THE WEEKENDER: Family fun, fashionable shows, a monster party to ward off cabin fever, plus Black History poetry and life drawing
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THE WEEKENDER: Family fun, fashionable shows, a monster party to ward off cabin fever, plus Black History poetry and life drawing

The Funatorium Explorium is all about hands-on fun for parents and kids to play together. You’ll have a chance to rock climb and joust, as well as meet Star Wars characters, princesses, and superheroes. At the stage, watch amazing performances from science to magic (including Ottawa’s own Eric Leclerc). Check the schedule for the show times of feature  presentation Free The Children. Saturday, Feb. 18 to Monday, Feb. 20. $19.99 or $75 for a family of four. Age 4+ appropriate. CE Centre, 4899 Uplands Dr.

Last fall, Simon Ekrelius wowed audiences with his avant-garde designs. What will raise eyebrows at this year's Ottawa Fashion Week?

Local and international designers fill the city this week for Ottawa Fashion Week. For the first time in partnership with Winterlude, OFW showcases the latest trends and continues to be an outlet for arts in the community such as photography, music, and film as well as fashion. Friday Feb. 17 to Sunday Feb. 19, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., $45, $90 three-day pass. The Westin Ottawa, 11 Colonel By Dr..

The February installment of this quirky series offers participants a chance to make their very own cuddly plush monster — the perfect way to beat cabin fever! Cover charge includes all materials, as well as solid beats from the Spins crew, courtesy DJ Pelletier and Meterman. Special guests include Hobo and Sweetcheeks (of Promdemonium, Kitchen Party fame). Friday, Feb. 17. 8 p.m. $8. James Street Pub, 390 Bank St.

Early French Canada comes alive in this fun puppet show about Tante Rose and her talking cat, her willing helper Jean-Marc, and trapper René. There are great French Canadian folk songs and a show on Family Day. Read more about the original story (first published by Honoré Beauregard in 1892) on the Rag and Bone website.  Sunday, Feb.19 and Monday, Feb. 20 at 1:30 p.m. $10, or four tickets for $32.

Take your drawing to a new level at this fun and engaging workshop with local artist Christian S. Aluas. Aluas has taught art professionally for 10 years and worked full time as an artist, specializing in portraits, graphic novels, and illustrations. With an emphasis on proportion, the workshop will offer various tips and tricks for budding artists. Sunday, Feb. 19. 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. $75. Patrick John Mills Gallery, 286 Hinchey Ave.

Celebrate Black History Month with three of the city’s most well-loved poets: John Akpata, Jacqueline Lawrence, and Joanne John. (Read more about the poets here.) The event is a fundraiser for The Black Youth Congress, and presented as part of The Dusty Owl Reading Series. An open set will follow, and audience members are encouraged to bring their own reflections — in verse or in song — on this important annual event. Sunday, Feb. 19. 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.