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WEEKENDER: Nuit Blanche is finally here, Animation Fest brings in the best, and Color Vibe’s 5K is one of a kind

The lively animation of Smith & Foulkes will be one of the highlights at this year's Ottawa International Animation Festival. Photo by Smith & Foulkes.

OTTAWA INTERNATIONAL ANIMATION FESTIVAL
The Ottawa International Animation Festival presents the world’s most cutting-edge, quirky, and important animation, and transforms Ottawa into the centre of the animation universe (if we do say so ourselves). As the largest event of its kind in North America, OIAF is a major film event that attracts attendees from around the world. Film buffs, art lovers, and cartoon fans won’t want to miss this year’s great line up, which includes the work of U.K. animation directors Smith & Foulkes, who’ve animated everything from Coke commercials to an Oscar-nominated 3D short. Films by Ralph Bakshi and Karen Aqua, plus viral YouTube videos, are also on the bill. Taking place at ByTowne Cinema, National Gallery of Canada, Empire Theatres Rideau Centre and Arts Court Theatre. September 19 to 23. Single tickets from $12. See website for schedule of events. www.animationfestival.ca.

SHELDON COHEN BOOK SIGNING (FREE!)
Recognize the name? Illustrator and animator Cohen turned Roch Carrier’s short story The Hockey Sweater into an animated film (he also did the illustrations for the beloved book about hockey and the clash of cultures). He’ll be doing a special signing for his new book This Sweater is for You! He’ll also be delving in the notebooks, photos, and memories to recreate the process he undertook to make The Sweater. Friday, September 21, 6 p.m. National Arts Centre Lobby, 53 Elgin St., www.animationfestival.ca.

RUSSELL PETERS
Common knowledge decrees that a comedian must have a TV sitcom, a hit movie, or a high profile comedy album to succeed. Peters, however, has built a massive following by word of mouth, completely bypassing mainstream media outlets. (In 2008, Peters was one of the first stand-up comedians to self-finance, self-produce, and distribute his own comedy specials and DVDs.) For the past few years he’s been selling out theatres across the US and Canada with his hilarious and pointed observations on race and culture. (We hear tickets have gone fast but there are still some of the cheap seats left – worth the money, we say!) Friday, September 21, 8:00 p.m. $39-$110. Scotiabank Place, 1000 Palladium Dr., www.canadiantirecentre.com.

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE ART SHOW
One World Dialogue is non-profit organization that applies the principles of integrative thinking, art, and design to social issues. Its second annual International Day of Peace Art Show aims to bring different artists together to promote dialogue on peace and integration in our community. Creating a space for positive public engagement, OWD explores subjects in ways that are accessible to everyone. On Friday, enjoy the visual art exhibits, and on Saturday take part in free children’s art activities. Friday, September 21, and Saturday, September 22. $15 for Friday. Shenkman Arts Centre, 245 Centrum Blvd, www.oneworlddialogue.org/eventsprojects.

NUIT BLANCHE (FREE!)
Come celebrate Ottawa’s inaugural Nuit Blanche, a (hopefully!) annual all-night festival. Ottawa’s first major fest commemorating the visual arts sees the city turned into a de facto art gallery under the theme “La Vie est Belle/Life is beautiful,” providing space for art installations, performances, and social gatherings. Artists, gallery operators, collectors, art lovers, and the public at large are invited to participate. It’s scheduled to start at sunset and continue on throughout the night, into the wee hours of the morning. Saturday, September 22. See website for locations and events, www.nuitblancheottawa.ca.

SLOWEST JAM IN THE PARK (FREE!)
SLOWest is organizing its first open mic event. So rev up those vocal chords and join your neighbours for some local music, stories, and discussions about sustainability projects in the community. Reps from organizations such as Food and Garden Group, Clean Energy Team, and RightBike will also be talking about the exciting projects they have underway and running activities for the kids! Saturday, September 22, 1 p.m. Parkdale Park, www.slowest.ca.

COLOR VIBE OTTAWA 5K RUN
Get ready for the most colorful, fun-filled day of your life! Get your friends and family together for this amazing event where you’ll get blasted with colour as you run, meaning you’ll finish the race not only with a great workout under your belt, but covered from head to toe in vibrant (safe, biodegradable) paint. Runners of all ages are encouraged to come out for this non-competitive run. Spots are filling up fast, though, so no delaying! Sunday, September 22, 9 a.m. $45, Rideau Carleton Raceway, 4837 Albion Rd., www.thecolorvibe.com.