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WEEKENDER: Five things to do in Ottawa on the weekend of January 31 – February 2

A still from the film, Inn i mørket (Into the Dark), a Norwegian drama being shown at Bright Nights: 4th annual Baltic and Nordic film festival (February 1-12)
A still from the film, Inn i mørket (Into the Dark), a Norwegian drama being shown at Bright Nights: 4th annual Baltic and Nordic film festival (February 1-12)

In this edition of Weekender: Swiss party, Freak show, Super 8, Baltic/Nordic Cinema, Icing/d-icing.

Cabaret Voltaire
The Capital’s winter festival gets underway this weekend with the Ottawa Art Gallery’s annual Winterlude kick-starter, On The Rocks party. Dada for Switzerland, is being held on Friday, January 31 at the gallery, and features food, drink, and entertainment from that alpine country. Amidst the present art exhibitions, partygoers can expect to sample raclette cheese, homemade rösti (Swiss potato pancakes), and Swiss wine, and enjoy performances from the Montagna Singers Swiss Choir, Alpine horn player John Loretan, and William Tell-inspired games (think ‘shooting an apple from someone’s head’-type fun). Advance tickets are already sold-out, but a limited number of tickets will still be available at the door the night of the event: $20.00. Starts at 7:30 p.m., until 10:30 p.m.

Cancer Freak Project (FREE)
Judy DeBoer has breast cancer. She also has a passion for art and design. But the traumatic experience, which has involved significant changes to her body, have left her unable to continue her costume and set design work. Instead, she’s turned the camera onto herself, photographing the transformation of her body – scars, hair loss, and swelling – in order for her and others to understand the changes. The Cancer Freak Project is being shown from Friday, January 31 to Thursday, February 6 at Le Petite Mort Gallery, 306 Cumberland Street. There is a vernissage on Friday from 7 – 10 p.m.

Freeze! (FREE)
Ten filmmakers were given 24 hours in which to shoot Super 8mm short films using the theme of Freeze Frame – also the title of the event, which is being held at Club Saw, 67 Nicholas Street on Friday, January 31. Organized by Independent Filmmakers Co-operative of Ottawa, Freeze Frame is on the same night and in the adjoining building to Ottawa Art Gallery’s On The Rocks: Dada for Switzerland party – which means, after the screenings, your Freeze Frame pin will get you into the OAG’s party for half price. Fun, whimsical cinema + Swiss culture = great night out!

 …Speaking of Film
In spite of the dearth of cinemas in downtown Ottawa, there are still opportunities to enjoy film – Bright Nights is one of those. The Canadian Film Institute, in collaboration with various embassies, and in connection with Winterlude, is hosting the 4th annual Baltic and Nordic film festival. Held at the Library and Archives Auditorium on 395 Wellington Street, the festival will showcase some of the best contemporary selections from those countries from February 1st to 12th.  The first two selections on Saturday, February 1 feature Veregrupp (Blood Type), a hard look at Estonian soldiers in Afghanistan, and Inn i mørket (Into the Dark), a Norwegian drama surrounding a boy who is struck by a car and his family’s subsequent suspicions. The full lineup can be viewed online at www.cfi-icf.ca. Individual tickets: $12 non-members; $8 members, or festival passes: $50 non-members; $40 members.

Art Freeze/Melt (FREE)
In recent years, Winterlude has often been characterized by intermittent (and unwanted) cooling and warming periods, causing havoc for ice sculptors. But this icing/d-icing brings into mind the memory of water and what it contains when it freezes or melts ­– from the discovery of the 2,500-year-old Ice Maiden in the 1990s, to the on-going melting of icebergs. Those themes will be part of the Enriched Bread Artistsicing-d-icing Winterlude event, from Saturday, February 1 to Thursday, February 16. The exhibition is the collective work of the Enriched Bread Artists, and will take place, on various dates and times throughout that period, at their studio on 951 Gladstone Avenue: Feb 1, 1-5 p.m.; Feb 2,8,9,15, & 16, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.