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What to Do Ottawa

Ottawa Weekend Calendar: July 30 to Aug. 2

BY AMY ALLEN AND NICOLINA LEONE

Toronto's Union Duke performs their upbeat bluegrass songs at the Black Sheep Inn on Friday night. Expect banjos — lots of banjos.

Toronto’s Union Duke performs their upbeat bluegrass songs at the Black Sheep Inn on Friday night. Expect banjos — lots of banjos.

Capital Ribfest
Smell that? It’s the tantalizing aroma of ribs — lots of ribs! — slathered with barbecue sauce and smoking on an outdoor grill. Brought to you by Capital Ribfest, this meaty smorgasbord features a half dozen ribbers and grillers from Canada and the United States who, over the course of the long weekend, are cooking up a feast of beef ribs, pork ribs, chicken, and pulled pork sandwiches. You can also treat yourself to corn on the cob, salads, pizza, fries, doughnuts, ice cream, and a handful of gluten-free and vegetarian treats.

Up on stage, entertainment includes old-time jazz band the Boxcar Boys, local indie rockers Amos the Transparent, country rock duo Sons Command, and much more.

The festival is on at City Hall’s Festival Plaza from Thursday, July 30 until Monday, Aug. 3. Admission is free, but you pay for what you eat. The event is cash-only, with an ATM on site. See website for more info. Festival Plaza, City Hall, 110 Laurier Ave. W., capitalribfest.ca.

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Ottawa Weekend Calendar: July 23 to 25

BY AMY ALLEN AND MATT HARRISON

This collage of singer Lana Del Rey is part of Ways of Something, a video art exhibition pulled together by artist Lorna Mills. (Artist: Georges Jacotey)

This collage of singer Lana Del Rey is part of Ways of Something, a video art exhibition pulled together by artist Lorna Mills. (Artist: Georges Jacotey)

Ways of Something
“When the camera reproduces a painting, it destroys the uniqueness of its image. As a result its meaning changes. Or, more exactly, its meaning multiplies, fragments into many meanings.” — John Berger, 1972, Ways of Seeing 

More than four decades later, Berger’s observations — taken from his iconic four-part BBC mini-series, Ways of Seeing — is being reexamined by Canadian and other international artists: 110 of them, to be exact. Culled together by Toronto-based artist Lorna Mills, her mammoth art project, Ways of Something, will present video, 3D renderings, animated gifs, live web cams, and digitally manipulated visuals in the context of the 21st century (hence the Lana Del Rey collage), along with Berger’s original narrative and voiceover, in an effort to ask the question: is Berger’s ground-breaking 20th century presentation still relevant in the 21st century? Find out this Thursday, July 23 at SAW Video from 6pm to 11pm. Admission is free. For more information, visit website. SAW Video, 67 Nicholas St., 613-238-7648, sawvideo.com. 

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Underground Passage: Lusk Cave in Gatineau Park

Tap in to your adventurous side at Lusk Cave, a geological phenomenon located right in Gatineau Park. (Photo: National Capital Commission)

Tap in to your adventurous side at Lusk Cave, a series of passages located right in Gatineau Park. (Photo: National Capital Commission)

Adventure awaits at Lusk Cave, a natural geological phenomenon that offers the spelunking experience right in Ottawa’s backyard. Roughly 12,500 years old, the caves were created during the Wisconsin glaciation, when water from the melting ice tunneled through a patch of soft marble in the surrounding Canadian Shield. Bring comfortable footwear, a flashlight, and appropriate clothing — the hike to the site is approximately 12 kilometres and the water levels inside the cave can fluctuate dramatically.
•Lusk Cave, Gatineau Park, 819-827-2020. gatineaupark.ca
Map and reviews

Sword and Shield: Osgoode Medieval Festival

Step back in time at the Osgoode Medieval Festival, where you can watch an authentic joust. (Photos: Amy Allen)

Step back in time at the Osgoode Medieval Festival, where you can watch an authentic joust. (Photos: Amy Allen)

JULY 11 AND 12 Hear ye, hear ye! The Kingdom of Osgoode Medieval Festival opens its doors for its eighth consecutive year, transporting visitors back to the days of chivalry, adventure, and romance. From dueling warriors to valiant knights on horseback, from minstrels to merchants peddling their wares in the forest market, you’re bound to get your fill of the Middle Ages here.
•5673 Osgoode Main St., Osgoode, 613-443-9090. osgoodemedievalfestival.com

Summer Blues

BY AMY ALLEN

Vancouver indie rockers Mother Mother perform at RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest on July 16.

Vancouver indie rockers Mother Mother perform at RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest on July 16.

Every July, RBC Ottawa Bluesfest draws thousands of music fans to the festival grounds at Lebreton Flats for acts that range from blues and classic rock to hip hop and pop. This year’s schedule is better than ever, which means there’s a concert to cater to everyone’s tastes.

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Ottawa Weekend Calendar: July 2 to 5

BY AMY ALLEN & MATT HARRISON

Pokey LaFarge brings his trademark Americana music to Ritual Nightclub on Friday night. (Photo: Joshua Black Wilkins)

Pokey LaFarge brings his trademark Americana music to Ritual Nightclub on Friday night. (Photo: Joshua Black Wilkins)

Heavenly Bodies
Over the past century, as the world has grown and cities expanded, light pollution has dimmed the stars and forced darkness from the night. This has had adverse effects on human health and the world’s ecosystems, not to mention altered our perception — perhaps even our awareness — of celestial objects. At Cube Gallery, Nocturne VII: Festival of the Night Sky celebrates the beauty of starlight with lectures, music, and sidewalk telescope parties.

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Under the Big Top: Cirque du Soleil and Spiegelworld

BY AMY ALLEN

(Photo: John Davis; Costumes: Eiko Ishioka ©2010 Cirque du Soleil)

Mysterious creatures creep out from Varekai’s magical forest. (Photo: John Davis; Costumes: Eiko Ishioka ©2010 Cirque du Soleil)

The circus has come a long way since its birth in ancient times, when it was known as the place where Romans congregated to watch chariot races, gladiatorial battles, and fights with trained animals. From the 18th century through to 1972, it was all about lion taming, equestrian acts, and clowns. But today, the power and artistry of the human body is the star of the show.

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Happy Birthday, Canada!

The capital is the place to be on Canada Day! The city throws a giant bash with fireworks and live music by some of the country's biggest artists.

The capital is the place to be on Canada Day! The city throws a giant bash with fireworks and live music by some of the country’s biggest artists.

JULY 1 Get decked out in your red and white because the capital is the place to be on Canada Day. Don’t miss the concerts at Parliament Hill, where some of Canada’s biggest names show off their talent. Wander the downtown core and you’ll run into all manner of buskers, interactive games, art installations, and other presentations. The festivities end with a spectacular fireworks show over Parliament Hill.

Among this year’s performers on the Hill, you won’t want to miss Kiesza — who won the 2015 Juno Award for Breakthrough Artist of the Year — as well as Magic!, Jonas and the Massive Attraction, and Gord Bamford.

At Jacques Cartier Park, singer-songwriter David Myles hits the stage, while Shad, a hip hop artist and the new host of CBC’s Q, performs at Major’s Hill Park.

See the Canada Day website for the full lineup and schedule.

Water World: The Rideau Canal

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Rideau Canal is a scenic place to kayak. (Photo: Ottawa Tourism)

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Rideau Canal is a scenic place to go kayaking. (Photo: Ottawa Tourism)

The 202-kilometre Rideau Canal was built not long after the War of 1812, at a time when British North America was still bracing itself for an attack by the United States. Although it was intended as an alternative supply route to the St. Lawrence River, it was never used for this purpose, and it’s now one of Ottawa’s most recognizable landmarks. A UNESCO World Heritage Site and a National Historic Site of Canada, you can take in its scenic beauty by foot, bike, or boat.
•613-239-5000. canadascapital.gc.ca
Map and reviews

Best of the Fests: TD Ottawa Jazz Festival and More

Pink Martini, the self-described "little orchestra", is one of many groups performing at this year's TD Ottawa Jazz Festival.

Pink Martini, the self-described “little orchestra”, is one of many groups performing at this year’s TD Ottawa Jazz Festival.

JUNE 18 TO JULY 1 The TD Ottawa Jazz Festival marks its 35th anniversary this year, welcoming a roster of talented and diverse musicians to the capital for a two-week bash. Although jazz has always been the festival’s primary focus, it has begun to attract musicians from other genres as well.

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FIFA Women’s World Cup Kicks Off in Ottawa

Korea's Ji Soyun and Canada's Desiree Scott fight for the ball. Korea plays in Ottawa on June 17. (Photo: Tony Lewis)

Korea’s Ji Soyun and Canada’s Desiree Scott fight for the ball. Korea plays in Ottawa on June 17. (Photo: Tony Lewis)

The FIFA Women’s World Cup arrives in Ottawa! On Sunday, June 7, Norway takes on Thailand and Germany goes up against Côte d’Ivoire. On Thursday, June 11, catch Germany versus Norway and Côte d’Ivoire at Thailand. On Wednesday, June 17, Mexico takes on France, while the Korea Republic hits the field versus Spain. The second round of matches take place on June 20 and 22, with one quarter-final match on June 26.
•TD Place, 1015 Bank St. fifa.com/womensworldcup

A-Plus Tunes: Ed Sheeran in Ottawa

Ed Sheeran is one of the hottest names in music today, and he performs at Canadian Tire Centre on June 3. (Photo: Ben Watts)

Ed Sheeran is one of the hottest names in music today, and he performs at Canadian Tire Centre on June 3. (Photo: Ben Watts)

JUNE 3 Ed Sheeran shot to fame in 2011 with the release of his first single, “The A Team”, and he hasn’t slowed down since. In his young career, he’s been nominated for six Grammy Awards, headlined sold-out shows around the globe, and has shared the stage with Elton John. He brings his distinctive blend of pop and R&B to the capital as part of an ambitious world tour of more than 100 cities in promotion of his second studio album, X (pronounced “multiply”).
•Canadian Tire Centre, 1000 Palladium Dr., 613-599-0100. canadiantirecentre.com