THE WEEKENDER: Dragonboats, elephants without ears, and four more events for Father’s Day weekend
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THE WEEKENDER: Dragonboats, elephants without ears, and four more events for Father’s Day weekend

Take in the sights and sounds of this annual fundraising race that sees over 5,000 paddlers — and ten times as many spectators — flock to the shores of Mooney’s Bay. And it’s not just the high paced, adrenalin-infused races that get the crowds going. This year’s schedule of free concerts includes Steven Page, The Trews, Jim Bryson, and Monkey Junk. June 17-19. See website for race and concert schedules. Mooney’s Bay Park, Riverside Drive between Walkley and Hog’s Back Roads.


Bronze Elephant by Christopher Griffin.

This special exhibit highlights the work of local artist Christopher Griffin, specifically, the sculpture and drawings created during a recent trip to India. Working out of a family-run foundry in the town of Kunhimangalam, Griffin used traditional methods of bronze casting to create a series of elephant sculptures — without ears. (Read more about the process here.) The exhibit includes bronzes, concrete, paintings, and drawings from Griffin’s time at Paravathi Metal. Friday, June 17, 7 p.m. — late;  Saturday, June 18 and Sunday, June 19,  noon — 5 p.m. The Media Arts Building, Studio #20, 203 Catherine St.

In honour of National Aboriginal Day, this family festival offers a chance to experience and celebrate diverse Aboriginal cultures. The usual festival activities are on the bill (pony rides, a petting zoo, bouncy castles), but you can also explore an artisan village, which features interactive arts workshops, demonstrations, vendors, and traditional food. There will also be live performances taking place throughout the weekend, with an international competition powwow, a headline show by Shane Yellowbird, an “Aboriginal Canada We’ve Got Talent!” competition with more than $15,000 in prize money, and a cultural showcase featuring traditional and contemporary Aboriginal arts. Free, donations gratefully accepted. Friday, June 17, to Sunday, June 19. Lebreton Flats Park, 613-722-0315.

Hockey season is mercifully over! Summertime, summertime beckons. And what could be more summer than volleyball? And though this ain’t the beach variety, watching powerhouse male players from the likes of Brazil, the US, and — yes — Canada should be good for inspiration at least. Friday, June 17 is the date for the championship semi-finals (U.S. vs. Puerto Rico at 6 p.m. and Canada vs. Brazil at 8 p.m.). Saturday, June 18 is the day for the Bronze Medal game (6 p.m.) and the Championship (8 p.m.). Tickets are $18 ($14 for seniors and students) for the Friday matches. The Championship match is $29. Centre Robert Guertin, 125, rue de Carillon, Gatineau, 819-773-7360.

This singer/songwriter from Toronto brings her upbeat, folk-infused brand of country to Ottawa after the recent release of her latest album, Little Red Boots. A unique genre she refers to as “a roadside motel love affair between old school outlaws and country darlings,” her tunes will have you swaying in your seat and tapping your (cowboy boot-clad) toes. Interesting fact: she’s opened for UK band Keane and Kevin Costner’s band The Modern West. $10 in advance. Saturday, June 18, 9 p.m. Café Dekcuf, 221 Rideau St.

Here’s an event right up Dad’s alley. The Billings Estate’s annual Father’s Day antique car show teams up antique cars with live music by Swampwater Jazz and a barbecue lunch. For $16 per family visitors can spend the day enjoying live music by Swampwater Jazz and are welcome to pack a picnic or enjoy the BBQ lunch. June 19. 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. $16. Billings Estate National Historic Site, 2100 Cabot St.