WEEKENDER: Outdoor concerts and a Van Gogh film series, plus plenty more to keep you busy from now until Sunday
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WEEKENDER: Outdoor concerts and a Van Gogh film series, plus plenty more to keep you busy from now until Sunday

This exciting festival celebrates the local arts scene by providing a stage for new ideas while promoting interaction between Downtown Rideau’s eclectic cultural, shopping, and dining communities. Theatre, live music, film screenings, dance productions, and more are on the bill at a variety of indoor and outdoor venues. Daily until Saturday, Aug. 25. Many outdoor events are free. National Arts Centre, Confederation Park, Ottawa Art Gallery, and four other downtown Rideau venues, www.downtownrideau.com.

Benedict Cumberbatch plays Van Gogh in the film Vincent Van Gogh: Painted with Words. Photo by the BBC (IPIX/Kno/Por).

Can’t get enough Van Gogh? The artist’s works move from canvas to the big screen with a free film series in the auditorium of the National Gallery. This Thursday and Saturday, a 10-minute short about Van Gogh’s last days, entitled Dear Theo, will be screened, followed by a longer feature about the artist’s life. On Thursday it’s Vincent Van Gogh. Derniers Jours à Auvers-sur-Oise, an hour-long production about his last two months, during which he created 10 percent of his work. On Saturday the second film is Vincent Van Gogh: Painted with Words, which focuses in-depth on Van Gogh’s letter exchange with his brother Theo. Thursday, July 19, at 6 p.m., and Saturday, July 21, at 2 p.m. National Gallery of Canada, 380 Sussex Dr., www.gallery.ca/vangogh.

As a Caribbean festival, Haïti en Fête is a musical celebration of Caribbean culture, as well as other minority francophone cultures in Ottawa. It aims to showcase local and international, well-known and up-and-coming talent, with over a dozen acts over the course of three days. Friday, July 20, to Sunday, July 22. $15-$45. Petrie Island, 727 Trim Rd., www.haitienfete.ca.

Now in its 22nd season, this three-day event in Perth provides a venue for music lovers to groove to folk, jazz, country, and world music. People come from all corners to relax in the sun while enjoying tunes from Canadian and international artists. Local merchants, artisans, and food vendors take their top goods to the festival. Visitors are encouraged to participate in the workshops and mini-classes, such as Waterfront Yoga, Dance Fusion, and Reiki in the Park. Friday, July 20 to Sunday, July 22. Free admission, $20 for after hours shows. Stewart Park and other locations, Perth, www.stewartparkfestival.com.

Join local photographer and social media guru Justin Van Leeuwen for a photo walk around Ottawa’s historic Beechwood Village. Budding photographers and pros alike will appreciate the chance to spend two hours taking pictures with other Ottawans interested in photography. All you need is a comfortable pair of shoes and a camera (it doesn’t matter whether it’s a fancy DSLR, your cell phone, or an old Polaroid camera!). Saturday, July 21, 10 a.m. Free, but online registration is required. Bridgehead Coffee, 131 Beechwood Ave., http://domicile.ca/blog/?p=1937.

Grab a partner for Mitsubishi City Chase, an annual Amazing Race-style event.

Part scavenger hunt, part obstacle course, the Mitsubishi City Chase sends teams of two all over the city for a day-long urban adventure. Determined teams will complete a variety of physical and intellectual challenges in competition for the grand prize. Funds support Right to Play, an organization that uses sport and play to improve the lives of disadvantaged children all over the world. Saturday, July 21, 10 a.m. $150 registration for team of two, registration ends Friday at midnight. Check-in at Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Ave. W., www.mitsubishicitychase.com.

Agatha Christie lovers, prepare for a treat. This show, which was the first piece Christie wrote for the stage, offers all the intrigue one would expect from her. It tells the tale of atomic-bomb-plotting physicist Sir Claude Amory, to whom fate deals a terrible blow. Detective Poirot arrives to unravel what has occurred, and classic Christie plot twists and surprises ensue. Tuesday, July 17, to Saturday, July 28, with a matinee on Sunday, July 22. $25, seniors $22, students $10. Ottawa Little Theatre, 400 King Edward Ave., www.ottawalittletheatre.com.

Five musical acts will unplug to perform acoustic sets in MacDonald Gardens Park this Sunday. In the fifth installment of the summer’s “4 in 1 Acoustic Sessions” series, Alex Silas, Factory Owl, Atherton, Hamilton, and Three Little Birds will perform in the fresh air. Sunday, July 22, at 2 p.m. MacDonald Gardens Park, Cobourg Street and Tormey Street,www.facebook.com/events/231357606975253/.