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Weekender: Six things to do in Ottawa Aug. 13-16


GreekFest 2014 – the Zorba dancers’ performance.

Greece holds a romantic place in my heart. The community, family, food, people, and the country itself are beautiful. I remember my first visit to GreekFest – just old enough to go out on my own, dressed up with my girlfriends, enjoying a little piece of Greece. The Zorba show, Greek food, jewelry, clothing, art, family, culture, and, of course, checking out the dancers.

This year will be no different for me as I intend to join the many other Ottawans who will take in the festival opening Thursday, Aug. 13 to Sunday, Aug. 23. Take advantage of the free shuttle to avoid parking around Prince of Whales. See the website for the event schedule, there is something going on every day, but rumour has always had it that the closing ceremony is not to be missed! See you there, I’ll be at the Loukoumades tent. Opa!
1315 Prince of Wales Dr., ottawagreekfest.com


TD South Asian Fest

All sorts of treats avaialble at South Asian Fest. Photo by Amna Hakim Photography

If there was ever doubt that there is a variety of culture in Ottawa, this Thursday also marks the opening ceremony for TD South Asia Fest, the largest South Asian gathering in Ottawa.

On Aug. 13, 2015, the festival will open with an art exhibition followed by a boat cruise on Friday. Saturday will be a family friendly free outdoor event held at City Hall. There will be live performances from local artists, an opportunity to try a variety of South Asian cuisine, a kid zone, henna, clothing and jewelry, and an after party on Saturday at Club Discoteka on Dalhousie.
Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Ave. W., 613-291-8624, southasianfest.net


Calabogie Blues and Ribfest
Guitarist and singer Keb’ Mo’ is frequently hailed as one of the last living links to Delta blues, a musical genre that emerged in rural Mississippi in the early 20th century. He’s just one of many performers slated to take the stage at Calabogie Blues and Ribfest this weekend.

Others include Shemekia Copeland, an electric blues vocalist and the daughter of the late blues artist, Johnny Copeland; Steve Strongman, a blues guitarist from Kitchener; and Jack de Keyzer, a two-time Juno Award-winning singer-songwriter.

Meanwhile, a host of barbecues from Canada and the United States are on site to grill up juicy ribs and compete for prizes, including Best Ribs, Best Chicken, and Consumers’ Choice.

The festival gets started on Friday, Aug. 14 and continues until Sunday, Aug. 16. Camping for tents and RVs is available on site. See website for more info. Tickets from $25.
Calabogie Peaks Resort, 30 Barrett Chute Rd., Calabogie, 1-800-669-4861, calabogieblues.com.


2015 Student Jewellery Competition Finalists

Aurélie Guillaume, Madame au chien rose. Brooch, with enamel on copper, cloisonné fine silver wire, powder coated copper, fresh water pearls, enamel paint, steel, and micro glass beads, 9 x 17 x 1.5 cm. Courtesy of L.A. Pai Gallery.

The art of cloisonné — a painstaking technique by which coloured glass, gemstones, or enamel are sectioned into elaborate designs using thin strips of wire — has been around since the time of the Egyptian pharaohs. Back then, cloisonné was used to make trinkets such as rings and buttons, but over the centuries, it began to appear in larger objects. The Chinese, for example, used it to beautify everything from bowls to vases to pots.

Art jeweller and NSCAD student Aurélie Guillaume takes this ancient technique and does something quite modern with it in her intricate, whimsical brooches of unusual characters. Beginning on Saturday, Aug. 15, L.A. Pai displays her work, along with that of five other jewellery students, in the 2015 Student Jewellery Competition Finalists exhibition.

The six finalists will be at the gallery from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Aug. 15, and the award will be presented to the winner at 3 p.m.

The exhibition runs until September 4. Admission is free. See website for more info. L.A. Pai Gallery, 13 Murray St., 613-241-2767, lapaigallery.com.


Amos the Transparent

Amos the Transparent

Making a name for oneself as an artist can be an uphill battle. Being constantly on the road and playing gig after gig with no guarantee it will pay off can take a mental and physical toll. This is what Jonathan Chandler, frontman for Ottawa indie rock band Amos the Transparent, endured before he found himself ready to give up on a career in music altogether.

Instead, he used the experience as material for the band’s latest album, This Cold Escape. The concept album travels the landscape of indie musicianship, tackling everything from youthful dreams of fame to the fragile balance of public and private life.

The band performs at the Black Sheep Inn on Saturday, Aug. 15. Tickets are from $12.
The Black Sheep Inn, 753 Riverside Dr., Wakefield, 819-459-3228, theblacksheepinn.com.


Lumière’s lantern labyrinth

Lumière Festival
The “Festival of Lights” has origins dating back to 1643 in Lyon, France, when the city became plague stricken. The ruling municipality devoted a tribute to Mary, mother of Jesus, to rid them of the plague and, in thanks, a festival is held on December 8 of each year (this also ties in to the reasoning behind Christmas lights). But variations of this event take place all over the world, and obviously, at different times of the year.

This weekend, starting Saturday, Aug. 15 at 5 p.m. Ottawa will hold its own Lumière Festival in New Edinburgh Park.

Whether coming with friends, family, or on your own, it will be a special, one-of-a-kind experience. Everything will be entirely lit by lanterns, including a labyrinth and performances. Artists will be performing for donation; so don’t forget to bring some spare change in addition to your lantern. Costumes are also welcome.

Lights that are brought to the park need to be battery operated flash-lights or glow-sticks only. Please do not bring any candles or open flames to the park.

“The Lumière Festival is presented by the New Edinburgh Community & Arts Centre. Through lantern-making workshops and community outreach initiatives, Lumière encourages people to come together and share their own creations and view the creations of others in a celebration of light and community.”
New Edinburgh Park, 193 Stanley Ave., 613-745-2742, lumiereottawa.ca