1. OTTAWA DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL (FREE!)
Sure, the race gets bigger every year, with close to 200 teams of paddlers duking it out for dragon boat glory, but armchair athletes will also appreciate the liquid entertainment (great beer tent!) and musical offerings by the likes of MonkeyJunk and Bedouin Soundclash (Saturday) and 54-40 (Sunday). June 18-20. Mooney’s Bay, 2960 Riverside Dr., 613-238-7711, dragonboat.net.
2. UNLOAD II (FREE!)
For the second year in a row, La Petite Mort gathers some of the city’s top artists for what they call a “collective creative dumpfest.” The rules are few (large prints, small sketches) and the prices low, with plenty of pieces under $500. The lineup for this five-day exhibit includes Stefan Thompson, Howie Tsui, Daniel Martelock, Guillermo Trejo, and Lindsay Campbell. June 19-24. La Petite Mort Gallery, 306 Cumberland St., lapetitemortgallery.com.
Still the best, sweatiest dance party in the city, for its June edition Timekode brings in two heavyweights from Toronto to take the dance floor to a new level. Special guests Big Jacks, a formidable force on the mixtape scene, and Bozack Morris, the party rocker of Black Rap, will join the regular Timekode crew for a long night of soulful dancefloor wrecking. June 18. Eri Café, 953 Somerset St. W., timekode.com.
4. SIMPLY RAW FESTIVAL (FREE!)
There’s always something happening at Central Park. Two weeks ago, it was the artsy types. This weekend, the Glebe is filled with raw-food-loving, eco-conscious types, who congregate to talk healthy living and taste-test a vegan pie or two. The lineup of speakers includes the fabulous Bif Naked. June 19, 10 a.m. –9 p.m. Central Park, simplyraw.ca.
5. NO PANTS DANCE PARTY
Rockalily Burlesque teams up with Babylon nightclub for its 3rd annual NPDP — and by no pants, they mean no outer pants. Underwear (gorgeous or flashy) is a must. Dance the night away sans pants AND catch a burlesque show! Prizes for best pantsless outfits! $8. June 19, 9 p.m. –2:30 a.m. 317 Bank St., babylonclub.ca.
Caribbean culture steals the spotlight! Kick off the day with a parade down St. Joseph Boulevard at noon, and then head to the beach at Petrie Island, where you’ll find beats by steel pan bands, traditional Caribbean cuisine, and activities for the whole family. June 19. $10 on the beach; free for children under 12. 613-590-1888, carivibe.com.
7. OTTAWA FRINGE FESTIVAL
Quirky characters, strange situations, and experimental treatments are on the bill at the fringe, with theatre artists encouraged to make bold choices and be “unrestricted”in the name of art. Saturday and Sunday are jam-packed with more than 30 shows each day at venues around town. Content ranges from love stories with a twist to the history of burlesque, and everything in between. Until June 27. Prices vary by show; passes available. 613-232-6162, ottawafringe.com.