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What to See Ottawa

Big Sugar at Shenkman Arts Centre

Big Sugar, Canada's resident reggae rock band, brings their unplugged tour to Shenkman Arts Centre. (Photo: Michael Maxxis)

Big Sugar, Canada’s resident reggae rock band, brings their unplugged tour to Shenkman Arts Centre. (Photo: Michael Maxxis)

JAN. 30 Reggae rock group Big Sugar was popular in Canada throughout much of the ‘90s. Their sophomore album, Five Hundred Pounds, sold 10,000 copies through word of mouth alone, based on their reputation as a live band. After a six-year hiatus, they reunited and have since produced one live and two studio albums. The band performs some of their best-loved songs, plus new material from their latest album, Yardstyle, in an entirely acoustic setting. —Amy Allen
•Shenkman Arts Centre, 245 Centrum Blvd., 866-752-5231. shenkmanarts.ca

Ottawa Weekend Calendar Jan. 30 to Feb. 1

Kick off Winterlude at the opening ceremonies on Friday night, complete with a DJ dance party at Confederation Park.

Kick off Winterlude at the opening ceremonies on Friday night, complete with a DJ dance party at Confederation Park. (Photo: Canadian Heritage)

Friday, Jan. 30

Winterlude officially kicks off on Friday! To commemorate the Women’s World Cup Canada 2015, which is coming to stadiums across the country in June, FIFA is creating its very own snow sculpture at Snowflake Kingdom in Jacques-Cartier Park. Plus, have your photo taken with snowy owl Shuéme, the official mascot of the Women’s World Cup, and join in a game of snow soccer. The event runs all weekend, and admission is free.

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Dystopian Dance: The Royal Winnipeg Ballet Performs The Handmaid’s Tale

Margaret Atwood's classic dystopian novel about a fundamentalist regime is translated to the stage by the National Ballet of Canada. (Photo: Réjean Brandt)

Margaret Atwood’s classic dystopian novel about a fundamentalist regime is translated to the stage by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. (Photo: Réjean Brandt)

JAN. 22 TO 24 The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood’s novel about a concubine dissatisfied with the fundamentalist regime she lives in, is perhaps one of the most important works of speculative fiction ever written. With help from celebrated choreographer Lila York, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet transforms it into a compelling visual drama about forbidden desires and emotional honesty. —Amy Allen
•National Arts Centre, Southam Hall, 53 Elgin St., 866-850-ARTS. nac-cna.ca
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Centre Stage: Compagnie Marie Chouinard in Ottawa

Choreographer Marie Chouinard brings two dance routines to the National Arts Centre. (Photo: Marie Chouinard)

Choreographer Marie Chouinard brings two dance routines to the National Arts Centre. (Photo: Marie Chouinard)

JAN. 17 Gambolling in the ice and snow might not be everyone’s cup of tea, especially when temperatures drop and the blizzards start howling. Thankfully, there’s plenty to do indoors, with dancers from around the world heating up the capital’s stages. Try Henri Michaux: Mouvements and Gymnopédies by Compagnie Marie Chouinard (pictured). In their performance at the National Arts Centre, members of the troupe form silhouettes that match projections of drawings by poet and artist Henri Michaux. —Amy Allen
•National Arts Centre, Theatre, 53 Elgin St., 866-850-ARTS. nac-cna.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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Dark Tranquillity at Mavericks

Dark Tranquillity, one of the original bands from the Gothenburg death metal scene, performs at Mavericks on Jan. 10. (Photo: Daniel Falk)

Dark Tranquillity, one of the original bands from the Gothenburg death metal scene, performs at Mavericks on Jan. 10. (Photo: Daniel Falk)

JAN. 10 The Gothenburg death metal scene evolved in the early 1990s, and Dark Tranquillity is considered a pioneer of the genre. Fusing aspects of death metal, progressive metal, and the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, they continue to prove the formula works — after all, they have 10 studio albums to their name, and remain one of the most successful bands from the original Gothenburg scene. —Amy Allen
•Mavericks, 221 Rideau St., 613-562-3941. mavericksbar.com
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Surreal Sights at Trinity Art Gallery

Alena Liapko's paintings bring the capital's sights to surreal life. (Photo: Courtesy of the Artist)

Alena Liapko’s paintings bring the capital’s sights to surreal life. (Photo: Courtesy of the Artist)

Alena Liapko’s stunning watercolours of Ottawa’s landscapes depict at once the familiar and the unknown. The luminous colours and undulating lines of the Gatineau Hills and the ByWard Market bring an element of fantasy to the city, where the buildings themselves seem to surge with an inner life. The exhibition features the best of Liapko’s work from 2014. On display from Jan. 8 until Feb. 10. —Amy Allen
•Trinity Art Gallery, 245 Centrum Blvd., 613-580-2787. ottawa.ca/arts

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
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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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Lifecycles: Meaghan Haughian at La Petite Mort Gallery

Meaghan Haughian's mixed media art explores the dualities of life. (Photo: Tom Evans)

Meaghan Haughian’s mixed media art explores the dualities of life. (Photo: Tom Evans)

Meaghan Haughian’s art is simultaneously personal and universal. She uses old family photographs as the basis of each work, which lends her pieces an autobiographical element. The themes she explores, however, tackle much broader issues, such as the cyclical nature of life, history, identity, and memory. On at La Petite Mort Gallery from Dec. 5 to Jan. 4, 2015. —Amy Allen
•La Petite Mort Gallery, 306 Cumberland St., 613-860-1555. lapetitemortgallery.com
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Lovely Lyrics With Alejandra Ribera

Alejandra Ribera performs at the National Arts Centre on Dec. 6.

Alejandra Ribera performs at the National Arts Centre on Dec. 6.

DEC. 6 Alejandra Ribera’s sound is difficult to define. She first captured public attention in 2009 with the release of her debut album, Navigator, Navigather, which was comprised mainly of untamed, Latin-styled music. Now, she’s back with album number two, La boca, and it’s a more mature, deliberate offering. While it retains some of its Latin influences, Ribera also sings in French and, primarily, English. —Amy Allen
•National Arts Centre, Studio, 53 Elgin St., 888-991-2787. nac-cna.ca
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