldman-kiss has explored these issues throughout her artistic practice, which spans well over two decades. Her latest exhibition, witness, traces the progression of her career, from her early examination of the artistic process to a 2012 trip to war-torn Sudan, which had a lasting influence on her work. The exhibition comprises three separate installations: childish objects, a collection of items that reflect feldman-kiss’s earliest thoughts about art; after Africa, a video triptych on the subject of geopolitical violence; and her latest work, between here and there, which explores issues surrounding the international bone trade. On display at Ottawa Art Gallery until Feb. 7, 2016. —Amy Allen
Ottawa Art Gallery, 2 Daly Ave., 613-233-8699. ottawaartgallery.ca
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‘Tis the Season: Six Holiday Craft Shows


craft fairs

I’ve been “craft-sailing” for many years now, and it’s a pastime I still enjoy. A ritual, really, and a big part of getting into the festive season of giving. Gone are the days of porcelain poodles, ducks in bonnets, and dusty dried flower arrangements. Crafting has been embraced by a whole new generation of folks who understand the value of handmade and are into recycling in a big way. You may still find crocheted granny squares, but instead of an afghan, they’ll be sewn onto a garment as a pocket, or reimagined as a funky Christmas stocking. And while hand-knitted sweaters may be on offer, you’re more likely now to find friendly monsters and embellished scarves made from felted wool sweaters.

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Sounds of Istanbul

(Photo: Aylin Gungor)

Beckie Foon and Bruce Cawdron, alumni of Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra and Godspeed You! Black Emperor (respectively), are founding members of Esmerine. (Photo: Aylin Gungor)

NOV. 15 The members of Montreal post-rock chamber band Esmerine are alumni of some heavy-hitting experimental groups. Co-founder and cellist Beckie Foon was once a member of Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra, while percussionist and co-founder, Bruce Cawdron, was involved with Godspeed You! Black Emperor for many years. Their music relies mostly on the use of percussion, cello, and marimba, and much of it is influenced by musical traditions from around the world. Their Juno Award winning album, Dalmak, was recorded almost entirely in Istanbul. The resulting strains are at turns hectic and introspective, haunting and uplifting, and harsh and gentle. —Amy Allen
•The Black Sheep Inn, 753 Riverside Dr., 819-459-3228. theblacksheepinn.com
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Eight things to do the weekend of Nov. 12 to 15


(Photo: Andrew Alexander)

In a double bill, (Off) Balance and Feelers tell two stories of women’s experiences in modern society. (Photo: Andrew Alexander)

Signatures Show
Signatures Show is one of the largest craft fairs in Ottawa, and more than 150 artisans come from the Ottawa region, Montreal, and Toronto to sell their stuff. Scented soaps and candles, upcycled clothes and accessories, whimsical art and stationery, tasty gourmet foods and cuddly children’s toys — Signatures has everything you need to find gifts made with love for everyone on your list. The show kicks off on Wednesday, Nov. 11 and continues until Sunday, Nov. 15. General admission is $10. Shaw Centre, 55 Colonel By Dr., signaturesottawa.ca.

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Southern Hospitality at Rosie’s

A convivial atmosphere and delicious southern-inspired food make Rosie's a great place for a night out.

A convivial atmosphere and delicious, southern-inspired food make Rosie’s a great place for a night out.

Bring a big appetite to Rosie’s Southern Kitchen and Raw Bar, because the plates they serve are plentiful. Racks of ribs, glazed with Rosie’s house-made honey and peaches barbecue sauce, are highlights of the menu. But they’re also skilled at cooking up other southern specialties — catfish served with chorizo sausage on a bed of rice; a seafood-heavy paella; New Orleans style calamari; and fried chicken and waffles. The warm lighting and wood paneled walls set an inviting atmosphere, but it’s the bold flavours that will keep you coming back. —Amy Allen
•Rosie’s Southern Kitchen and Raw Bar, 895 Bank St., 613-234-7674. rosiesonbank.ca
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Celestial Sights at Karsh-Masson Gallery

(Jason Paradis, Lexington Kaleidoscope, 2013. Acrylic, ink, and spray-paint on 9 canvases with acrylic yarn, local stone, and plexiglas. (Detail) Miriam Woolfolk Gallery, Lexington Art League.)

(Jason Paradis, Lexington Kaleidoscope, 2013. Acrylic, ink, and spray-paint on 9 canvases with acrylic yarn, local stone, and plexiglas. (Detail) Miriam Woolfolk Gallery, Lexington Art League.)

The stars above us have been an important part of the night sky for millennia, and yet with present levels of light pollution, they’re difficult — sometimes impossible — to see. Artist Jason Paradis reminds us of their presence in his installation Ottawa Night, in which he anchors bundles of string to a pile of rocks on the floor and connects them to paintings on the wall in an imitation of the constellations that are visible from the gallery at night. The result? Arresting, 3-D rays of colour that evoke mystery and modernity alike. On display at the Karsh-Masson Gallery until November 29. —Amy Allen
•Karsh-Masson Gallery, 110 Laurier Ave. W., 613-580-2424 ext. 14167. ottawa.ca/arts
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