BY MATT HARRISON
Once considered the first day of Spring, May 1 was celebrated in more ancient times with young people dancing around phallic-shaped maypoles (also thought to symbolize the world axis or, in Norse cultures, as the universe itself). In the 19th C., it was adopted by the workers of the world as International Worker’s Day — which it still is today. For some countries (Russia, I’m looking at you), May 1 also became a day to parade all manner of assorted weapons of mass destruction, because nothing says birth and renewal like an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile armed with a five-megaton nuclear warhead.
This May 1st weekend, celebrate the birth of spring (so to speak) by attending a variety of non-lethal, less phallic events.
Happy Birthday Café Nostalgica
Bust our your platinum (cuz we all have oodles of platinum lying around?!?) Café Nostalgica is celebrating its 20th anniversary this Thursday, April 30. That house-y looking coffee spot at the University of Ottawa is throwing a Quebec-themed b-day bash, which includes loads of music — Chloe Perrault, Moonfruits, The Howards, Mackenzie, Rhythm Section, and Capital DJ — and such provincial-themed food as cheeses, mini tortiere, poutine, pea soup, plus cotton candy, popcorn, and more. Show up before 8 p.m. and get a free drink. Decorate a mug even. $15. Starts at 6 p.m. More info, visit here.
Café Nostalgica is at 601 Cumberland St.
Still Life is Dividing, Multiplying (FREE!)
Breathing pore; protocell; hylozoic; hibernaculum — word-y words you’d expect to hear coming from the mouths of, say, scientists at the National Research Centre (or not, given the gov’t’s present gag-orders). But from visual artists?
Yet, the fusion of science and art is the protoplasm from which a new field is emerging: “Bioart features a diverse range of practices from the lab, the wilderness, and cities, which use cells, microbes, plants, and bodies (human and otherwise) in the production of art” — this according to the catalogue excerpt from the travelling exhibition, BioART: Collaborating With Life, which debuts on Thursday, April 30 at the Karsh-Masson Gallery. Curated by Jennifer Willet, it features works by her, and seven other artists, including a performance piece by Alana Bartol. The Thursday vernissage is from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The show is up until May 31. More info here.
Karsh-Masson Gallery is at 110 Laurier Ave.
Cold Specks (and gang) Steal the (Ontario) Scene
Ontario Scene kicks off this weekend — Friday, May 1 — with Cold Specks, a Toronto-based songstress and Juno/Polaris Prize nominee whose music has been called ‘doom soul’.
In spite of what that may conjure, be assured that Cold Speck’s music is deft, beautifully haunting, and her performances are mesmerizing. She’s playing with Etiquette — that’s Graham Walsh of Holy F*ck and Julie Fader, also a visual artist — along with Ottawa’s Boyhood. The former just released their debut in March (a must-hear if you’re fans of Air, The Chromatics); the latter produces experimental, drugged-out sounding pop (think The Brian Jonestown Massacre/Raveonettes). Show’s at 9 p.m.; tickets $15.
Ritual is at 137 Besserer St.
Main Street Market on McLeod
Where are the fiddleheads? The asparagus? Typically some of the first offerings from the soil, they appear to be absent from local shops — not surprising given the long winter, which has fresh veg lagging by a few weeks. And yet, the late start to the season won’t deter the Main Street Farmer’s Market from opening this Saturday, May 2 — except, that it isn’t being held on Main Street near St. Paul’s University. During the on-going construction on that road, it’ll be held, instead, at the Canadian Museum of Nature on McLeod for the next two years — every Saturday from May 1 until end of October, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Canadian Museum of Nature is at 240 McLeod St.