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What to Do Ottawa

M.C. Escher Distorts Reality at the National Gallery of Canada

(Photo: M.C. Escher, Relativity, July 1953, lithograph on cream laid japan paper, 39.3 x 40.3 cm; image: 27.9 x 28.9 cm, Gift of George Escher, Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia, 1990, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. M.C. Escher’s “Relativity” © 2014 The M.C. Escher Company-The Netherlands. All rights reserved. www.mcescher.com. Photo © NGC)

(Photo: M.C. Escher, Relativity, July 1953, lithograph on cream laid japan paper, 39.3 x 40.3 cm; image: 27.9 x 28.9 cm, Gift of George Escher, Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia, 1990, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. M.C. Escher’s “Relativity” © 2014 The M.C. Escher Company-The Netherlands. All rights reserved. www.mcescher.com. Photo © NGC)

Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher is one of the world’s most recognizable illustrators, and his portfolio has been influential on science, art, and pop culture. Many of his works turn perspective on its head and portray impossible realities; others play with the idea of 2-D and 3-D, sometimes combining the two into trompe l’oeil images. On at the National Gallery of Canada until May 3.
•National Gallery of Canada, 380 Sussex Dr., 613-990-1985. gallery.ca
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Historic Moments: Canadian Confederation at the Museum of History

Take a trip back in time and explore the events that led to Canadian Confederation. (Photos: Steven Darby, © Canadian Museum of History)

Take a trip back in time and explore the events that led to Canadian Confederation. (Photos: Steven Darby, © Canadian Museum of History)

July 1, 1867 marked the culmination of a 30-year effort to unite Canada’s colonies under one flag. 1867: Rebellion and Confederation explores the moments that led to the drafting of the British North America Act — moments of violence, negotiation, and compromise that helped lay the foundation for the Canada we know today. Using over 200 historical artifacts, the exhibition covers key events such as the Charlottetown, Quebec, and London Conferences. 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

Ottawa Weekend Calendar for March 27 to 29

Vancouver's Celtic punk rockers The Real McKenzies perform at Mavericks on Friday night. (Photo: Kitt Woodland)

Vancouver’s Celtic punk rockers The Real McKenzies perform at Mavericks on Friday night. (Photo: Kitt Woodland)

Friday, March 27

The spring edition of the Ottawa Geek Market is back, and it’s equipped to meet all your geeky needs. Besides browsing the wares of dozens of exhibitors, you can also participate in a costume contest, test your superhero skills in the bouncy castle obstacle course, and join in on scavenger hunts and trivia nights. The event runs until March 29 at the Nepean Sportsplex. Ticket prices vary; see website for details.

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Climbing at Altitude Gym

The innovative Clip N' Climb activity space at Altitude Gym is a great place to bring the kids for spring break.

The innovative Clip N’ Climb activity space at Altitude Gym is a great place to bring the kids for spring break.

A climber’s paradise, Altitude Gym offers bouldering walls, outdoor climbing structures, and space for belaying. Plus, it boasts Clip N’ Climb, an innovative activity space that started in New Zealand that’s part climbing wall, part theme park. The brightly-coloured obstacles and climbing challenges are perfect for kids — and they’ll love dropping safely from the top of each climbing wall using the gym’s self-belaying system.
•Altitude Gym, 35, boul. Saint-Raymond, Gatineau, 819-205-0959. altitudegym.ca
Map and directions

Feel the Beat: Kodo Drummers

One of the most esteemed taiko troupes in Japan, the Kodo Drummers bring their Mystery tour to Ottawa. (Photo: Takashi Okamoto)

One of the most esteemed taiko troupes in Japan, the Kodo Drummers bring their Mystery tour to Ottawa. (Photo: Takashi Okamoto)

MARCH 9 Kodo is the Japanese word for “heartbeat” and “children of the drum”, so it’s only appropriate that the world’s most successful and influential taiko drumming troupe should carry the name. Created by famed Kabuki actor Tamasaburo Bando, Kodo One Earth Tour: Mystery explores percussion as the source of all rhythm and movement.
•National Arts Centre, 53 Elgin St., 866-850-2787, nac-cna.ca
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Ottawa Weekend Calendar for Feb. 6 to 8

Ottawa rockers Amos the Transparent plays the Black Sheep Inn on Friday night.

Ottawa rockers Amos the Transparent plays the Black Sheep Inn on Saturday night.

Friday, Feb. 6

The Bright Nights: Baltic-Nordic Film Festival is a celebration of cinematic contributions by Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Iceland, Lithuania, and Norway. On Friday night, catch Latvia’s The Lesson, a film about a teacher who goes a little too far to befriend her unruly students. On Saturday, see Norway’s I Am Yours, in which a Pakistani expatriate enters a relationship with a Swedish filmmaker, and on Sunday, catch Finland’s The Good Son, a film that chronicles the unsettling and unusual relationship between a teenager and his actress mother. See website for schedule and ticket prices.

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Skating at Rideau Hall

The Rideau Canal isn't the only place for wintertime skating — try the outdoor rink at Rideau Hall! (Photo: MCPL Evan Kuelz © Office of the Secretary to the Governor General)

The Rideau Canal isn’t the only place for wintertime skating — try the outdoor rink at Rideau Hall! (Photo: MCPL Evan Kuelz © Office of the Secretary to the Governor General)

While the Rideau Canal provides the quintessential skating experience for outdoor enthusiasts, those seeking quieter ice might try their luck at the Rideau Hall skating rink. Originally opened in 1872, it’s one of the oldest rinks in the city, and was the site of many skating parties hosted by Canada’s third governor general, the Earl of Dufferin. Public skating takes place on weekends from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. —Amy Allen
•Rideau Hall, 1 Sussex Dr., 866-842-4422. gg.ca
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Fighting in Flanders at the Canadian War Museum

This German howitzer was just one of many machines of war that Canadian troops had to contend with in Belgium. (Photo: Canadian War Museum)

This German howitzer was just one of many machines of war that Canadian troops had to contend with in Belgium. (Photo: Canadian War Museum)

Canada’s military contributions to World War I cannot be underestimated. It was largely thanks to Canadians that Allied forces managed to hold the line at the Battle of Ypres for as long as they did; similarly, they were instrumental in the capture of Passchendaele in 1917. Fighting in Flanders — Gas. Mud. Memory explores the many challenges that Canadian troops faced during these pivotal battles in Belgium. On display at the Canadian War Museum until April 6.
•Canadian War Museum, 1 Vimy Place, 819-776-7000. warmuseum.ca
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Snow Days: Skiing in the Ottawa Region

Fresh snowfall makes for perfect skiing conditions in and around Ottawa. (Photo: Calabogie Peaks Resort)

Fresh snowfall makes for perfect skiing conditions in and around Ottawa. (Photo: Calabogie Peaks Resort)

It sometimes feels like winter lasts forever, but in reality, ideal skiing conditions only stick around for a couple of months out of the year. Thankfully, the Ottawa region has a number of slopes that offer downhill ski — and so much more.

Edelweiss
20 runs, 8 tubing slides
Night skiing: yes
Wakefield, Que.
819-459-2328
edelweissvalley.com

Mont Cascades
20 runs
Night skiing: yes
Gatineau, Que.
819-827-0301
montcascades.com

Vorlage
17 runs
Night skiing: yes
Wakefield, Que.
819-459-3336
skivorlage.com

Mont Ste. Marie
20 runs
Night skiing: no
Lac-Sainte-Marie, Que.
819-467-5200
montstemarie.com

Calabogie Peaks
29 runs
Night skiing: no
Calabogie, Ont.
800-669-4861
calabogie.com

Camp Fortune
20 runs
Night skiing: yes
Chelsea, Que.
819-827-1717
campfortune.com

Mount Pakenham
10 runs, tubing hill
Night skiing: yes
Pakenham, Ont.
613-624-5290
mountpakenham.com

Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo

Little Ray's has over 150 animals on display, including alligators, pythons, cobras, rattlesnakes, and more. (Photo: Matthew Belyea/MTKS Adventures)

Little Ray’s has over 150 animals on display, including alligators, pythons, cobras, rattlesnakes, and more. (Photo: Matthew Belyea/MTKS Adventures)

With the cooling weather, consider cozying up to some of the world’s cold-blooded creatures. Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo is the largest reptile rescue group in Canada, and displays over 150 live animals every day, including alligators, cobras, giant pythons, and rattlesnakes. The zoo is heavily invested in animal education and outreach, and has 25 permanent exhibits along with 20 feature exhibits that rotate every six months. —Amy Allen
•Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo, 5305 Bank St., 613-822-8924. raysreptiles.com
Map and reviews

Breeding Champions at the Canadian Museum of History

Breeding Champions explores the life of E.P. Taylor, whose prize racehorse Northern Dancer captured the Kentucky Derby. (Photo: Tony Leonard)

Breeding Champions explores the life of E.P. Taylor, whose prize racehorse Northern Dancer captured the Kentucky Derby. (Photo: Tony Leonard)

Canadian business magnate E.P. Taylor was a prolific man. He launched his career by building the largest brewing company in the world and went on to become a famous breeder of thoroughbred racehorses. His stallion Northern Dancer was the first Canadian-bred horse to win the Kentucky Derby. Breeding Champions, an ongoing exhibition at the Canadian Museum of History, explores how Taylor built his stable, Windfields Farm, and became one of the best breeders in the world. On display until Jan. 18, 2015. —Amy Allen
•Canadian Museum of History, 100, rue Laurier, Gatineau, 819-776-7000. historymuseum.ca
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Northern Exposure: Arctic Voices

How much do you really know about the Arctic? This exhibit at the Canadian Museum of Nature will challenge your perceptions about Canada's northern ecosystem.

How much do you really know about the Arctic? This exhibit at the Canadian Museum of Nature will challenge your perceptions about Canada’s northern ecosystem.

There’s more to the Arctic than meets the eye. It’s not a barren wasteland of ice and snow; it’s home to a surprising diversity of wildlife and many different indigenous groups. Through photographs, videos, specimens, and interactive experiences, visitors to Arctic Voices will challenge their perceptions about the Arctic and discover the ecological impact this remote northern region has on the entire planet. On view at the Canadian Museum of Nature from Dec. 5 until April 30, 2015. —Amy Allen
•Canadian Museum of Nature, 240 McLeod St., 613-566-4700. nature.ca
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