BY MATT HARRISON & AMY ALLEN
Festival of the Night Sky
Over the past century, as the world has grown and cities expanded, light pollution has dimmed the stars and forced darkness from the night. This has had adverse affects on human health and the world’s ecosystems, not to mention altered our perception — perhaps even our awareness — of celestial objects. At Cube Gallery, Nocturne VII: Festival of the Night Sky seeks to celebrate the beauty of starlight with lectures, music, and sidewalk telescope parties.
On Thursday, July 2, Mike Moghadam of the Ottawa Centre Royal Astronomical Society of Canada shows us that the night sky is about more than just the moon and a handful of stars. He leads a discussion on the wonders that can be found in the heavens — constellations, auroras, distant planets, comets, even the Milky Way. The lecture takes place from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Cube Gallery, and is followed by a sidewalk telescope party at 9.30 p.m.
On Sunday, July 5, the gallery hosts a vernissage for a new exhibit, E=MC Cubed, by artist Denis Larouche. Art and science, the artist’s twin passions, come together in an exploration of his travels throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.
The festival continues until July 9. Here, for complete schedule. Admission is free.
Cube Gallery is at 1285 Wellington St. W.
A Stormy Start to Summer Stagecraft
It’s a rite of summer; something that occurs all over the English world annually. Bear & Co., a traveling theatre company will be making a stop in Ottawa between July 3 to July 26 to deliver The Tempest — a play considered to be perhaps the last play The Bard wrote, and also his most musical and most lyrical — at parks throughout Ottawa, beginning this Friday, July 3 in Strathcona Park.
Unfolding in real time (the events in the play take place in the span of a few hours), The Tempest tells the tale of Prospero, the rightful Duke of Milan, who plots to restore his daughter, Miranda to the throne. Using magic, he summons a storm to lure his usurping brother as well as the complicit King of Naples to the island in order to reveal true intents and redeem the King through a marriage with Miranda. It’s all set on an isolated island.
Some see The Tempest as a comment on colonialism; others read into it a psycho-analytical theme; some have even suggested that Prospero represents Shakespeare who’s renunciation of magic is The Bard saying ‘farewell’. Suggested donation is $20. It starts at 7 p.m. Bring a blanket, chair, and a … water gun?!? There will also be food trucks serving up pizza, paninis and frozen custard. More info on the weekend / month-long schedule (it plays at different parks on different days ), visit here.
… and The Bard’s Comedic Mistake
Twenty-five years ago, A Company of Fools tackled Shakespeare’s A Comedy of Errors as their first full-length theatrical production. For this season’s annual foray into the outdoors, the Company is putting on A Comedy of Errors — it will be an opportunity to see how far they’ve come, whilst filling the stage with colourful costumes, slapstick, word play, romance, and rhyme. The performances are in parks throughout Ottawa over the summer, from July 2 to August 15, from this Thursday, July 2 at Strathcona Park, moving to Anthony Vincent Park in Manor Park on Friday, July 3, and Alexander Grove Park in Stittsville on Saturday, July 4. Suggested donation is $15. All shows start at 7 p.m. More info, including where they’ll be performing, visit here. Again, make sure to bring insect repellant, blankets, chairs, etc.
Something in the Water — Pokey LaFarge
When he was growing up in the American Midwest, Pokey LaFarge developed a love for history and American literature — particularly works by Jack Kerouac and Ernest Hemingway. They’re interests he carried forward into his songwriting. With his mandolin in hand, LaFarge takes you back to the days of swing and ragtime blues, but without sounding dated. Touring songs from his latest album, Something in the Water, LaFarge plays at Ritual Nightclub on Friday, July 3. Tickets $20. Ritual Nightclub is at 137 Besserer St.
Music and Beyond, Festival
Music: it’s said to be the food of love, the strongest form of magic, the universal language of mankind. Music and Beyond hits all of these notes and more with two weeks of programming that bring together orchestras, small ensembles, bands, choirs, and baroque groups.
On Saturday, July 4, the opening gala at Dominion-Chalmers United Church features music by the grand masters, including Mozart’s Quartet in G minor, Schubert’s Quartettsatz, and Debussy’s The Girl With the Flaxen Hair.
On Sunday, July 5, catch esteemed conductor Boris Brott as he leads the National Arts Centre Orchestra in a rousing rendition of Beethoven’s Overture to Prometheus, plus selections by Mozart and Brott’s composer father, Alexander.
The festival continues until July 17. Various locations. Here, for venue information. Tickets from $30.
Farm Beer Bash
Owned and operated for more than 100 years, one of the oldest, still working farms in the area is Hendricks Farm in Old Chelsea. Clocking that kind of mileage certainly earns a refreshing cold one — or several. Thankfully, the Marché des Brasseurs (Quebec Brewery Market) is brewing up a beer bash this Saturday, July 4 at Hendricks Farm. The event will showcase Quebec’s finest such as BDT, Dunham, Le Castor, Microbrasserie Goudale, and Gainsbourg. Plus food from local eateries Tante Carole, The Village House, and Patisserie La Toque! Drive away with some fresh veg from their farm store too. Admission is free; it’ll be held, rain or shine, from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. To book a shuttle from Ottawa, visit here. More info on the farm, here.
Hendricks Farm is at 3 chemin, Chelbrook, Old Chelsea, just up Hwy 5.