THE WEEKENDER: Comedy, concerts, and the opening days of Winterlude

Sock ‘n’ Buskin kicks off their 2011 season with a one-act comedy festival. The nine short plays range from adaptations of Shel Silverstein’s No Dogs Allowed to original skits by Sock ‘n’ Buskin’s own Adam Smith. With a dynamite, lightning quick line-up appealing to all, the comedy fest promises to be “wickedly funny.” Runs Thursday to Saturday, Feb. 3 to 5. 8 p.m. $12, $8 students. Kailash Mital Theatre, Carleton University, 1125 Colonel By Dr., 613-520-3770.

Photo by Dave Bastedo

The folk rock songstress takes the stage armed with a guitar and her beautiful voice for this all ages show. A staple of the Canadian music scene for years, Harmer’s lovely melodies and poignant lyrics manage to be relaxing, heartbreaking, and rousing all in one go. Toronto darling Gentleman Reg opens the show. There are still tickets left, but they’re selling fast! Saturday, Feb. 5. 7 p.m. $32.50. Bronson Centre, 211Bronson Ave., 613-755-1111.

The month-long festival starts this weekend, helping you remember that winter can be a wonderland. With a packed schedule and lots of free events, the festival is always a pleasure. Our top pick for this weekend? The Canadian Museum of Civilization launches the party with a free evening (Friday, Feb. 4, 7 p.m.-11 p.m.) of special lighting effects, an interactive fire experience, amazing sound performances, a DJ dance party and, at 9 p.m., a pyrotechnical extravaganza to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Parks Canada. Winterlude runs Friday to Sunday, Feb. 4 to 21. Various events and locations.


One of the most powerful things an art exhibit can do is bring you closer to understanding the incomprehensible — in this case, the disappearance of 34,278 people during the Yugoslav wars. The exhibit, a collaboration between Canadian author Rory MacLean and award-winning photographer Nick Danziger, documents the efforts to find and repatriate the missing loved ones of 15 families, through words and images. This highly insightful, moving exhibit runs until Sept 5. $12, $10 seniors and students, $8 children, $30 families. Canadian War Museum, 1 Vimy Place, 819-776-8600.

There’s no shortage of great shows this weekend, but money on Rich Aucoin is a sure bet. This Halifax dance-pop musician is fantastic live, with more confetti and balloons than a kid’s birthday party. The combined experience of catchy pop beats and found-footage video art makes for a sweaty, euphoric show totally unlike your typical concert. If you miss out this weekend, mark your calendar for Feb. 18, when he comes through Ottawa again to blast our winter blues away. Friday, Feb 4. 8 p.m. $10. Cafe Dekcuf, 221 Rideau St., 1-888-222-6608.