THE WEEKENDER: Lots of wine, a flash mob, and maybe a bit of MMA action
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THE WEEKENDER: Lots of wine, a flash mob, and maybe a bit of MMA action



Celebrate the sweet taste of summer one last time at this funky fundraiser.  We’re told ice cream plays a leading role in the Company of Fools play A Midwinter’s Dream Tale, which is part of the 2011-2012 season at the Great Canadian Theatre Company. So a sundae bar is a natural fit — right? Always surprising, ever the innovator, this is one Ottawa group that’s worth the brain freeze. Proceeds go toward a new set for the show. Sunday, Sept. 25. 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. $20 per person suggested donation, $15 per person for families of three or more. Irving Greenberg Theatre Centre, 1233 Wellington St. W.

Billed as a “sweaty night of criss-cross tropical funk rhythms that explode with badass,” this Ottawa standby never disappoints. The Souljazz Orchestra offers an exuberant and spiritual experience that transcends genres and warms from the inside out, so arrive early and well-hydrated for hours of dance floor revelry. (If you’re a groupie, or just previously engaged on Friday, the band is also playing with DJ KYOU at Les Boubards in Montreal on Saturday, Sept. 24.) With DJ Zattar. Friday, Sept. 23. 10:00 p.m. Babylon Nightclub, 317 Bank St.

Become a Youtube sensation at “Ottawa’s First Official Flash Mob” (the mayor will be there, so it really is official). Organized by Black Belt Excellence Martial Arts Academy for their 25th anniversary, this is a fun opportunity for people of all ages to dance their pants off. The organizers are hoping to draw 300 to 500 people (so if your dancing isn’t top notch, don’t worry!) before breaking it down for the big performance. RSVP on their Facebook page, where you can watch videos of last week’s rehearsal and learn the steps. Sept. 25, 11 a.m. 62 Stonehaven Dr.

Little Italy’s annual celebration of food, wine, and culture is back, so whether you’re an oenophile, a foodie, or an arts lover, there’s something for you. The event kicks off with a Moveable Feast on Thursday, where groups explore the culinary diversity in this neighbourhood and try gourmet dishes. There will also be a charity wine auction (Friday), a farmers’ market (Saturday), an outdoor art sale (Saturday and Sunday), and a food and wine show (Sunday). On Sunday there’s also the Sakto Corporation’s Grape Stomp, which features a timed relay race that’s unlike any other — obstacles include pizza dough tossing, pasta cooking, table setting, and grape stomping. This portion raises funds for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation. Sept. 22 to 25. Price varies by activity, some activities free. Preston Street.

Wine lovers get your bidding cards ready. Music & Beyond teams up with Savvy Company for a charity wine auction fundraiser. Savvy’s sommeliers will be on hand to answer questions on the wines. This auction kicks off with a sommelier-led Italian wine tasting paired with hors d’oeuvres made by the chefs at Trattoria Caffe Italia. Guest auctioneers are Mario Bouchard, Laurence Wall, and Debbie Trenholm in a 142-lot sale that includes ready-to-drink wines for every day as well as collector bottles. $50 (ticket price will be credited towards the purchase of wines at the auction). Friday, Sept. 23. 6:30 p.m. onwards. For more info and to see the wine catalogue, visit Music & Beyond’s website. Location: Trattoria Caffe Italia, 254 Preston St.

The creative types up there in the hills can’t get enough festivals! They’ve launched the Chelsea Harvest Fest, with lots of food, music, art, creative workshops, buskers, and games for the kids. The Friday, Sept. 23, program runs 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and includes an outdoor musical show with the likes of The Flats, Eko, PIVI et les Malpris, and Godlalune. Saturday, Sept. 24, sees events from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. with lots of events for kids until 5 p.m. and musical shows throughout the evening. Some 20 local artists will also be exhibiting their work inside at the Chelsea Arts, Culture, and Heritage Centre during the fest. Location: behind Chelsea Arts, Culture and Heritage Centre, 212 Old Chelsea Road, Chelsea.

Now you might not go out of your way for this one — unless you’re a serious mixed martial arts fan, that is — but if you’re in the Market on Sunday afternoon, you might just want to pop into Chapters on Rideau to check out the action. Could be a most unusual book signing. Rumour has it that “Big” John McCarthy will be signing his new memoir, Let’s Get It On!: The Making of the MMA and Its Ultimate Referee. McCarthy, the sport’s top ref for close to two decades, promises fans a rare view from inside the Octagon. As they say, “no holds barred!”  Sunday, Sept. 25. 2 p.m. Chapters, 47 Rideau St., 613-241-0073.