BY AMY ALLEN & MATT HARRISON
Pokey LaFarge brings his trademark Americana music to Ritual Nightclub on Friday night. (Photo: Joshua Black Wilkins)
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.
BY AMY ALLEN
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.
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.
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.
•Map and reviews
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.
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
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
The van used in Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope across Canada is just one of many artifacts on display at this exhibition. (Photo: Chris Uhlig © Canadian Museum of History)
Terry Fox won the hearts of millions in 1980 when he set out on a 5,373-kilometre, 143-day Marathon of Hope across Canada, with a goal of raising money for cancer research. Although his illness forced him to abandon his run in Thunder Bay, Ont., and ultimately led to his death nine months later, his legacy continues to inspire. Retrace his remarkable journey in Terry Fox: Running to the Heart of Canada, an exhibition of artifacts, photographs, press clippings, and journal entries. On at the Canadian Museum of History until January 2016.
•Canadian Museum of History, 100, rue Laurier, Gatineau, 819-776-7000. historymuseum.ca
•Map and reviews
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
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
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. (more…)
Synth-pop artist Valery Gore performs at the National Arts Centre on Saturday night. (Photo: Valery Gore)
Friday, April 10
Jane Urquhart is one of Canada’s most beloved writers, and her novels and poems touch on themes of love, loss, family attachments, art, and war. At the Writers Festival’s Literary Luncheon, Urquhart chats about her latest novel, The Night Stages, in which a woman reflects on her affair with a man obsessed by the disappearance of his brother. Tickets are $85, and includes lunch at the Metropolitain Brasserie and a signed copy of The Night Stages.