WEEKENDER: Nature Museum nightlife, a lumberjack showdown, and more in this colourful compilation of weekend events
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WEEKENDER: Nature Museum nightlife, a lumberjack showdown, and more in this colourful compilation of weekend events

It’s a birthday of sorts! The Canadian Film Institute is celebrating an impressive 17 years of the annual Latin American Film Festival. All 16 films making their debut in Ottawa demonstrate the richness and diversity of Latin American culture and are by some of Latin America’s finest filmmakers. Films are in their original language with English sub-titles. From March 21 to April 7. $12, students and seniors $8. Library and Archives Canada building (Auditorium), 395 Wellington St., See website for showtimes, www.cfi-icf.ca.

Nature Nocturne takes over the Museum of Nature for its third edition. Photo by Martin Lipman © Canadian Museum of Nature.

A great way to warm up those joints after a long winter, the Nature Nocturne party is beckoning you out of hibernation! Grab your friends and shimmy and shake through the castle’s workshops, galleries, and art installations. You can also meet and greet with the artists to the rhythm of guest DJs. This highly interactive environment promises a titillating (and educational?) time for all those who attend. $20. Friday, March 22, 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. Canadian Museum of Nature, 240 McLeod St., www.nature.ca.

Tired after a long week at work? Kick off the weekend with some sugar. The Ottawa Hospital Foundation and the Canadian Cancer Society are hosting the 5th annual Grand Desserts Affair. With prizes to be won, top chefs from across the city sweeten the deal by whipping up cakes, pastries, and other treats at dessert stations. And what you can really feel good about is that proceeds go towards cancer care in Ottawa. $75. Friday, March 22, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Ashbury College, 362 Mariposa Ave., www.ohfoundation.ca.

The Soul Motivators play Mercury Lounge on Friday night.

The Soul Motivators are on a mission: to restore your faith in funk. This nine-piece, three-horn ensemble from Toronto produces a unique blend of funk, soul, and hip-hop that is sure to get the whole crowd on the dance floor. On tour promoting their self-titled EP, their Ottawa stop off at the Mercury Lounge is not something you want to miss. $10. Friday, March 22, 10 p.m. Mercury Lounge, 56 Byward Market Square, www.mercurylounge.com.

The Maple Sugar Festival is coming to a close this weekend. Sit back and watch a crazy competition as contestants roll up the sleeves of their flannel shirts, sharpen their axes, and tackle a number of logging events. Fuel up for the Lumberjack’s Challenge with a $6 pancake breakfast ($4 for kids under 10). Saturday, March 23, 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Vanier Museopark, 300, avenue des Pères Blancs, www.museoparc.ca.

Prepare for Easter by stocking up the shelves ahead of time. The Westboro Easter Food Market has baked goods, preserves, dressings, tea, treats, and meats to help plan your menu for the holiday weekend. If you get a bit hungry as you peruse the goodies, Relish food truck is on site to tame your appetite. Saturday, March 23, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Westboro Masonic Temple, 430 Churchill Ave., www.osfa.ca/events/taste-of-ottawa-easter-food-market.

In celebration of its 100th anniversary, Ottawa Little Theatre has been showcasing 10 of its most popular, unique, or memorable plays from the past 10 decades. The 1970s are up to bat and it doesn’t disappoint! Under the direction of John Collins, Ira Levin’s comedy-thriller Deathtrap will have you on the edge of your seat as a once renowned mystery writer struggles to return to his former glory. $25, seniors $22, students $12. Until April 6. Ottawa Little Theatre, 400 King Edward Ave., www.ottawalittletheatre.com.

Thinking of updating your outdoor space this spring? In need of a renovation? Then a trip to the Ottawa Home and Garden Show is in order. With exhibitors and celebrity guests dishing out all the dirt on decoration, renovation, and landscaping, we bet you’ll leave feeling inspired. March 21 to 24. $12, seniors and students $10, free for children under 12, Ernst and Young Centre, 4899 Uplands Dr., www.salonshabitationottawa.com.

From the earliest use of coins in China, to Canada’s newest series of bank notes, the history of currency spans many centuries. Visit the Currency Museum’s In the Money exhibit to find out what’s gone on behind the scenes of currency production over the years. Interactive stations and displays full of fun facts and insights make this a great time for the whole family (and will likely offer up the opportunity to yell out “Show me the money!” and who doesn’t want that?). Until June 23. Currency Museum of the Bank of Canada, 245 Sparks St., www.currencymuseum.ca.