WEEKENDER: Musical throwbacks, art battles, birthday parties, plus Verdi, Elvis, and four more gigs to kick off May
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WEEKENDER: Musical throwbacks, art battles, birthday parties, plus Verdi, Elvis, and four more gigs to kick off May

Les McKeown is rolling into town, bringing the music of Scotland’s international super group the Bay City Rollers along with him! Take a trip down memory lane and come sing along to hits such as “Saturday Night” and “Money Honey” as McKeown returns to Canada after a sold out tour in 2011. Although it’s been 47 years since the group’s formation, nostalgia has only made these classic songs better with time. $32. Friday, May 3, 8 p.m. Babylon, 317 Bank St., www.babylonclub.ca

Participants at last year's Art Battle prepare to paint —

On your mark, get set, paint! Working furiously behind back-to-back easels, some of Ottawa’s star painters make art look easy at this live painting competition. This dynamic event features 12 artists who are given 20 minutes to paint their best work on a given subject and vye for audience votes. The winner will advance to the championship event in Toronto. Once the frantic competition wraps up, the pieces will be available for silent auction. $15, students and advance tickets $10. Sunday, May 5, 7 p.m. Arts Court Studio and Theatre, 2 Daly Ave., www.artbattle.ca

Canada Agriculture Museum has new digs and a new name! Henceforth called Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, today they’ll be unveiling their new Learning Centre and exhibition A Piece of Cake! which demonstrates the complicated process of producing the ingredients for a cake. Other things to check out include learning labs, a dairy barn, a small animal barn, a demonstration kitchen, and ice cream making. $10, students and seniors $8, children three to 12 $7, children under three free. Saturday, May 4. Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, 861 Prince of Wales Dr., www.agriculture.technomuses.ca

ALIVE @ 25 (FREE!)
Centrepointe Theatre and Ben Franklin Place turn 25 this year, and they’re throwing a birthday party with something fun for everyone! The little ones can create their own music at the Musical Petting Zoo, and enjoy a performance from Juno-nominated children’s performer Jennifer Gasoi. For the big kids, performances include Aboriginal Experiences Hoop Dancing, Mushfiq Ensemble, comedian Buddy Wasisname, and buskers who will be wandering around all day. Workshops and demonstrations ranging from juggling to remote control robots will delight party-goers of all ages. Saturday, May 4, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Dr., www.centrepointetheatre.ca

Calling all enthusiasts of the printed word! The Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild are hosting their bi-annual Book Arts Show. Those in attendance can look forward to demonstrations and speakers throughout the day on the subjects of bookbinding, calligraphy, letterpress, and wood engraving, as well as exhibits from 25 Canadian bookbinders and book artists. Saturday, May 4, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington St., www.cbbagottawa.wordpress.com

New and expecting parents will be relieved to learn about this expo, which showcases businesses in the Ottawa region dedicated to making life a little bit easier for growing families. While toddlers are entertained at the Kid’s Corner, parents are free to peruse 35 exhibitors and several seminars that address crucial concerns some may have in early parenthood. Saturday, May 4, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. South Fallingbrook Community Centre, 998 Valin St., Orleans, www.ottawamommyclub.ca

Primarily known for his operas, Giuseppe Verdi has been ranked as one of the 15 greatest composers of all time. In honour of what would have been his 200th birthday, the Ottawa Classical Choir celebrates by performing some of the beautiful well-known arias and choruses that Verdi contributed to the music community. $30, seniors $25, students $10. Saturday, May 4, 7:30 p.m. Dominion-Chalmers United Church, 355 Cooper St., www.ottawaclassicalchoir.com

You won’t be able to help falling in love with Elvis all over again as Pete Paquette takes the stage for a tribute concert to The King of Rock’n’Roll. Voted Las Vegas Elvis Festival’s best performer, Paquette has a number of other festival credentials that make him your closest bet to the real deal. Joined by Toronto’s Ruby and the Angels band, audiences will leave All Shook Up by this riveting performance. Saturday, May 4, 8 p.m. Harold Shenkman Hall, Shenkman Arts Centre, 245 Centrum Blvd., www.shenkmanarts.ca.

This exhibit is part of the new SPAO@EXPOSURE collaboration — an initiative that presents work by students and teachers from the School of the Photographic Arts: Ottawa at the Exposure Gallery located about Thyme & Again. Take in artistic prints by  Whitney Lewis-Smith, Dodie Lewis, and Neville Smith for a glimpse into the future of the city’s photographic community. Vernissage May 2nd, 6 p.m. Exhibit runs May 2 to June 11. Exposure Gallery, 1255 Wellington St. W. (second floor). www.exposuregallery.info