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What to Do Ottawa

Blue Rodeo Gallops Into the Capital

Iconic Canadian band Blue Rodeo rolls into town on February 14. (Photo: Heather Pollock)

Iconic Canadian band Blue Rodeo rolls into town on February 14. (Photo: Heather Pollock)

FEB. 14 With a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame, 12 Juno Awards to their name, and more than three million records sold worldwide, Blue Rodeo is without a doubt one of Canada’s most enduring bands. Their alt-country rock songs are unmistakable — songs like the melancholy “Try” and the foot-tapping “Till I Am Myself Again”, which propelled them to the top of the charts in the ‘80s and ‘90s. They stop in Ottawa at the Canadian Tire Centre as part of their cross-Canada tour. —Amy Allen
•Canadian Tire Centre, 1000 Palladium Dr., 613-599-0100. canadiantirecentre.com

Reworking the Classics: 2Cellos

More commonly known as 2Cellos, Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser put unique twists on classical and contemporary music.

More commonly known as 2Cellos, Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser put unique twists on classical and contemporary music.

FEB. 14 Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser, the duo more commonly known as 2Cellos, met in their teens when they studied music in Croatia. At the time, they often competed against each other in music contests, and many saw them as rivals. But in 2011, when their paths crossed again after years of working in different cities, they decided to team up. Their cello version of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” went viral when they uploaded it to YouTube, and they’ve been selling out stadiums with their unique take on pop songs and classical music ever since. —Amy Allen
•National Arts Centre, Southam Hall, 53 Elgin St., 866-850-2787. nac-cna.ca
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Comic Art in Large Scale

Mathew Reichertz's Garbage follows a man's interactions with his neighbours after a mysterious couch appears in front of his house. (Mathew Reichertz, Garbage, page 5 (2014), oil on Polystyrene, 8 x 6 feet. Courtesy of the artist; Mathew Reichertz, Garbage, Page 10 (2014), oil on Polystyrene, 8 x 6 feet. Courtesy of the artist.

Mathew Reichertz’s Garbage follows a man’s interactions with his neighbours after a mysterious couch appears in front of his house. (Mathew Reichertz, Garbage, page 5 (2014), oil on Polystyrene, 8 x 6 feet. Courtesy of the artist; Mathew Reichertz, Garbage, Page 10 (2014), oil on Polystyrene, 8 x 6 feet. Courtesy of the artist.)

The setting is a North Halifax neighbourhood. Leaving his house in the morning, a man discovers that a white couch has been placed anonymously on the curb outside his door, which sets off a series of encounters (some pleasant, other less so) with his neighbours. Mathew Reichertz’s Garbage, a large-scale comic book that blurs the line between narrative and art, explores the unhealthy relationships that sometimes occur within communities, and how simple communication can reveal the goodness in others. On display at the Carleton University Art Gallery until April 3. —Amy Allen
•Carleton University Art Gallery, St. Patrick’s Building, 1125 Colonel By Dr., 613-520-2120. cuag.carleton.ca
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Warm Winter Jazz

Juno Award-nominated artist Carol Welsman performs at the Ottawa Winter Jazz Festival.

Juno Award-nominated artist Carol Welsman performs at the Ottawa Winter Jazz Festival.

FEB. 4 TO 7 Two pianos, two keyboards, and a drum kit — these are the tools Mouse on the Keys use to create their haunting, jazz-influenced, experimental music. Based in Japan, the trio blends aspects of rock and roll with the gentler strains of classical, jazz, and funk. They’re just one of several bands performing at this year’s Ottawa Winter Jazz Festival. Other names, many of them from Ottawa, include John Geggie’s Journey Band, Montréal Guitare Trio, The Chocolate Hot Pockets, and Juno Award-nominated chanteuse Carol Welsman. —Amy Allen
ottawajazzfestival.com

Gallery Highlights Early Canadian Snapshots

Mirrors with Memory shines a light on early Canadian photography. (Thomas Coffin Doane, The Molson family brewery after the fire, Montreal, Quebec, 1858, daguerreotype, Library and Archives Canada.)

Mirrors with Memory shines a light on early Canadian photography. (Thomas Coffin Doane, The Molson family brewery after the fire, Montreal, Quebec, 1858, daguerreotype, Library and Archives Canada.)

Invented in the early 1800s, the daguerreotype is the prototype for photography as we know it today. Images were captured on a sheet of polished, silver-plated copper, allowing each detail to be preserved with pristine clarity. For the first time in history, humans could create images of themselves — and the world around them — as they really were. In Mirrors with Memory: Daguerreotypes from Library and Archives Canada, a series of landscapes and portraits of regular citizens open a window into Canada’s early days. On display at the National Gallery of Canada until February 28.
•National Gallery of Canada, 380 Sussex Dr., 613-990-1985. gallery.ca
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Winter Wonderland: Winterlude

BY AMY ALLEN

The 38th edition of Winterlude, Ottawa's celebration of ice and snow, runs from January 29 to February 15. (Photo: Canadian Heritage)

The 38th edition of Winterlude, Ottawa’s celebration of ice and snow, runs from January 29 to February 15. (Photo: Canadian Heritage)

In many cities across North America, winter is a time when people stay indoors, but not so in Ottawa. Winterlude is the city’s annual homage to all things ice and snow. This year, it runs from January 29 to February 15.

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Happily Never After: Matchstick at the GCTC

A lighthearted musical with dark undertones, Matchstick chronicles the life of a woman who is married to a very notorious man.

A lighthearted musical with dark undertones, Matchstick chronicles the life of a woman who is married to a very notorious man.

JAN. 21 TO 31 A girl from a poor country meets a boy from the land of opportunity. They fall in love, get married, and live happily ever after. That’s how the story always goes, right? In the case of Matchstick, not so much. Told through music, the play unravels the true-life tale of a woman who discovers she has married “one of the most hated men in the world.” As for the man’s identity? You’ll just have to see the play to find out. Part romance, part musical, part dark historical drama, Matchstick deftly walks the tightrope between comedy and tragedy. —By Amy Allen
•Great Canadian Theatre Company, 1233 Wellington St. W., 613-236-5196. gctc.ca

Hidden History: The Diefenbunker

(Photo: Diefenbunker: Canada's Cold War Museum)

A truly unique museum, the Diefenbunker is a National Historic Site of Canada. (Photo: Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum)

Buried deep underground in Carp, a community nestled in the west of the National Capital Region, the Diefenbunker (now Canada’s Cold War Museum) was built in the midst of the Cold War with the intention of housing the prime minister (at the time, John Diefenbaker, for whom the facility is fondly named) and other important government officials in the event of a nuclear attack. The bunker was decommissioned in 1994, but it’s since been given a second life as a museum. The interior has been faithfully preserved, giving visitors a sense of what it must have looked like in the 1960s. Special events and tours take place here regularly; see the museum’s website for more information. —Amy Allen
•Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum, 3929 Carp Rd., Carp, 613-839-0007. diefenbunker.ca
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Norse Sagas: Museum of History’s Vikings

(Photo: Swedish History Museum)

The Canadian Museum of History’s new exhibition, Vikings, tells the complex story of one of history’s most misunderstood eras. (Photo: Swedish History Museum)

Popular depictions of the Vikings tend to portray them as bloodthirsty barbarians, pillaging their way up and down the countryside with axes in hand and wearing horned helmets. And while some of this may be true (the pillaging part, anyway — there is no evidence that they ever wore horned helmets into battle), history tells a very different story. Thanks to recent archaeological discoveries, we now have a better understanding of who they were and how they lived. As the exhibit Vikings illustrates, they weren’t mere raiders — they were also explorers, traders, settlers, mercenaries, and skilled seafarers. Their history and identity is explored through almost 500 artifacts — including jewellery, weapons, and religious artifacts — that have rarely been displayed outside of Sweden. On display at the Canadian Museum of History from December 3 until April 17, 2016. —Amy Allen
•Canadian Museum of History, 100, rue Laurier, Gatineau, 800-555-5621. historymuseum.ca
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Creepy, Crawly Bugs at the Museum of Nature

(Photo: Outhouse Exhibit Services)

Get the inside scoop on the smallest members of the animal kingdom at Bugs: Outside the Box. (Photo: Outhouse Exhibit Services)

Insects are among the smallest denizens of the animal kingdom. For the most part, they live among us unnoticed, but we’re usually quick to squish them when they enter our space. But these tiny creatures play a larger role in the ecological processes of our world than many of us realize. They may look small, simple, and uncomplicated, but their biologies are in fact quite complex. In Bugs: Outside the Box, master sculptor Lorenzo Possenti re-creates these biologies in large scale, showing the hardened exoskeletons, sensitive antennae, and intricate digestive systems of the world’s various insects. On display at the Canadian Museum of Nature until March 27, 2016. —Amy Allen
•Canadian Museum of Nature, 240 McLeod St., 613-566-4700. nature.ca
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The Magic of Film at Mirror Mountain

The documentary Lost Conquest investigates claims that the Vikings once settled in Minnesota (say what?!).

The documentary Lost Conquest — just one of many films screening at Mirror Mountain Film Festival — investigates claims that the Vikings once settled in Minnesota (say what?!). 

DEC. 4 TO 6 Mirror Mountain Film Festival is a newcomer to Ottawa’s festival scene. With a focus on independent, underground, and alternative cinema, it screens horror, science-fiction, and fantasy films alongside critically acclaimed dramas, indies, and documentaries. In its inaugural year, it’s showing Lost Conquest, a full-length documentary that investigates claims that the Vikings — a sea-faring people, remember — once settled in the land-locked state of Minnesota, as well as Der Spaete Vogel (The Late Bird), a German film in which a 71-year-old woman exchanges her mundane life for adventures in outer space. —Amy Allen
•Various venues. mirrormountainfilmfest.com

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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