It’s a rainy Thursday in Ottawa, but guess what? The forecast for the next three days looks like perfect summer weather! And good thing too, because festival season is in full swing! Jazz, dragon boats, summer solstice events and more are on the schedule, so get out and enjoy it all (with lots of sunscreen and water, of course). And for our friends on the Québec side of the river, Happy Saint-Jean-Baptiste. Enjoy your day off!
The TD Ottawa Jazz Festival is back to bring the best of Jazz to your eyes and ears until July 2. Venues include the TD Main Stage in Confederation Park, the OLG Stage at Marion Dewar Plaza, the Fourth Stage and Azrieli Studio at the NAC, and late-night jams at Grill 41 in the Lord Elgin Hotel. Check out Leah Geller’s preview picks for Apt613 here.
The Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival celebrates Canadian Indigenous peoples’ culture and heritage through a variety of programming such as live cultural performances, creative workshops, education days, traditional knowledge, culinary experiences, a movie night, and the popular international Competition Pow Wow. They have tons of events happening Friday through Sunday at Mādahòkì Farm, located at 4420 West Hunt Club Road in Nepean. Admission is free but some workshops have a small fee and require registration. Friday night’s culinary experience, Niriqatigiit (Coming Together to Eat) requires advance tickets at $ 75 / person.
ByWard Market Summerfest is on all weekend long with plenty of live music and public art to please your senses. Plus you can visit the latest storefront to grace the market, Adaawewigamig!
Feeling the need to walk among the waterlilies at Giverny? Immerse yourself in the classic impressionist art of Claude Monet at the Imagine Monet exhibition, now on at the EY Center. Check out Apt613’s review of the experience here.
Friday through Sunday the Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival returns to Mooney’s Bay, with races from 8 am-4pm on Saturday and Sunday, plus two free concerts on the Hillside Stage. This year’s headliners include The Strumbellas on Friday night and Serena Ryder on Saturday night, with several other bands on the bill each evening. Admission to the festival is free and there are plenty of food and craft vendors on site as well. Get all the deets here.
The Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership is hosting Welcoming Ottawa Week with a series of Immigrant Heritage Walking Tours. These free walks are designed to showcase the important contributions of immigrants to the social, cultural, and economic development and vitality of Ottawa’s neighborhoods. Thursday at 5pm take a walk through Little Italy; Friday at 4:30 pm you can join the English-language tour of the ByWard Market; and on Saturday at 10am there’s a French-language version of the ByWard tour. (Psst: there are tours of Chinatown and Vanier next week as well.) Check out their website for more info and to sign up for the tours.
Torchlight Shakespeare is back from A Company of Fools. Check out their schedule of live performances of The Tempest in parks across the city and beyond from June 20 until August 13. (And stay tuned for Hamlet in the fall!) This weekend they’re in Trend-Arlington Park (Nepean) on Thursday, Hiawatha Park (Orléans) on Friday, and Windsor Park (Old Ottawa South) on Saturday. All shows start at 7pm and are pay-what-you-can and are BYOS: bring-your-own-seating (chair or blanket). The Fools are always a great night out, so do not miss it!
Brave the potential rain and hang out at the ByWard Night Market with tons of great vendors from 5-9pm on York Street, plus ByWard Bops in collaboration with OMIC, featuring Mimi O’Bonsawin, Jessy Lindsay, and Sunday Riot Club. Performances take place on the George Street Plaza. What’s a little rain, anyway?
While you’re in the ByWard, stop into the vernissage of the new “Home” Art Exhibition at Gallery 55, located at 55 ByWard Market Square (top floor) from 5-7pm, organized by the Ottawa Black Art Collective and the Lowertown Community Association. The exhibition asks the question: What does home mean to you? For some, home is a physical space, for others, it is a feeling, a sense of community. What does it look like to be disrupted or removed from your home, or to rebuild a new life, a community, a home after (re) settling in a new country? Featuring over 20 professional, emerging and community artists based in Ottawa, the exhibition runs until July 10.
But if you’re a fair weather market-goer, it could also be a good night to stay in and watch a movie. So you’re in luck: The International Film Festival of Ottawa (IFFO) is promoting another screening in its “The Female Gaze” screening series, showcasing films directed and written by women. The fourth screening in the series is Aren’t You Happy? (The melancholic girl) by Susanne Heinrich, a highly stylized episodic film in which a girl roams through the city looking for a place to sleep, but between yoga studios, art galleries and the beds of strangers, there is no space for her. It’s a postmodern comedy in pastel pink and blue. The screening is available on-demand for 48 hours, starting tonight at 7pm, and also includes the short film The Longest Day of the Year by Lauren Hoover and a talk between “The Female Gaze” programmer Tish Chambers and popular video essayist Maia (aka Broey Deschanel) about the film and the theme of the disillusioned modern woman. Get the streaming link here.
The PepTides will be playing a show on Saturday night at the Rainbow and will be fundraising for the “We Support LGBTQ Ukraine Fund” started by queer Ukrainian-Canadian playwright Andrew Kushnir and The Veritas Foundation Giving Fund to support the specific needs of LGBTQ + Ukrainians. Over $ 56,800 has been raised so far. The PepTides, who describe themselves as “an eclectic community of musicians with a rainbow of faces: girls and guys, LGBTQ and straight, English and French, Black and white and in between, Ukrainian, Mexican, Guyanese, Cree, Acadian, Armenian and Scottish ”have already raised $ 1,000 for the fund at a show in April and are looking to beat that record with this concert, so come on out, enjoy some super live music and support a great cause. Doors open at 8pm and tickets are $ 28.25.
The NAC Orchestra Pops concerts are back on Friday and Saturday nights at 8pm on the Southam Hall stage with a tribute to the best of Broadway, conducted by the great Jack Everly, back in town for the first time since before the pandemic. Classic Broadway: Lerner and Loewe highlights the works of one of the best stage and screenwriting duos of all time. Trust us, you’ll know some or all of these songs, drawn from shows like Brigadoon spirit My Fair Lady. Both concerts feature Ottawa vocalists the Ewashko Singers. Check out Apt613’s preview of the shows here.
“Canada’s Queen of Americana” Lynne Hanson will release her ninth album, Ice Cream in November, with a concert at First Unitarian Church, 30 Cleary Ave, on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $ 30 for adults and $ 25 for youth and seniors (kids get in free but must be registered). This intimate show is a great chance to hear singer / songwriter / guitarist Hanson up close and personal.
Coburg, Ontario singer-songwriter Shannon Linton plays the Montgomery Scotch Lounge on Gladstone with Saskia Tomkins and Whitney O’Hearn on Saturday night starting at 7pm. SHe’s celebrating the release of her debut EP, In Spite of Everything.
On Sunday, nearly 40 Alliances Françaises from 15 countries will participate in the third edition of Alliances Sonores, streamed online on YouTube and Facebook. This year Canada is one of the invited countries, and the music of Acadia will be honored with a concert featuring Chloé Breault, Maggie Savoie, Matt Boudreau and Simon Daniel. Find out more on their Facebook page (in French).
Two pillars of the Ottawa classical music scene, violinist Adam Nelson and pianist Roland Graham, join forces to perform some of the world’s favorite music from the Age of Enlightenment, including Bach’s Sonata in B minor, Mozart’s Sonata in E minor, works by Handel, and more as part of the free Kemptville Street Piano Concert Series at 2pm on Sunday in downtown Kemptville.