Heads Up

Fun in the sun, laughing out loud, microchipping Marmaduke, and three more ways to live it up this weekend

Following an exciting spring season, local slam poetry group Urban Legends has narrowed the field to eight. This event sees Synonymous, Mack Cannon,  Hyfidelik the Gypsy Sun, Prufrock Shadowrunner, Brad Morden, Just Jamaal, Khadija, and Sarah Musa compete for a spot on the team’s roster at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word later this year. Come enjoy the booming proclamations, the insights, and the imagery of Urban Legends as they perform on a larger stage for the first time. Friday, July 15. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for drumming and drinks; performance 7 p.m. $10. Irving Greenberg Theatre Centre, 1233 Wellington St. W. For full event details, see Facebook event page.

Lots of fun to be had at the H.O.P.E. Volleyball Summerfest. Photo courtesy Ottawa Tourism.

Each year, more than 25,000 players and spectators head to Mooney’s Bay to bump, smash, and dig their way to v-ball glory (or just to cheer and check out some hard bodies). With this year’s concert line-up featuring Tokyo Police Club and local band The Balconies, as well as a verified attempt to name 2011 the “Largest One Day Volleyball Event in the World” by The Guinness Book of World Records, this is sure to be a heck of a party. And with proceeds going to local charities, you can feel even better about your day of fun in the sun. Saturday, July 16. Registration for playing is sold out, but spectators are free to watch (non-registered participants must purchase a wristband to access the HOPE amphitheatre for concerts, $25). Mooney’s Bay Beach. www.hopehelps.com

Ottawa-born comic John Hastings records his first DVD this weekend — and he’s inviting hecklers! But seriously, folks, wouldn’t it be cool to be a part of the career of an up-and-coming stand-up comedian? One who started his career doing improv at Nepean High School? Working in Montreal for the past five years, Hastings has been nominated twice as the XM Canada’s Next Top Comedian — in fact, he’s the only person to be nominated twice — and won the Just For Laughs Homegrown Comedy Competition last year. Plus, all audience members who attend will receive a two for one voucher for a future Yuk Yuk’s show. Friday, July 15 and Saturday, July 16. 9 p.m. $20. Yuk Yuk’s @ The Prescott, 379 Preston St. www.yukyuks.com.

Come out and gab with other pet owners at this annual fundraiser for Birch Haven, a rescue and rehabilitation service for large dogs and horses. Focusing on Great Danes for the past 10 years, this organization provides a safe haven to large breeds who have been deemed not fit for adoption or are in between homes. And those dogs eat a lot! Working with Kanata Animal Hospital, the event offers microchipping ($40), nail trimming ($10), and pet photos/caricatures ($5), as well as treats and toys for pets and their humans. Sunday, July 17. 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Kanata Animal Hospital, 440 Hazeldean Rd. www.facebook.com/BHRRCanada

It’s opening weekend for this Disney adventure that has been part of childhood memories ever since Mufasa told Simba about the circle of life. More than 40 actors bring the African tundra to life in the Tony Award-winning Broadway version of this story about the animal kingdom. Listen for classic songs like “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” by Elton John and Tim Rice, as well as tunes exclusive to the theatrical production. Thursday, July 14, to Sunday, Aug. 7. $39.44-$91.69. National Arts Centre, Southam Hall, 53 Elgin St. www.nac-cna.ca

Celebrate the rich history and culture of South Asia at this day-long festival. Visitors can explore the arts, culture, food, and music of the diverse countries that make up this exotic part of he world. Highlights include Bollywood dance performances and other live entertainment, Henna artists, face painting for kids, and more. Saturday, July 16, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Confederation Park, Laurier Avenue and Elgin Street. www.southasianfestival.org