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WEEKENDER: Six things to do in Ottawa on the weekend of April 25—27


Ottawa weekender: The Planet Smashers play Mavericks on April 25 supporting their latest album Mixed Messages

In this edition of the Weekender: The Planet Smashers, Nature Nocturne, Ottawa Brewery Market, and three more things to do in Ottawa this weekend

Ska’s Smashers
Along with the many other 90s sub-genre music revivals recently, it was only a matter of time before ska saw a bit of a return. Enter Montreal’s The Planet Smashers. The band’s national and international success lasted well into the late 90s, until a series of events resulted in a break-up of sorts. Two core members remained, however, who brought on additional members, and toured and produced a number of albums, including the latest: Mixed Messages was released in early April. The new album has spawned a spate of shows, including a stop in Ottawa on Friday, April 25 at Mavericks. They’re playing with The Scally Cap Brats, The Cardboard Crowns, and Suits n’ Toques. Doors open at 8 p.m., $17. Mavericks is located at 221 Rideau St.

Mating season
Nature Nocturne’s April edition, Courtship and Colour, brings to mind springtime, and we all know what happens in the spring — (wink wink, nudge nudge). Dance, often considered one of nature’s many rituals, is the focus of Nature Nocturne’s upcoming party at the Canadian Museum of Nature. Featuring a dancehall tutorial by BPM Dance Troupe, and beats by DJ Critik, there will also be opportunities to check out “glow moments” of the Museum’s denizens (think bioluminescence), galleries, and themed food and drink. Nature Nocturne happens on Friday, April 25, from 8 p.m. to midnight. Cost is $20. The Canadian Museum of Nature is at 240 McLeod St.

Pouring in the park (FREE!)
“You can’t make good beer without clean water” — true. Which is why, for it’s first installment of the season, the Ottawa Brewery Market is a fundraising for Ottawa Riverkeeper, a charity helping to support efforts for a river you can drink and swim in — safely. (Hear that Wynn/Harper?) If clean water doesn’t convince you to come out to Hintonburg Park on Saturday, April 26, maybe the plethora of suds on offer will: local crafters Big Rig Brewery, Clocktower Brew Pub, Kichesippi, and newbies, Covered Bridge Brewing are participating, along with food by Stone Soup Foodworks and the Clocktower. Yum. Bring your lawn chairs, that ol’ pigskin, a Frisbee or three, the kiddies (great play area for kids), and enjoy a day in the park. As they say, “we’ll be pouring, even if the rain is.” No time has been listed, but expect things to be going by noon. Hintonburg Park is at the corner of Fairmont Ave. and Duhamel St.

All aboard
Choo-choo! What’s that? Boo, hiss?!? Admittedly, some Ottawans might not be the biggest “train” fans these days — what with all the city-wide traffic chaos created in recent months to bring light rail to town (road closures, bus reroutes, a mammoth sink hole, etc.). Added to that, some commuters are forced — daily — to play Russian roulette as they traverse malfunctioning train crossings in the south end. That said, trains — especially model ones — continue to hold an allure for many, making this year’s Ottawa Train Expo, the largest in Eastern Ontario, a must-see event. Held near the airport at the EY Centre, the show on Saturday, April 26 and Sunday, April 27 is a family event with displays, models, and clinics — for beginners to expert modelers. Open on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $12 adults; $8 kids 6-12; free for kids 5 and under. EY Centre is 4899 Uplands Drive.

Makers Fair (FREE!)
‘Think local’ — this oft-repeated catchphrase, most often used in connection with foodstuffs, applies to goods as well. Library and Archives Canada hosts Vibrant, a spring show highlighting local artisans, artists, and of course, cooks. With Mother’s Day around the corner, it’s the perfect time to pick up a one-of-a-kind item of jewellery, fashion, bath & beauty, woodworking, or work of art. Don’t forget to gorge on sweet treats, jams and jellies, tapenades, salsas, and other savoury snacks as you shop. In addition, each vendor is contributing to a silent auction, the proceeds of which will go towards local charities. The event takes place over the weekend: on Saturday, April 26 and Sunday, April 27, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Come in, stroll the booths, and leave with something unique and local. Library and Archives Canada is at 395 Wellington St. Free parking to boot!

Glebe ‘pop-up’ (FREE!)
Chefs, artists, crafters, artisans, and fashion designers have been ‘popping up’ everywhere — or so it seems ­— and sometimes in the most unexpected ways or places. One local grocer, Jim McKeen (of McKeen’s Metro Glebe grocery store) and his daughter, Rebecca, are spearheading the start of market season by organizing a ‘pop-up’ this Sunday, April 27 at the Glebe Community Centre. The indoor market will feature local foodstuffs and vendors (Kichesippi, Auntie Loo’s Treats, Michael’s Dolce artisan jams, Seed to Sausage, etc.) and in particular Glebe businesses and products (The Unrefined Olive, The Urban Pear, Erling’s Variety, among others). It’s a good way to start thinking “local” before the farmer’s markets open in May. The market’s from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Glebe Community Centre is at 175 Third Ave.