THE WEEKENDER: Contemporary dance, an a cappella concert, and five other fun outings
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THE WEEKENDER: Contemporary dance, an a cappella concert, and five other fun outings

Traces, presented by the School of Dance, is all about contemporary dance.

Like watching better than doing? How about a night of contemporary dance featuring new works by some of Canada’s leading choreographers. Heidi Strauss from Toronto and Louise Bédard from Montreal are just two whose work will be featured alongside local choreographers in Traces. Performed by the up-and-coming contemporary dance students from the School of Dance. Friday, Dec. 16, and Saturday, Dec. 17, 7:30 p.m. $25, $20 for students and seniors. Arts Court Theatre, 2 Daly Ave., 613-564-7240.

Or do your own contemporary dancing at Ritual Nightclub as you enjoy tunes by curly-haired indie songstress, St. Vincent. Also known as Annie Clark, the singer-songwriter worked with Sufjan Stevens’ performing band before releasing her debut album in 2007. Now on her third album, entitled Strange Mercy, Clark has been hitting the road, performing her newest guitar-oriented ballads. Must be 19 and over. Friday, Dec. 16, 9 p.m. Tickets $23 in advance (available at Vertigo Records, The Record Shaap, or online). 137 Besserer St.

On a more Christmassy theme, the Stairwell Carollers are hosting an a cappella concert that’s all about Christmas spirit. The non-profit group, which has raised over $40,000 for local charities, performs in a variety of languages. Enjoy some Christmas tunes you may not be familiar with, as well as the classics. The performance will feature a rendition of “Silent Night,” with the verses sung in German, English, and French. Saturday, Dec. 17, 7:30 p.m. $15 at the door or available at Leading Note (370 Elgin St., Suite no. 2), Compact Music (785 ½ Bank St.) and Books on Beechwood (35 Beechwood Ave.). St. Columba Anglican Church, 24 Sandridge Rd.

Create a cloud mobile with your kids at the Canada Science and Technology Museum.

Looking for some family fun? If your kids are fascinated by astronomy, this is the perfect opportunity to learn all about space. This workshop, which explores weather on other planets, is just one of a nine-part series. The 90-minute session at the Canada Science and Technology Museum is hands-on, letting kids create real clouds indoors and make their very own cloud mobile to hang up at home. Designed for ages four to 12. Saturday, Dec. 16, and Sunday, Dec. 17, 7 p.m. $30 for parent and child ($10 per workshop, three workshops minimum required for sign up). 1867 St. Laurent Blvd., 613-991-3044.

And more dancing! Put on those dancing shoes for a night of sizzling salsa at Ottawa Arts Court. Learn some new moves and improve your fancy footwork. New to salsa? Not to worry! Lessons begin at 5 p.m., so bring your friends and get grooving. Indoor dancing shoes required. Saturday, Dec. 17, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. Arts Court, 2 Daly Ave. (in the library room).

A perennial favourite, The Vinyl Café is live at the NAC this weekend with best-selling author and storytelling extraordinaire Stuart McLean. The show also features live music from The Vinyl Café Orchestra and Canadian sensation Hawksley Workman. Saturday, Dec. 17, 7 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 18, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. From $35. National Arts Centre, 53 Elgin St., 613-755-1111.

And on a more relaxed note, the Yap and Yarn Knitting Circle is the perfect place to bring your knitting project and get some advice from local experts Julie and Vivianne Stewart of Fine Fibre Finds in Stittsville. All are welcome at this monthly event to enjoy hot drinks and some knitting expertise. Recycled yarn is also be available for purchase (cash only). Sunday, Dec. 18, 1 p.m – 3 p.m. Goulbourn Museum, 2064 Huntley Rd., Stittsville, 613-831-2393.