BY MATT HARRISON
Ottawa State of Mind
“I’ma up at Brooklyn, now I’m down in Tribeca, Right next to De Niro, but I’ll be hood forever, I’m the new Sinatra, and since I made it here, I can make it anywhere, they love me everywhere” — Empire State of Mind, JayZ
The “everywhere” includes Ottawa, as Babylon gets set to host Can’t Knock The Hustle, a JayZ Tribute night on Thursday, Dec. 4 — it’s all JayZ, all night; hosted by Phil Ireland backed up by DJ Acro. Cover is $4. Doors open at 11 p.m.
Babylon is at 317 Bank St.
“Tag a whale” — and by this, I hope the Nature Museum doesn’t mean spray painting your name along side an aquatic mammal. It doesn’t. I jest. By ‘tagging’ the museum actually means looking at how scientists in the North track Arctic whales for research — and I don’t mean “research” in the way that the Japanese whaling vessels use the word either.
In addition, visitors to the new Arctic Voices exhibit, which opens this Friday, Dec. 5 at the Museum of Nature, will also be able to check out the flora and fauna of the North, try their chords at throat-singing, read from Sir John Franklin’s early Arctic expeditions in a rare book about his journeys, and see some of the artifacts from the “doomed” crew of Franklin’s final expedition. The exhibit is interactive, so kids can “pounce, hop, push, and crawl their way through animal life in the Arctic.” It’s on until Spring 2015. The cost of the exhibit is extra, so expect to add a few bucks to the price of general admission. More info, visit here.
The Museum of Nature is at 240 McLeod St.
The Darjeeling (un)Limited
This weekend, let the scents of India, Thailand, Indonesia, and Japan waft into your consciousness, carrying you overseas — if only momentarily. Escape winter via a plethora of teas at Ottawa’s Tea Festival at the Library and Archives Canada on Saturday, Dec. 6 and Sunday, Dec. 7. Teas, exhibits, samplings, ceremonies, goodies, workshops, music, and more are on offer both days, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. $12 adv., $15 at the door. More info, visit here.
The Library and Archives is at 395 Wellington St.
Fryq the Gathering FREE!
First off, I hate (hate hate hate) the phrase, “let’s unpack this” — unless, of course, you’re talking about luggage or crates. Otherwise, can we please stop using this ridiculous phrase?!? Now that that’s off my chest, this weekend help “unpack issues faced by our local music and arts scene” — to that end, Raw Sugar Cafe is hosting a Saturday, Dec. 6 afternoon (3 to 4:30 p.m.) discussion on the subject, with guests: Lily Pepper, Marie LeBlanc Flanagan, Sacha KW, Elsa Mirzaei, Chris Binkowski, and moderated by Emily McQuarrie. Topics touched on will be age, language, race, disability, sex, gender, mental health, and sobriety + anything else related. This is a free event, which will be broadcast at a later point on CHUO 89.1 f.m. More info, visit here.
Raw Sugar is at 692 Somerset Ave.
“For how many years shall this festival abide! Never shall age destroy so holy a day! While the hills of Latium remain and father Tiber, while thy Rome stands and the Capitol thou hast restored to the world, it shall continue” — Saturnalia
The Roman oracle who proclaimed this was obviously a fraud, since age has erased — mostly — Saturnalia from common memory. Overshadowed by Christmas, there are a few who still cling to the Romanish Dec. 17 holiday. And yet, much of what we consider ‘Christmas’ cheer has its roots in this pagan holiday — banquets, gift-giving, candles, even those silly paper crowns we wear is a memory from hoary antiquity. All this to say, that, if Saturnalia is still your thing, then you’d best head on down to the Bronson Centre on Sunday, Dec. 7 for the Magic Forest of Celtic Yule “Tree of life” (gasp, pant, catching. my. breath.) Psychic and Craft Fair — which is in support of Ottawa’s animals in need: Hopeful Hearts Dog Rescue, et al. Food, music, runes, tarot/angel/aura readings, gemstones — a “magically delicious” gathering of 40 pagan/spiritual vendors. Doors open at 2:30 p.m. and it runs until 7 p.m. Admission is a donation to animals in need. More info, visit here.
The Bronson Centre is at 211 Bronson Ave.