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WEEKENDER: Red Death, Women’s Slam, plus more ways to spend your Robbie Burns All-Star Weekend

Ottawa hosts the NHL top talent this weekend, starting with drafts to team Alfredsson, captained by forward Daniel Alfredsson of our Ottawa Senators, and rival team Chara, led by Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara. Then, see the stars shine in a skills competition. The six challenges end in an elimination shootout that will decide the winner. Or hit up the Fan Fair at the Ottawa Convention Centre to show off your all-star skills, meet NHL mascots and alumni, and mug beside the Stanley Cup. Full event information here.

Ottawa spoken word poet Festrell will compete in the Women's Slam Championship this weekend.

Join the lively audience that will judge Ottawa’s first Women’s Poetry Slam Championship. The top four contenders earn a feature spot in Ottawa’s VERSeFest 2012. The 12 poets will be a mix of up-and-comers and seasoned scenesters, including Capital Slam Co-founder Elissa Molino and two-time Canadian Festival of Spoken Word Competitor Festrell.  Saturday. Jan. 28, 7 p.m. $8. Art’s Court Theatre, 2 Daly Ave. www.versefest.ca

Explore the role of trees in the city with this new exhibit at the historical Bytown Museum. From early street-tree planting to the role of arborists as mediators between plant life and the built environment, the exhibit includes artefacts from famous trees of the past and digital maps that reveal how the canopy has changed since 1920. Curated by Carleton University professor Joanna Dean and graduate student Will Knight. Opening reception Sunday, Jan. 29, 1 -4 p.m.; exhibit on until May 27. Vernissage free; regular admission $6, $4 seniors and students, $3 children 5-12. Bytown Museum, 1 Canal Lane. www.bytownmuseum.ca

Let the kids let it out this weekend, with painting, poetry, music and dance in the inaugural Art Child. Billed as a ‘creative-coping workshop,’ the aim is to help children work through social conflicts with creative expression. Acting, art, dance, and writing classes for kids of all ages are being offered in the Atrium at Carleton University. Saturday, Jan, 28. Noon to 8 p.m. www.indaindustry.com

Celebrate Scotland’s favourite son with Scotland’s favourite drink. Let Geoffrey Skeggs guide you through a whiskey tasting in honour of Robbie Burns. The whiskeys will be paired with mouth-watering food. Friday, Jan. 27. 7 p.m. $45. 19+. Billings Estate Museum, 2100 Cabot St. www.ottawa.ca/museums

Make a grand appearance at Ottawa Goth Syndicate’s ball. The evening is inspired by the Edgar Allan Poe short story “Masque of the Red Death,” and will feature mood music and a reading by author by Liisa Ladouceur, author of Encyclopedia Gothica. The following day, pick up new pieces of alternative fashion and accessories, as well as art, music, and magazines at The Aftermath, a showcase of “everything your little black heart desires.” Masquerade tickets: $10 in advance or $15 at the door (includes admission to The Aftermath showcase), but if you can’t make it to the ball it’s only $2 to get into shopping the next day. Friday, Jan. 27, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. and Saturday, Jan. 28. 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Montgomery Legion, 330 Kent St., 2nd floor. www.ottawagoth.ca

Getting married this year? This event includes fashion shows with designs for the entire bridal party at 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Peruse over 100 exhibitors, who will offer brides-to-be a chance to see, taste, and talk about their dream wedding, from venue to menu. Saturday, Jan. 28 and Sunday, Jan 29. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the CE Centre, 4899 Uplands Dr., http://www.ottawaweddingshow.com

Strap on snowshoes and head out under the stars to explore Ottawa’s geoheritage at Pinhey’s Point Historic Site. Take in the beauty of a winter’s night and discover the geoheritage of the Ottawa River and its surroundings. After the hour-long hike heat up with a hot chocolate around a bonfire. Saturday, Jan. 28, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. $10, free for children 11 and under. 270 Pinhey’s Point Rd., Dunrobin. www.ottawa.ca/museums