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What to See Ottawa

Battlefield Art: Transformations at the Canadian War Museum

Transformations

A.Y. Jackson’s A Copse Evening is on display at the Canadian War Museum as part of an exhibit on World War I art.

Two artists — a Canadian and a German — were enemy combatants who fought in the same war, on the same front, but never met. Now, for the first time, these two World War I soldiers share the same space 100 years later in Transformations, an art exhibit at the Canadian War Museum. The exhibit features the works of A.Y. Jackson, best known as a member of the iconic Group of Seven painters, and Otto Dix, a well-known German artist, whose art was sidelined by the Nazis. Jackson’s landscapes, with their twisted, dying trees, represent the horror of the battlefield, while Dix’s depictions of the war and post-war period are more overt — sometimes brutal. Each artist presents his own unique, honest, and grim perspective on a period currently being remembered for its Centenarian anniversary. On display until September 21.
•Canadian War Museum, 1 Vimy Place, 819-776-7000. warmuseum.ca

Travis Persaud

Ottawa Weekend Calendar for July 25 to 27

Buffalo-based punk rockers Pentimento hit Mavericks on July 25.

Buffalo-based punk rockers Pentimento hit Mavericks on July 25.

Ottawa Weekend Calendar: July 25, 2014

Kick off the weekend with Wild Exposures, a new exhibition featuring works from local nature photographer Marc Latremouille. His images capture the beauty of birds, bears, sloths, and other creatures in their natural habitats, both in Canada and abroad. The exhibition runs at the Atrium Gallery until August 20.

If you want to experience some Canadiana, head over to Parliament Hill for Fortissimo. The Band of the Ceremonial Guard, an Ottawa-based unit of the Canadian Armed Forces, is joined by dancers, pipers and soldiers. This year’s program includes a drum salute, a pipe and drums dance set, and a brass and reed march.

Pentimento, a punk rock quartet from Buffalo, is still relatively new to the scene, having just released its first full-length album in late 2012. But in that short time, the band’s lyricism and passion for music has attracted a loyal following. So grab some earplugs and head down to Mavericks to catch Pentimento’s live show, along with opening acts Have Mercy and Gates.

Ottawa Weekend Calendar: July 26, 2014

Chamberfest officially launches on July 24, but why not wait until Saturday and make it an all-day affair? At noon, the Toronto Consort brings to life music from Elizabethan England, with many pieces drawing heavily from passages from Shakespeare’s plays. Later, check out some international music with the Sicilian Jazz Project and tango Nuevo ensemble Soledad.

Speaking of Shakespeare, A Company of Fools has been performing As You Like It at parks across the city this month, and on Saturday, they stop at Windsor Park in Old Ottawa South. Bring your blankets and lawn chairs, pick a spot on the grass, and enjoy some Elizabethan comedy in the great outdoors. There is no admission fee, but donations of $15 are strongly encouraged.

Haunted Walks of Ottawa heads to Upper Canada Village on July 26.

Fancy a historical excursion with a creepy twist? The Haunted Walk of Ottawa is running an exclusive tour of Upper Canada Village, where hooded guides regale audiences with tales of the site’s more sinister past. It’s a one-of-a-kind opportunity to see the village after hours, with ghost stories galore!


Ottawa Weekend Calendar: July 27, 2014

Celebrate healthy food and healthy living at Herbfest on July 27.

Celebrate healthy food and healthy living at Herbfest on July 27.

Those interested in fresh food and healthy living will want to check out Herbfest, a one-day event held at the Herb Garden in Almonte. In addition to educational lectures and discussions, visitors will be able to participate in the Chef Cook-Off, where local culinarians go head to head with their best recipes. There will also be live entertainment, face painting, an outdoor marketplace manned by local vendors, and guided walks through beautifully manicured herb gardens.

The Black Sheep Inn is as good a place as any to close to weekend, especially when Lauren Mann and the Fairly Odd Folk are playing live. The energy behind their folk-pop melodies is matched only by their live performance. They’re joined by Ottawa trip hop band Sound of Lions.

Christmas in July: Snow at the Canadian Museum of History

Snow—History Museum

Ever wondered how snow helped shape Canadian identity? Wonder no more — a new exhibit at the Canadian Museum of History has all your answers.

Snow. It’s one of the defining features of Canada, whether we like it or not. The winter-time fluff causes traffic and sore backs from all that shoveling, but it’s also a source of passion and creativity. Snow, the exhibition, examines the more positive side of this substance, delving into how snow has shaped Canada’s identity. The exhibit will also look at the evolution of winter sports in Canada — how it has influenced everything from artists to the economy. Features more than 250 artifacts. On until Sept. 28, 2014 at the Canadian Museum of History.
•Canadian Museum of History, 100, rue Laurier, Gatineau, 819-776-7000, historymuseum.ca

Travis Persaud

Rock Your Body: Justin Timberlake Hits Ottawa

Justin Timberlake

Justin Timberlake performs in Ottawa on July 22. The singer-songwriter released his third album last year to critical acclaim.

Entertainer extraordinaire Justin Timberlake raised the bar with his third solo album, The 20/20 Experience. It’s his most diverse offering to date, and features hit singles “Suit and Tie” and “Mirrors.” He comes to the nation’s capital as part of his world tour. He plays the Canadian Tire Centre on July 22.
•Canadian Tire Centre, 1000 Palladium Dr., 613-599-0100, canadiantirecentre.com

Travis Persaud

Installation Art: From the Transit Bar

Vera Frenkel's installation, From the Transit Bar, is on at the National Gallery of Canada until Aug. 17. (Photo: National Gallery of Canada)

Vera Frenkel’s installation, From the Transit Bar, is on at the National Gallery of Canada until Aug. 17. (Photo: National Gallery of Canada)

A bar in an art gallery? A great idea, right! This summer, the National Gallery of Canada fulfills every art aficionado’s dream by presenting exactly that—sort of. The bar is not only a fully functioning one (yes, you can order a vodka martini), but it’s also part of a brilliant piece of contemporary art. Canadian artist Vera Frenkel’s bar is part of …From the Transit Bar, a primarily video-based art installation, which was first shown in Germany in 1992. Painstakingly reassembled, the exhibit presents a place where visitors meet and converse in transit and, importantly, it conjures themes associated with such places as exile, cultural migration, and translation. On display until Aug. 17.
•National Gallery of Canada, 380 Sussex Dr., 613-990-1985, gallery.ca

Travis Persaud

Ottawa Weekend Calendar for July 18 to 20

Electric Six plays at Mavericks on July 18.

Electric Six, the band responsible for hits such as Danger! High Voltage, plays at Mavericks on July 18.

Ottawa Weekend Calendar: July 18, 2014

What better way to kick off the weekend than with the Ottawa RedBlacks’ first ever game? After a nine-year absence, the CFL returns to the capital to face off against the Toronto Argonauts. The stands will be packed, and parking tight, so consider taking a bus to the stadium to avoid traffic jams.

The weekend is a great time to check out Ottawa’s surrounding communities—and there’s no better excuse to drive out to Perth than for its Stewart Park Music Festival. On Friday, one of Canada’s best-kept secrets, Danny Michel, headlines. He’s joined by the Long Sault Trio, The Lovelocks, Sultans of String, and The Bills. Make sure you check out some of the local vendors and food trucks, as well.

They’re probably best known for their single Danger! High Voltage, but Electric Six have plenty of other great songs to their name. In their 11-year career, they’ve produced 10 albums, with another due out in the fall. On Friday, they perform at Mavericks with The Mohrs.

Ottawa Weekend Calendar: July 19, 2014

On Saturday, the 10th annual Japanese Summer Festival is happening at the Marion Dewar Plaza at City Hall. There will be demonstrations of martial arts, shamisen (a three-stringed musical instrument), ikebana flower arrangements, and Japanese calligraphy. Visitors can also sample hot dogs smothered with traditional Japanese toppings—for free!

In Close Listening, four artists explore the relationship between paint and other mediums.

In Close Listening, four artists explore the relationship between paint and other mediums.

If you’d rather a low-key activity for your Saturday afternoon, the Ottawa Art Gallery has a new exhibition called Close Listening on display. It features works from four artists—Eli Bornowsky, Jeremy Hof, Monique Mouton, and Jinny Yu—who challenge the medium of paint in often startling ways. You’ll find assemblage, sculpture, installation, and video alongside (and sometimes intertwined with) oils and acrylics.

Cap off the day at the Black Sheep Inn, where Newfoundland native Amelia Curran brings her evocative folk rock songs to the stage. A Juno winner, East Coast Music Awards nominee, and first prize recipient in the Folk category at the 15th Annual USA Songwriting Competition, Curran has been lauded for her poet’s touch in the songwriting process.

Ottawa Weekend Calendar: July 20, 2014

Ever wanted to learn how ice cream is made, or possibly try your hand at the process yourself? Now’s your chance—the Ice Cream Festival is on at the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum on Sunday. You can also learn how to make milkshakes, waffles, and ice cream sandwiches. Food aside, there will be games, storytelling, crafts, and wagon rides for the kids.

The Book of Mormon, touted as one of the best musicals of the century, is on at the National Arts Centre until July 27.

The Book of Mormon, touted as one of the best musicals of the century, is on at the National Arts Centre until July 27.

Since its premiere in 2011, The Book of Mormon has taken the musical theatre world by storm. It received nine Tony Awards, a Grammy, and four Laurence Olivier Awards—and that’s barely scratching the surface. Some critics have said it’s the funniest musical ever, possibly the musical of the century. Either way, this story about two missionaries out of their depth in Uganda is on at the National Arts Centre until July 27, so catch it while you can.

Friday Night Lights: The Ottawa REDBLACKS

Football returns to the capital! Check out the Ottawa REDBLACKS at TD Place this summer.

Football returns to the capital! Check out the Ottawa REDBLACKS at TD Place this summer.

The Canadian Football League (CFL) returns to Ottawa! After a nine-year absence, Canada’s capital once again has a team vying for the heralded Grey Cup. The Ottawa REDBLACKS are led by quarterback Henry Burris—two-time Grey Cup winner and former CFL Most Outstanding Player. Watch them play under the bright lights of the brand new TD Place.
•TD Place, 1015 Bank St. ottawaredblacks.com

Travis Persaud

Exhilarating Comedy: The Book of Mormon

The Book of Mormon, touted as one of the best musicals of the century, is on at the National Arts Centre from July 15 to 27.

The Book of Mormon, touted as one of the best musicals of the century, is on at the National Arts Centre from July 15 to 27.

The Book of Mormon, a mega-hit Broadway production, has garnered nearly every platitude it could in its short lifespan since debuting in 2011. From the creators of South Park, this religious musical satire continues to amass critical and public acclaim. Catch it at the National Arts Centre from July 15 to 27.
•National Arts Centre, 53 Elgin St., 888-991-2787. nac-cna.ca

Travis Persaud

Art and Craft at the Carleton U Art Gallery

Making Otherwise at the Carleton U Art Gallery blurs the line between art and craft.

Making Otherwise at the Carleton U Art Gallery blurs the line between art and craft.

A Victorian chaise-longue that sprouts wilted flowers; a colourful, hand-painted porcelain bowl that, on second glance, depicts a husky male nude staring longingly back at you; and a floor to ceiling wood-worker’s studio, complete with antique tools, a chair—even sawdust. These are some of the pieces that blur the line between craft and art. Addressing widespread interest in all things handmade, Making Otherwise: Craft and Material Fluency in Contemporary Art at the Carleton University Art Gallery presents works by six Canadian artists who, through basket weaving, furniture making, stitchery, bronze casting, and other skills and techniques, mix material and conceptual approaches of craft and art. On display until Sept. 14.
•St. Patrick’s Building, 1125 Colonel By Dr., 613-520-2120. cuag.carleton.ca

Travis Persaud

Ottawa Weekend Calendar for July 11 to 13

Slash will perform with his band, The Conspiracy, and Myles Kennedy on July 11 at Bluesfest.

Slash will perform with his band, The Conspirators, and Myles Kennedy on July 11 at Bluesfest.

Ottawa Weekend Calendar: July 11, 2014

This weekend is your last chance to check out Bluesfest, so head on down to the LeBreton Flats after work. The Barenaked Ladies are headlining on Friday night, but if they’re not quite your thing, there are loads of other acts to enjoy as well: Third Eye Blind, Slash, Amanda Rheaume, July Talk, The Texas Horns, and Keturah Johnson.

By day, Pressed is a quaint and relaxed sandwich bar, but on Friday night, it will play host to The Aviary Kings, a Thunder Bay-based band that describes its music as “space punk.” They are joined by Avarice, a Toronto metal/punk band, and Tenenbaums, a punk band out of Winchester, Ont.

Glengarry Glen Ross was slated to run at The Gladstone from June 24 to July 5, but the dark comedy has been such a hit that the theatre has added two more dates to the schedule. So grab some tickets, settle back in your seat, and watch as four desperate Chicago real estate agents compete to sell undesirable properties to unsuspecting clients—using any means necessary.

Ottawa Weekend Calendar: July 12, 2014

Kevin James, known for The King of Queens, brings his stand-up act to the National Arts Centre on July 12.

Kevin James, known for The King of Queens, brings his stand-up act to the National Arts Centre on July 12.

He’s known best for his work on The King of Queens and numerous movies, including HitchPaul Blart: Mall CopGrown Ups, and I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. But Kevin James launched his career as a stand-up comedian in Long Island—in fact, he was discovered at the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in 1996. You can catch his stand-up act at the National Arts Centre on Saturday evening.

Saturday should be sunny, so pop over to Mooney’s Bay to take in some volleyball and live music at the HOPE Volleyball Summerfest. Over 1,000 players will compete in this year’s event, and Matthew Good, The Glorious Sons, and Mad Anthony will perform throughout the afternoon on the concert stage. Proceeds from registration fees and ticket purchases will go to local charities.

Hear ye, hear ye! Should you wish to get away from the bustle of the city this weekend, the Osgoode Medieval Festival is happening in one of Ottawa’s many surrounding villages. Feel free to dress up in your best medieval garb, and don’t forget to cheer on your favourite knight at the fighters’ ring and joust area. Vendors at the medieval market will be selling armour and leather goods, home-made breads, and jewellery.

Ottawa Weekend Calendar: July 13, 2014

For most of us, the night sky is an empty black dome, the stars blotted out and constellations dimmed by light pollution. But for artist Sanjeev Sivarulrasa, it’s a space for meditation and awareness, and he’s captured the cosmos in a series of breathtaking photographs and oil paintings. His new exhibit, Vanishing Stars, is on at the Cube Gallery, and a quiet Sunday is the perfect time to take it in!

River City Junction plays Sunday Blues Night at the Atomic Rooster on July 13.

River City Junction plays Sunday Blues Night at the Atomic Rooster on July 13.

Cap off the weekend at the Atomic Rooster with a beer and Sunday Blues Night. This week, River City Junction performs their unique blend of old school Chicago blues, Motown, and classic rock. Later, you can catch an acoustic jam with Scott Allen and Dr. Dave.

Understanding Conflict: Ordinary People in Extraordinary Times

This exhibit at the Canadian War Museum explores modern conflict through art.

This exhibit at the Canadian War Museum explores modern conflict through art.

The Canadian War Museum brings viewers one step closer to understanding conflict in Ordinary Canadians in Extraordinary Times. The exhibit presents 14 sculptures of people and scenes, from the First World War to the recent conflict in Afghanistan, highlighting the experience of those involved. The works, which come from the Museums’ Beaverbrook Collection of War Art, are both moving and diverse. The exhibit is part of the Museum’s First World War Centenary Projects.

The exhibition opens on July 30, but the paintings from the museum’s previous exhibit on this theme are still available for viewing.
•Canadian War Museum, 1 Vimy Place, 819-776-7000. warmuseum.ca

—Travis Persaud

 

Summer Blues: Your Guide to RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest

BY MATT HARRISON

Former Wilco member Jeff Tweedy plays Bluesfest on July 4.

Former Wilco member Jeff Tweedy plays Bluesfest on July 4.

RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest kicks off today! Now in its 20th year, it runs until July 13 at LeBreton Flats, just a few minutes west of Parliament Hill. Bluesfest offers more flexibility than ever before by offering three- and five-day passes, giving you an opportunity to attend on the days you want, without having to purchase a full festival pass. It’s also close to downtown hotels, so you don’t have to be there all day and everything ends at 11 p.m. Combine the festival with a visit to the Canadian War Museum—since it’s in the same place! Here, we present our guide to the festival’s must-see acts.

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