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THE WEEKENDER: Loads of freebies, tons of music, and a pint or two of beer

Maggie Knaus showcases her version of the American roadtrip at Exposure Gallery

Art always looks even better when accompanied by a lemon square and a good coffee. That’s why Exposure Gallery above the Thyme & Again coffeeshop-bakery-food haven is such a brilliant idea. This weekend, photographer Maggie Knaus launches Keep the Car Running, a solo exhibition of images she shot during roadtrips across the United States. Knaus intentionally took back roads, seeking out places and architecture from another era. To get the antique-postcard look, Knaus transferred her images onto paper, hand-coloured them, and scanned and enlarged them to a size of 3-by-3.5 feet. Vernissage on Thursday, Sept. 29, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Exhibition ends Nov. 29. Exposure Gallery (second floor of Thyme & Again), 1255 Wellington St. W., 613-722-0093 ext. 225, www.exposuregallery.info.

Self described as a “new label and concert series that works with and hosts the flyest artists in the 613,” this energetic newbie on the local music scene looks like a force to be reckoned with. Check out their launch party to meet general manager Phillipe Lafreniere and hear member artists Claude & The Storm Outside, Amelia Leclair,  The Mackenzie Rhythm Section, and Phil Motion & The Easy LO-Fi. Thursday, Sept. 29. 10 p.m. $10. Mercury Lounge, 56 Byward Market, www.upandupmusic.ca.

Motel. Louisiana. By Rémi Thériault

There are tons of events going on this weekend as part of the cross-Canada Culture Days celebration so  check out the website to see what turns your crank. One of the events we’ll definitely be hitting up is a photo show at the groovy Enriched Bread Artists studio space. Curated by Joyce Westrop, the show features 20 fine art photographers, including Ottawa Magazine contributors Erin Molly Fitzpatrick, Adrienne Herron, Rémi Thériault, and Justin Wonnacott. Bonus: Beau’s Brewery will be at the vernissage! Vernissage: Friday, Sept. 30, 6 p.m to 9 p.m. Continues Saturday, Oct. 1 and Sunday, Oct. 2 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. EBA is located at 951 Gladstone Ave., 613-729-7632.

They made waves at Edgefest this past summer with their catchy pop-rock tunes. Now the four Burlington buddies that make up Sandman Viper Command are taking their tour around the province in support of their new album. Have heard great things about their live show, so catch them before they’re playing the big stadiums. Friday, Sept. 30. 7 p.m. Café Dekcuf, 221 Rideau St., 613-244-5000.

The giant Beau’s Oktoberfest may be just about sold out but there’s more than one beerfest on the block. This new event, known as Oktoberfest Ottawa, celebrates beer and pretzels, busty Bavarians, and even the infamous Trailer Park Boys. Yes, Randy and Mr. Lahey from Sunnyvale Trailer Park will be on hand to provide ‘top level security’ — and plenty of laughs — at this inaugural event. Catch music performances from Amos The Transparent, Silver Creek, and Graham Greer, as well as more traditional sounds from Oompah band Schteev und die Lederhosen. Friday, Sept. 30 to Sunday, Oct. 2. See website for times and ticket info. Richmond Fairgrounds, 6095 Perth St., Stittsville. www.oktoberfestottawa.com.

And for something a little more sedate, Dominion-Chalmers United Church is the setting for “The Chopin Songs,” an exquisite repertoire of 19 songs composed by the Frederic Chopin that will be performed by two internationally renowned soprano Maria Knapik and Maestro Michel Brousseau, who will be on piano. (Chopin is universally known and loved for his piano repertoire, however many people are unaware of the beautifully intimate and lyrical songs he also wrote.) Saturday, Oct. 1. 7:30 pm. Tickets ($25 general; $35 for reserved seating) through Ticketmaster or calling 855-790-1245. They are also available at The Leading Note, Compact Music, and CD Warehouse locations  Concert goers have a choice of general seating at $25, and reserved seating at $35. Dominion-Chalmers United Church is at 355 Cooper St.

Love the look of handmade goods, but lack the artistic talent? Then Urban Craft is just the ticket. This monthly craft sale, which debuted in September, offers new and returning artisans, so there will be an ever-changing selection of goods to choose from, including screen-printed tees, local and organic body products, trendy fascinators, and toys for modern tots. Saturday, Oct. 1, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Irving Greenberg Theatre Centre, 1233 Wellington St. W., www.urbancraftmarket.com.

Trendsetters, trendspotters, media, and all other fashionable peeps head to the Convention Centre for Ottawa Fashion Week, which kicks off on Thursday night and runs until Sunday. Don your tuxedo-inspired wear, your ’70s styles, your pleats, your fur, and any other highlights that were deemed “on trend” for fall/winter 2011. The schedule has a great mix of local, national, and international talent and the event closes out with David McCaffrey and EDIT by Jeanne Beker (in support of Dress for Success). Wednesday, Sept. 28 to Sunday, Oct. 2. Day pass $45, week pass $90. Ottawa Convention Centre, 55 Colonel By Dr., www.ottawafashionweek.ca.

It’s free to get in, and everything is free once you get there! It’s a junk collector’s dream, an upcyclers perfect investment opportunity, and a great place to get rid of stuff collecting in your basement. The RRFM welcomes books, toys, clothing, small appliances, decorative items, old computers — everything. Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and Rideau-Vanier Councillor Mathieu Fleury will be scoping the goods around 10 a.m., and the Ontario Stewardships program will be on hand to accept pre-owned computers and other electronics for recycling. Saturday, Oct. 1. 8:30 to 2 p.m. Corner of Montreal Road and Begin Street. www.rrfm.fullcircles.org.