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WEEKENDER: Five things to do from June 19-22

One of the gardens featured in the Canadensis tour.
One of the gardens featured in the Canadensis tour.

Green (with Envy)
Sunshine, blue skies, and greenery as far as the eye can see. The short, sweet summer season is upon us and that means garden tour season — time for wannabe gardeners to see how it’s really done and get inspired to tackle their weed-filled beds. On Saturday, June 21, and Sunday, June 22, the Canadensis Botanical Garden Society’s “Over the Hedge” tour features a full lineup of 14 exceptional gardens in and around the city’s east end. Visit them all in one day or over the weekend. Some of the gardens are very natural, filled with native wildflowers or incorporating small ponds that have quickly become edged with bull rushes, swamp milkweed, blue flag, and Joe Pye weed. Others have a more structured, ornamental feel, blending annuals and perennials for a full season of colour. The tour booklet includes information about all the gardens, as well as suggestions for points of interest (think garden centres, walking trails, restaurants, and public gardens) along the tour route. $40. Booklet available at many stores around town (see canadensisgarden.ca for distribution points).

Animation Shifting Focus (Free!)
National Aboriginal Day is on June 21st. Celebrate at Glowfest — between the DJ’s, live acts, and general “big candy bowl full of excitement” promised by hosts Bank Street BIA — the touring program “Welcome to Kanata” will be screened. Curated by Ariel Smith, in association with ASINABKA: Aboriginal Film & Media Arts Festival and the Ottawa International Animation Festival, the showcase is a selection of animated shorts from emerging and established First Nations, Métis, and Inuit artists. This outdoor screening puts Indigenous self-expression in the spotlight, dispelling misrepresentations and pushing back against a history of cartoon stereotypes. Saturday, June 21. 8:30 pm to 10  pm. Bank Street, glowfair.ca


Precious metals and bright futures (Free!)
If beautiful and tiny things catch your eye, make your way to L.A. Pai in the ByWard Market to see works from the 11th National Student Jewellery Competition. Their original and glittering creations, on display until July 10.  The National Competition winner will be announced at the exhibit’s opening reception Saturday, June 21, from 2 pm to 4 pm. L.A. Pai Gallery, 13 Murray St., lapaigallery.com

Get your kids wired
The Wellington West strip between City Centre and Island Park revs up for its first-ever Hintonburg Happening. Following the launch on Saturday, June 21, 1 pm-8 pm, nine days of storytelling, music, neigbourhood arts and crafts, brewery tours, and local fashion-focused events ensue. One event that’s expected to be very popular is the Maker Junior Workshop. On Sunday, June 22 at 1 pm, The Studio Cafe (at 1089 Somerset St. W) hosts a workshop that puts accessible technology in the hands of a new generation of innovators. For $5, young participants can learn basic circuit-making, how to build a switch and light an LED, or see how much fun can be had mixing electro-conductive paint, paper, and electronic components. Hintonburg Happening, Somerset Square, 2 Spadina Ave. hintonburghappening.ca

Theatre’s next top model
60 companies, 400 shows, 16 Venues — and 100 percent of ticket sales going directly to performers. By the time you read this, the 18th edition of the Ottawa Fringe Festival has officially kicked off. Take time to make a plan, buy tickets in advance, find out whose show is getting all the buzz. Hang out with actors and critics in the courtyard, enjoy free concerts on the Downtown Rideau stage, cast your own votes for Best of Fest, and don’t forget: Hold on to your $3 Fringe Pin! If you’re new to Ottawa’s largest theatre festival, their website will hold your hand and easily guide you through a storm of shows fighting for your attention. Various locations, June 19–29. ottawafringe.com