Heads Up

WEEKENDER: Bluesfest kicks off, Aziz Ansari comes to Ottawa, Osgoode gets medieval, and six other awesome events

RBC ROYAL BANK OTTAWA BLUESFEST
Ottawa’s most hyped annual music festival is finally here. For 12 days, 180 performers will rock six stages at LeBreton Flats, plus two offsite locations. Notable acts include Snoop Dogg, Norah Jones, John Mellencamp, The Sheepdogs, Lauryn Hill, Alice Cooper, Beirut, A$AP Rocky, LMFAO, and The Weeknd. You can also enjoy comedy presented by Just for Laughs. Wednesday, July 4, to Sunday, July 15. Day passes from $40, full festival pass $375, youth $199. LeBreton Flats, Vimy Place Pr., www.ottawabluesfest.ca.

MUSIC AND BEYOND
This classical music festival aims to showcase the cream of Ottawa’s musical crop, alongside other Canadian and international performers. The diversity and drama of classical music is at the forefront, with 80 different concerts over 12 days. Don’t miss Ben Heppner, one of the world’s finest drama tenors, who closes the fest on Sunday evening. Wednesday, July 4, to Sunday, July 15. Full pass $100, students $60. Single performances $10 — $40. National Arts Centre, 53 Elgin St., Mayfair Theatre, 1074 Bank St., and six other locations, www.musicandbeyond.ca.

The NAC Orchestra performs the score from Lord of the Rings.

THE LORD OF THE RINGS
Experience Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring like never before. The NAC Orchestra and a 130-voice chorus will be performing the award-winning score live while the film is shown on a big screen. Come in costume (finally a use for those elf ears!), grab a drink at the “Middle Earth tavern” set up in the lobby and take in this epic story. Thursday, July 5, to Saturday, July 7, at 7 p.m. $26-$115. Southam Hall, National Arts Centre, 53 Elgin St., www.nac-cna.ca.

Mosaika lights up Parliament Hill. Photo credit NCC/CCN.

MOSAIKA (FREE!)
The historic façade of the Parliament Buildings is the backdrop to a spectacular 30-minute visual and sound experience that highlights Canada’s physical, historical, and cultural landscapes. The current show is called “Mosaika: Canada through the eyes of its people.” Bring a picnic blanket or lawn chair, and see what Canadians from across the country have to say about our culture and heritage. Every night beginning Friday, July 6, until Monday, Sept. 3 (start time varies by month). Parliament Hill, www.mosaika-sl.ca.

ALMONTE CELTFEST (FREE!)
Whip out your kilt and venture outside the city for a free weekend of great culture and music. Almonte CeltFest takes Celtic music out of Irish pubs and onto the stage for everyone to experience. Jig, hop, and clap along, or just sit back and enjoy the tunes. Friday, July 6, to Sunday, July 8. Gemmil Park, Almonte, www.almonteceltfest.com.

GLEBE ART IN OUR GARDENS STUDIO TOUR (FREE!)
You don’t have to travel downtown to take in the work of Ottawa’s talented artists. More than 20 artists in the Glebe are opening their homes and studios to the general public to show and sell their works. Experience a diverse array of paintings, photographs, and pottery in one of Ottawa’s most established ‘hoods. Saturday, July 7, and Sunday, July 8, starting at 10 a.m. Various locations in the Glebe, www.glebearttour.ca.

AZIZ ANSARI
This stand-up comedian, also known as Tom Haverford on the hit series Parks and Recreation (and for his #PredictingKanyeWestTweets campaign, which actually ended in an unlikely friendship between the two stars), hits the capital for his Buried Alive Tour, presented by Just for Laughs. Check out his set and see why he’s People Magazine’s “Funniest Dude on Primetime” and one of Paste Magazine’s “Top 10 Comedians of the Decade.” Saturday, July 7, at 7:30 p.m. From $40. National Arts Centre, 53 Elgin St., www.nac-cna.ca.

URBAN CRAFT MARKET
Ottawa’s first and only monthly craft market features hip, modern finds for the whole family. With new vendors arriving each month, it’s a chance to sample a variety of Ottawa’s finest artisans, and will feature everything from Om Nom Cupcakes, to pretty jewellery and hand-finished pens, to local and organic body products, to toys for tots. Saturday, July 7, starting at 10 a.m. Irving Greenberg Theatre Centre, 1233 Wellington St. W., www.urbancraftmarket.com.

THE KINGDOM OF OSGOODE MEDIEVAL FESTIVAL
The perfect antidote for those still mourning the end of Game of Thrones’ second season is the annual Kingdom of Osgoode Medieval Festival. Enter the new Osgoode castle walls for a weekend of magic. Catch the Knights of Valour jousting, or become a competitor yourself in one of the many contests — including horseshow throwing and dragon colouring for the kids. Khalisee would be proud. Saturday, July 7, and Sunday, July 8. Weekend pass $10, family package $30, single day admission $6. 5673 Osgoode Main St., Osgoode, www.osgoodemedievalfestival.com.