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THE WEEKENDER: Dance the day (and night) away at Piknic Électronik, Folk Fest, and Capital Pride

Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth fame goes solo for his Folk Fest gig

OTTAWA FOLK FESTIVAL
New year, new location, new management: the 2011 Ottawa Folk Festival will be like none before it. It still embodies the same creative, community-oriented heart and soul that it always has — just with a little more razzle dazzle, thanks to new leadership from Mark Monahan and the Bluesfest team. The lineup is seriously impressive and includes the likes of Tom Morello, City and Colour, J Mascis, The Levon Helm Band, and Steve Earl, to name but a few. We recommend checking out Sonic Youth singer/guitarist Thurston Moore (Sunday, Aug. 28), whose latest solo offering is mellower than anything he created with the seminal alternative rock band, but just as thought-provoking and exciting. Thursday, Aug. 25 to Sunday, Aug. 28. Check website for full schedule and ticket options. Hog’s Back Park, http://ottawafolk.com.

PIKNIC ÉLECTRONIK
No longer just the domain of glow stick-waving underground ravers, electronic music has made a huge comeback in recent years, with artists like Skrillex and Girl Talk hitting the mainstream and scoring prime-time slots at Ottawa Bluesfest. At Piknic Électronik, electronic lovers can now expose the whole family to the genre’s contagiously danceable beats. Bring the kids and descend upon Gatineau’s riverbanks for beer, barbecue, and blasting tunes from some of the best artists around. Dancing shoes required. Sunday, Aug. 28, 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. $10, free for kids 12 under or with admission to the museum. Riverview Park (Canadian Museum of Civilization), Gatineau, www.piknicelectronikgatineau.com.

In a political town, a flick like The Whistleblower is sure to strike a chord. Starring Rachel Weisz

THE WHISTLEBLOWER
In a city that’s seen its fair share of political scandals, this thriller, inspired by actual events, is sure to draw crowds. Rachel Weisz leads a stellar cast (Vanessa Redgrave, Monica Bellucci) as Kathryn Bolkovac, an American police officer working as a UN peacekeeper in post-war Bosnia. Arriving with optimism and determination, her spirits are quickly dashed when she unearths the reality of an operation marred by rampant sexism, corruption, and a shocking cover-up. Her tireless fight for justice is both frustrating and inspiring and makes for a gripping film that is sure to resonate with all audiences, politically minded or otherwise. Friday, Aug. 26 to Thursday, Sept 1. $10. ByTowne Cinema, 325 Rideau St., 613-789-3456, www.bytowne.ca.

SAVOUR OTTAWA HARVEST TABLE
Discover Ottawa’s delicious side at Savour Ottawa’s first-ever public event. Harvest Table sees the Parkdale Market turned into an outdoor dining hall as local farmers (Trillium Meadows Red Deer & Wild Boar Farm, Bryson Farms, and Upper Canada Heritage Meat, to name a few) and chefs from the likes of Thyme & Again, The Green Door, and The Whalesbone Catering team up to offer a meal of delectable dishes made from locally grown and raised food. Diners are served family-style in tables of eight, and there are only 100 tickets available for each of two seatings, so we suggest you snatch yours up quick. Both the Parkdale Market and the Savour Ottawa Field House will be operating during the event, too. Sunday, Aug. 28. Two seatings, 12 noon and 2 p.m. Tickets are $50 and include a three-course meal and two samples of beer and/or wine. Parkdale Market, www.savourottawa.ca/.

CAPITAL PRIDE
Ottawa’s most colourful festival wraps up this weekend with a whole slew of exciting events. Highlights include a human rights vigil, pride brunch, the Laugh Out Proud comedy showcase, and plenty of wild after-parties, but if you can only make it to one event, we recommend the Capital Pride Parade. The 26th edition of this annual march takes place at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 28, and sees an extended route to pay tribute to the 40th anniversary of the We Demand Protest. Whether you’re in the middle of the action or standing on the sidelines to show your support for Ottawa’s LGBT community, it’s guaranteed to be a good time. Admission varies for special events; parade is free. 613-252-7174, www.capitalpride.ca.

MERRICKVILLE ARTISANS AND ANTIQUES SHOW
Lovers of all things cool and crafty can hit the jackpot in Merrickville this weekend: the third annual Merrickville Artisans Show joins forces with the 19th annual Merrickville Antiques Show to create a veritable treasure trove of high-quality, unique wares. Pick up some art, spa products, food products, textiles, jewellery, hand-made pottery, and garden crafts at the artisans show, then head over to the antiques show for  pine furniture, decorative items, glass, china, books, collectibles, and bottles, among other things. Save room in your trunk, and your stomach — volunteers from the Merrickville Recreation Association will be on hand to serve up delectable homemade food. Saturday, Aug. 27, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, Aug. 28, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine. $6 (includes access to both events), children are free. Merrickville Fairgrounds, 106 Read St., 613-850-5446, www.antique-shows.ca.