Westfest is happening this weekend — and for the first time, it’s fully licensed, with Clock Tower Brew Pub beer on offer. The annual street party — spanning a full 14 blocks — will be met with a stage packed with Canadian talent. The celebration of our country’s art and culture features a huge variety of performances: contemporary dance, Aboriginal art, kids’ entertainment, and buskers, to name a few. Bif Naked is headlining this year, back from a two-year hiatus where she battled and overcame breast cancer. Opening for her is Vancouver’s indie rockers The Pack A.D. Friday, June 10, to Sunday June 12. Scheduled performances from 5:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. Richmond Road and Kirkwood Ave. (streets closed on Richmond Road between McRae and Berkley Avenues). www.westfest.ca
We’re a sucker for the alt-country songstress. For Moonshine, her fifth album, Maki invited a group of veteran musician friends from Cuff The Duke, The Pinecones, Fembots, and The Minotaurs to come visit her in Sudbury for a couple of days. During two of the coldest days of the year — December 20 and 21, 2008 — they created the album in between trips to the sauna. Maki teams up with Frederick Squire (who is promoting his album, Frederick Squire Sings Shenandoah and Other Popular Hits) for an intimate concert at Raw Sugar Cafe. Friday, June 10. 9 p.m. $10. Raw Sugar Cafe, 692 Somerset St. W..
BRITANNIA BEACH 5K RUN
If last month’s marathon intimidated you, this race might be more your style. The 5K run/walk travels along the Ottawa River at Britannia Beach. It’s happening alongside the Ottawa Riverkeeper Festival, so you’ll get to see some of the triathlon and duathlon action as you make your way along the site. This year, they’ve also added a 3K run and a quick kids’ 1K. Perfect if you’re looking for something more leisurely, or just want to get your feet wet. Late registrations Friday afternoon and early Saturday morning. Saturday, June 11. 8:40 a.m. Ron Kolbus Lakeside Centre, Britannia Park. 102 Greenview Avenue. www.somersault.ca/eventottawariverkeeperrun.htm
TODAY I CAUGHT THE PLAGUE CD RELEASE
They mix powerful melodies with an aggressive metal core, creating sounds that make you want to dance, scream, and push people. The boys of Ottawa’s Today I Caught the Plague are releasing their first full-length album, Lore, this weekend. The six-part band has been together since 2007 and is kicking off their summer tour with the release. With Paramedics and Endast. Saturday, June 11. 7:30 p.m. $10 advance, $12 at the door. Ritual Nightclub, 137 Besserer Street.
CANADA DANCE FEST + MCMILLAN (FREE!)
The dance fest teams up with marketing hipsters McMillan to produce a performance art event using McMillan’s historic ByWard Market building as a stage and backdrop. We can’t quite picture what it’s going to look and sound like, but we know it will be super-creative: Ottawa choreographer Julia Gutsik of luv2groove is involved, as are a number of local dancers, and the team (and building) of McMillan. Be there. Saturday, June 11. 9:30 p.m. George Street at the corner of Sussex Drive.
BLOOMS & BERRIES FUNDRAISER
Food, flowers, and a good cause. This year’s Blooms & Berries will have plants, pastries, and crafts for sale. The Ottawa Humane Society’s Auxiliary has also invited celebrated Ottawa gardener, Mary Pratte, to discuss the secrets behind her green thumb. (Mary began to hone her skills at age five, when she would follow her parents’ gardener around the yard, asking him questions and learning all she could. Later, she became president of the Canadian Peony Society.) Sunday, June 12, 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. $20. Glebe Community Centre, 175 Third Ave. www.ottawahumane.ca/events/blooms.cfm
HANDMADE BOOK ARTS SHOW & SALE (FREE!)
A great event for book lovers and artists alike. As digital books become more and more popular, this year’s show is asking the question ‘what is the future of books?’ Accomplished book artists and artisans come together for an exhibition, with a talk series led by keynote speaker and award-winning artist George Walker. Known as one of the most unusual wood engravers in the country, this book artist/professor will touch on key points for what is to come in the world of book making. Other guests include private press printers, designer-bookbinders, papermakers, printmakers, and multimedia artists. Learn how paper is made, and how to put a book together out of wood and metal. Saturday, June 11, 10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington St. www.mmcgovern.com/cbbag-ov/bookFair2011.html
If you missed them on tour with Caribou, the electro/dance duo Junior Boys will be in town Friday night. The guys from Hamilton will be playing tracks from their new album ‘It’s All True,’ inspired by everything from Orson Welles to banana ripple ice cream. With Montreal’s Miracle Fortress. Friday, June 10. Doors 8:00 p.m. $16. Mavericks Bar, 221 Rideau Street. www.juniorboys.net