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WEEKENDER: Hot air balloons and portraits of Bluesfest, plus Serbian flare, theatre deals, and more for your long weekend

Original images of Bluesfest 2012 created by 18 of Ottawa’s most celebrated artists are being put out for silent auction. Artists drew inspiration for their pieces from the site, the sky, and whatever else caught their interest, and created one-of-a-kind paintings and photographs to be sold with 100 percent of the proceeds going to Blues in the Schools, a charity that brings professional musicians into schools in Ottawa to help kids learn to make and play music. Thursday, August 30, 7 p.m. Patrick Gordon Framing, 160 Elm St., www.patrickgordonframing.ca.

A nighttime shot of the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival.

This year marks the 25th edition of the renowned festival at the Parc de la Baie in Gatineau. An amusement park, circus entertainment, and — of course — many hot air balloons fill the weekend. With a lineup of nightly performances, including KC and the Sunshine Band and Quebec’s own Simple Plan, this festival is staging an unforgettable anniversary. Friday, August 31, to Monday, September 3. $22-$26. Parc de la Baie, Rue Saint-Louis and Rue Suzanne, Gatineau, www.montgolfieresgatineau.com.

Paintings inspired by the calm colour yellow adorn the walls at Tay Gallery, bringing to mind the laid back musings of sixties’ tunes like Donovan’s “Mellow Yellow,” which inspired the name for the group show. Featuring new works by Elizabeth Elkin, Susan Jillette, Martha Markowsky, and more. Exhibit ends Friday, August 31. Tay Gallery. 471 Hazeldean Rd., Kanata, www.taygallerykanata.com.

Sports tournaments are kicking off the festival on Saturday, with three days of arts and crafts, Serbian folk dance lessons, face painting, and nightly entertainment to follow. Saturday, September 1, to Monday, September 3. Food served noon to 10 p.m. daily. Serbian Orthodox Church, 3662 Albion Rd., www.serbianfest.svetistefan.ca.

Rich Little is hitting up the stage for a special Ottawa Little Theatre benefit show. A legendary impressionist and comedian, Little will be performing his one-man show Jimmy Stewart and Friends for the audience, where he does impressions of iconic celebrities that include Katherine Hepburn, Cary Grant, John Wayne, and many more. $90. Saturday, September 1, 8 p.m. Ottawa Little Theatre, 400 King Edward Ave., www.ottawalittletheatre.com.

Mary (Rachel Jones) tries to wake Bob (Matthew Olver) after he took sleeping pills instead of vitamins, while lawyer Oscar (Alan Lee) tries to help out in the comedy classic Mary, Mary.

With the end of the festival’s third summer season comes special admission prices for the comic hit play, Mary, Mary, a product of the era that inspired Mad Men and Pan Am. The story focuses on Mary and Bob, recently separated, who meet in the hopes of averting an audit by the IRS. As with all screwball comedies, an unforeseen twist of fate throws a quirky and hilarious bunch of characters (which, in this case, range from Bob’s much younger fiancée to a Hollywood heartthrob) into the mix. From Wednesday, August 29, to Sunday, September 2, students (university/college included) get in for free with any parent who purchases tickets, and in honour of Labour Day, all union members and public servants get a 20 percent discount on tickets for the last week as well. $20.30-$33.50. Mason Theatre, Perth & District Collegiate Institute, 3 Victoria St., Perth, www.classictheatre.ca.