Heads Up

WEEKENDER: A celebration of the Caribbean, a 12-hour storytelling session, and six more almost-summer events

Dancing, singing, and more is part of Musical Taste of Our Canadian Heritage.

Every year, Odyssey Showcase takes on the task of portraying the history of Canadian culture through song and dance, in a show that incorporates more than 100 pieces of music and 50 performers. This year’s retrospective will feature even more performances and a special segment for the War of 1812 bicentennial. If the fantastic music — and astounding variety of genres — isn’t enough, go for the touching War of 1812 reenactments by Afghan veterans, and see for yourself why this is the longest-running concert showcase in the country. Wednesday, June 13, to Friday, June 15, 6 p.m. Daytime shows $10, evening shows $20, students and children $10. Canadian Museum of Civilization Theatre, 100 Laurier St., www.odysseyshowcase.org.

To complement their “Six Moments in the History of an Urban Forest” exhibit, Bytown Museum’s guest curators Joanna Dean and Will Knight will be presenting a historical walking tour of the old Lover’s Walk. Join the environmental historians on this outing as they shed light on the 100 years of history of Parliament Hill’s famous promenade, which was a favourite of 19th century photographers. Thursday, June 14, 6 p.m. $6, students and seniors $4, children $3. Meet at the Bytown Museum, 1 Canal Lane, www.bytownmuseum.ca.

The Festival Franco-Ontarien is back for its 37th year with well-known francophone acts like Radio Radio and Mia Martina. In a unique show just for this festival, African-Swedish sensation Ngâbo will perform French versions of his hit songs on Saturday night. To round out the festivities, which celebrate franco culture through live entertainment and activities, Sunday’s events will double as a 100th birthday party for French daily Le Droit. Thursday, June 14, to Saturday, June 16. $21.90. Major’s Hill Park and Byward Market, www.ffo.ca.

The capital’s largest theatre festival is back this weekend, with more than 20 different productions to choose from each night. The festival is based on accessibility and unrestricted artistic freedom, so none of the productions have been subject to approval or any kind of jury review (be careful what you take the kids to!). Artists involved receive 100% of the ticket revenue, so the festival requires attendees to purchase a $3 Fringe Button in addition to tickets for entrance to the shows. Thursday, June 14, to Saturday, June 16. $13 for one show, $45 for five shows, or $75 for ten. Various venues throughout the city, www.ottawafringe.com.

The flavour of the Caribbean comes to Carivibe. Photo by Jeffrey Meyer Photography.

If you can’t hop a flight to the Bahamas, just hop over to Orleans to enjoy the hot weather and get a taste of Caribbean culture. This year’s beach festival will include non-stop musical entertainment, as well as Caribbean food, drinks, art, and clothing displays. There promises to be something for everyone, with a licenced tent for adults, all-ages section for teens, and a kiddie carnival. Saturday, June 16. $15, children 12 and under free. Petrie Island, 727 Trim Rd., www.carivibe.com.

Eighteen performers, putting on a show for 12 straight hours, without notes, cues, or prompters? It may sound impossible, but Ottawa StoryTellers and 2 women productions are attempting it at the NAC this weekend. They’ll be putting on a full 12-hour performance of Homer’s Odyssey, one of the greatest epics in Western culture. Follow Odysseus’ journey from the end of the Trojan War to his home kingdom of Ithaca, meeting famous characters like Cyclops and Athena along the way. This is bound to be unlike anything you’ve seen (or heard) before. Saturday, June 16, 10 a.m. $60 for full day, $40 for half day (though you’re encouraged to see the spectacle in full). National Arts Centre, 53 Elgin St., www.nac-cna.ca.

Always wanted to check out the international Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu championships? Or maybe join an arm wrestling tournament? Or just finally try out a zumba class? National Capital Fit Day is the perfect event to show off your skills and try something new. It brings together all types of fitness classes, plus healthy cooking demos, softball, hockey, and basketball tournaments, and speakers for your knowledge and entertainment. Saturday, June 16, 9 a.m. $20 entry, seminars cost extra. CE Centre, 4899 Uplands Dr., www.nationalcapitalfitday.com.

This event will decide which of eight spoken-word artists will represent Ottawa at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word in Saskatoon. Capital Slam has been growing non-stop since 2004, and now showcases a who’s who of Ottawa’s spoken word poetry talent. Originally housed in small bars, this year’s final is big enough to be held in the University of Ottawa’s Alumni Auditorium. Saturday, June 16, 6:30 p.m. $10. Alumni Auditorium, University of Ottawa, 85 University St., www.capitalslam.com.