A MARVELous Must-See Performance!

July 29, 2015 10:01 am
Photo courtesy of Feld Entertainment

All photos courtesy of Feld Entertainment

Grab your cape, mask, helmet or hammer and fly on over to the Canadian Tire Centre! Marvel Universe LIVE! is coming to the Capital for six thrilling performances at the CTC from July 31 to August 2. This spectacular and technologically advanced touring production brings more than 25 of your favourite Marvel heroes together with an original plot that will put you on the edge of your seat the entire time.

“I think this is the most exciting show that I’ve ever done,” says Chris Nobels, director of show operations. “It’s also, I would say, the most technically complicated show I’ve ever done.”

Projection mapping, car chases, motorcycle and aerial stunts, martial arts, advanced pyrotechnics, and the largest flying system on a live tour; this show has it all and more!

“We’re really breaking in new ground on a new genre of family entertainment, something that really encompasses the entire arena and really immerses the audience into the show,” Nobels says.

“We kind of took from all of the properties under the Feld umbrella: the Ringling Circus, the motorsports division, Disney on Ice, and Disney Live! and took everything we learned from the last 145 years and put it into this new, spectacular event, drawing on the latest technology all at the same time,” he says.

It’s every kid’s dream: all of their favourite superheroes battling it out right in front of their eyes, bringing the comic book characters and blockbuster bad guys to life.

Matthew Elm, who plays the role of the evil and manipulative Loki, says being in the show reminds him of playing make-believe in his backyard as a child.

“It takes me back to those days,” Elm says. “Its fun to be evil and say and do things I wouldn’t do as the person that I am.”

But Elm says this show isn’t just for kids to enjoy. It’s an “exhilarating thrill ride” for all audiences.

Nobels agrees: “The show is for the moms, the dads, the grandparents and the boys and the girls. There is really something for everybody.”

The show is also great for both the big-time Marvel fans and newcomers.

“I feel that we did an excellent job bridging the gap between those two types of fans,” Nobels says.

The story is an epic battle over the ever-powerful ‘Cosmic Cube’. Thor destroys the cube, but his brother, Loki, finds a way to replicate its power, threatening the universe. The Marvel heroes must work together to reassemble the pieces of the cube in order to defeat Loki and his fellow villains.

Both Elm and Nobels note the show is all about teamwork.

“The only way that all of our superheroes are able to defeat Loki and his other evil villains is to come together and work together,” Nobels says.

Teamwork is not only important for the characters, but for the cast and crew of this extremely intricate and complex production as well.

“We have 49 crewmembers and 53 performers and it takes every single one of them to make the show happen. Not one person could do it alone,” Nobels says.

Elm says the whole group has become very close.

“Heroes and villains alike, we’re there for each other as family,” he says.

The team has worked incredibly hard to make this show come to life. It took nine months of research and development, plus three months of demanding rehearsals to bring it together.

Recalling the rehearsals, Elm says, “It was definitely an exhausting experience, but definitely one that I would never want to change.”

“It’s such a thrilling accomplishment,” Nobels says. “All that hard work, watching it pay off, it definitely makes me happy.”

Elm says he hopes the audiences walk away from the performance feeling inspired.

“I want them to feel like they saw their favourite heroes out there and feel like they can be a hero themselves.”

Buy your tickets now at CapitalTickets.ca or call 613-599-FANS (3267) or 1-877-788-FANS (3267). The show will have six performances, each last two hours with a 15-miunute intermission.

For more information on Marvel Universe LIVE!, visit marveluniverselive.ca.

A Fashionable Round of Lawn Bowling for Cystic Fibrosis

July 28, 2015 10:01 am

All photos courtesy of Kara Taylor

Imagine being 13, and finding out that you only have 20 more years to live. Imagine nearly facing your death every time you catch a cold. That’s only a glimpse into Maxwell McGuire’s life with Cystic Fibrosis.

As guest of honour and returning champion, he charmingly shared his CF journey with the Lawn Summer Nights Ottawa  crowd last week. And while Max spoke, the poshly dressed teams patiently anticipated their next round of lawn bowling.

The event took place Wednesday, July 15, when the Elmdale Lawn Bowling Club hosted the 3rd annual Summer Nights tournament in support of Cystic Fibrosis Canada. This 4 week event is held in 7 major cities across Canada each July, and raises nearly $500,000 a year.

Cystic Fibrosis is the most common and devastating genetic disease diagnosed in children, mainly affecting their digestive systems and lungs. There is no cure. Life expectancy is now at an all-time high of 50 years. Survivors like Max, who were given a total of 30 years to live, have beaten their odds through innovative treatment methods. Max, a filmmaker and Cystic Fibrosis ambassador, helps raise awareness and funds around the world for CF research.

In the light-hearted retro tournament, CF doesn’t just stand for Cystic Fibrosis, but rather Canadian Fashion! Players are encouraged to dress their best and find a creative theme for their team. From Parisians and flapper girls, to Florida cool and lady prepsters, players don classic fashion looks from all decades.


This year, the Ottawa chapter hopes to raise $50,000. They are currently just $15,000 shy of their goal, sitting at $35,000.

To support the Lawn Summer Nights Ottawa initiative, donations can be made online here.

9th Hour Brings Comedy and Conflict to the Stage

July 27, 2015 1:00 pm

Above: Johnny Eaton, Mary Beth Pongrac, David Plouffe, George Dutch, Benoit Trudel, Robin Guy. Photo credit: Andre R. Gagne.

The Ottawa premiere of Arthur Miller’s The Creation of the World and Other Business is here! 9th Hour Theatre Company is bringing this thought-provoking production to the Irving Greenberg Theatre Centre from July 23 to August 8 with a big top twist. Don’t miss your chance to catch some truly amazing summer theatre! Last year, 9th Hour received critical acclaim for its stand out production of The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. This season, the company celebrates brilliant American playwright, Arthur Miller, on stage.

The Creation of the World and Other Business is the story of the “first family” like you’ve never seen it before! Adam, Eve, Cain and Abel are certainly familiar names but these characters come to life in a totally different way in Arthur Miller’s interpretation. Turning the traditional story on its head and playing with the theme of good versus evil, Miller takes the audience on an entertaining ride.

Raising questions about justice, humanity, motive and the Divine, this play explores a variety of perspectives. Humour, comedy, silliness are all part of this tale, but it is so much more than that. Drama, conflict and critical thought are equally important to the story. It is a compelling plot for all audiences—you don’t need to know the Book of Genesis to enjoy the performance!

Benoit Trudel and Robin Guy. Photo credit: Andre R. Gagne

Benoit Trudel and Robin Guy. Photo credit: Andre R. Gagne

“We decided such a seemingly familiar story needed a fresh approach, which is why we chose to present the play as a play within a play, a troupe of traveling circus performers telling a story. The physicality of the show is unparalleled to anything 9th Hour has ever done I would say, and so difficult bits of dialogue and heavy text passages come alive with “other business”, infused with a semblance of pseudo-circus imagery and interspersed with live musical interludes,” says Director Jonathan Harris.

But, wait! There’s more…

Eight post-show discussions will take place with “expert” panelists and artists from the production to discuss the content and themes of the play. Look out for Rabbi Reuven Bulka (Congregation Machzikei Hadas), Reverend Mark Whittall (St. Alban’s Anglican Church), Imam Mohamad Jebara (Cordova Spiritual Education Center), Alexandra Bender (Masters in Conflict Studies), and Gillian Wallace (Phd in Psychology of Religion).

You can buy tickets at the Great Canadian Theatre Company box office in person at 1233 Wellington Street West or by calling 613-236-5196. Click here to buy your ticket online.

For more information, click here.

Politics, Perogies and Celebrating Ukrainian Heritage

July 24, 2015 2:57 pm
Ukraine Fest 2

Photo courtesy of Lemon Bucket Orkestra.

This weekend, the first ever Capital Ukrainian Festival is bringing a handful of amazing bands and about 16,800 perogies to Ottawa.

Aside from celebrating Ukrainian arts and heritage, the events will shine a light on the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict and the country’s long struggle to remain independent of its neighbour to the east.

The festival kicks off Friday night with back-to-back shows from bands that were formed in Canada, but inspired by Ukraine. The first to play will be the Lemon Bucket Orkestra, Canada’s best, and only, balkan-klezmer-party-punk-super-band.


Fifteen members of Lemon Bucket Orkestra. Photo by Eamon Mac Mahon.

“It’s a mix of like, really intense set performance and stage pieces, and then off the cuff sloppiness,” says Mark Marczyk, describing the band’s live act.

Marczyk is one of LBO’s multiple singers and violinists. A year and a half ago, he went to Ukraine to take part in the 2013 protests that led to former president Viktor Yanukovych fleeing the country. Marczyk also stayed for much of the subsequent conflict.

“It was pretty intense,” he says. “Friends of ours that we had known in different contexts, whether they were IT technicians, or musicians, or writers…all of the sudden they were on the front of a war.”

Marczyk stayed in Ukraine for some time, volunteering to help civilians and fleeing refugees who needed supplies to survive the winter. He also played music to inspire Ukrainian soldiers, and met his future wife.

Marczyk could say a lot about the political situation in Ukraine, but this weekend he’s going to let his music talk for him.

“Playing the repertoire that we do play is a political act in and of itself,” he says, adding that “the main message is to enjoy this culture and enjoy this music. And if you do enjoy it, and if you’re moved by it, then you should definitely look into the place where it’s from.”

Jane Kolbe, one of the Ukrainian festival’s organizers, takes the same approach as Marczyk.

Ukrainian Fest

Photo courtesy of the artist.

“We want to respect the gravity of the situation,” she says. “Primarily though, we’re celebrating the culture and the history.”

That celebration extends across three days filled with music, dancing, food and crafts. The Lemon Bucket Orkestra is playing twice, sharing the stage with local acts like Ukrainia on Friday, and Ukrainian jazz-fusion band DoVira on Saturday.

Sunday is the community picnic, where they’ll have an enormous sing-along and a multi-faith prayer for peace in Ukraine.

Although the conflict overseas certainly influenced this festival’s creation, next year marks the 125th anniversary of Ukrainian settlement in Canada. Kolbe believes that the anniversary alone is worth a good celebration and a look at how many former Ukrainians have influenced their new home.

“We helped weave Canada’s historical fabric,” she says.

Finally, one of the festival’s biggest highlights will be the thousands of perogies, all hand-made by festival volunteers using traditional recipes.

“Something magical happens when you do it (by hand), I don’t know how I convinced everybody,” Kolbe laughs.

Friday’s pub night takes place at the Ukrainian Orthodox Hall at 1000 Bronson Avenue. Admission is $20. Both Saturday and Sunday’s events are free and will be held at St. John the Baptist Shrine at 952 Green Valley Crescent. You can find out more at capitalukrainianfestival.com.

Sun, Sand and Non-Stop Entertainment at HOPE Volleyball SummerFest

July 9, 2015 2:08 pm
HOPE 2014

Prepare yourself for the party of the summer!

The 33rd annual HOPE Volleyball SummerFest is back and better than ever.

Taking place this Saturday, July 11 at Mooney’s Bay Beach, HOPE Volleyball SummerFest is the largest outdoor one-day beach volleyball tournament in world. The event attracts more than 10,000 players who participate on 1,032 teams in 4 divisions—all in one crazy day!

HOT Lounge 2013But you don’t have to be registered with a team to participate in the festivities. Thousands of spectators come out every year for fun, sun, fresh air, cold drinks and non-stop entertainment. The line-up of live performers sets the tone for a fantastic event. Beginning at 11 a.m., don’t miss School of Rock, Lemon Cash, Cast in Cadence, The Lionyls and July Talk. Sam Roberts Band takes the stage at 5:30 p.m. to finish off the day.

Bustling with activities and excitement, HOPE Volleyball SummerFest brings the community together to celebrate summer in true Canadian fashion, all for a good cause!

HOPE is committed to raising money for local charities and has donated more than 3.5 million dollars to over 110 charities over the years. Together with the support of participants, volunteers, sponsors and the community at large, this year’s HOPE Volleyball SummerFest is supporting the Perley & Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre Foundation, Caring and Sharing Exchange, ALS Society of Canada, Education Foundation of Ottawa, Ottawa Network for Education and Easter Seals Ontario.

A day at the beach to support the community? What could be a better way to spend your Saturday! Grab some friends and check it out for a guaranteed day of great volleyball and spectacular music.

Good luck to all the players!

Check out the HOPE Volleyball website for more information about Saturday’s event.

Bluesfest Beats

10:06 am
Moonset on the site_Steve G

Photo courtesy of Steve G

The RBC Ottawa Bluesfest is here! As the festival plays on, OLM will continue to highlight must-see performances by some of the acts that you may have not yet discovered–so Ottawa music lovers listen up! An exciting variety of bands and artists will rock the festival this year. Check out a few right now:

The Beaches - Promo PhotoThe Beaches

These youthful rock prodigies for Toronto will take the Bluesfest stage by storm. Formed when most of the members were still teenagers, the Beaches music pulses with energy. Anthems like their single “Little Pieces,” are both angst-filled and catchy. They’re an all-girl act influenced by fem-rock acts of the past. Fans of Patti Smith, the Runaways, and the White Stripes and will want to give these budding artists a listen.
July 18 at 4:30 p.m.
Canadian Stage

G-Eazy (1)G-Eazy 

This young rapper and music producer has an ear for contemporary references. One of his songs is called “Netflix,” and another is about “Tumblr girls.” His most recent release “These Things Happen,” is number 3 on the Billboard 200. The New York Times praised him for being “clever” and “approachable” during a live performance at Irving Plaza, New York. Drake fans looking for a rapper with an aura of cool should check him out.
July 18 at 8:30 p.m.
Monster Stage

4201_FIN2 (1280x853)Hawksley Workman

Prolific rock musician Hawksley Workman is a Juno award winner and a boundless creative force. His latest release “Old Cheetah,” is a collection of diverse styles from glam rock to cabaret to pop. Workman has been a part of the Canadian music scene for over 13 years, with 13 albums to his name. He’ll be bringing all that experience and diversity to the Bluesfest stage.
July 10 at 9 p.m.
Canadian Stage

Nick Sherman

Nick-2485_16x9_620x350Nick Sherman’s gentle voice and carefully crafted folk songs reflect his upbringing in Northern Ontario. An Ojibway singer-singwriter, Sherman grew up playing guitars while tending to traplines on North Caribou Lake. The Ontario Arts Council funded his debut album, “Drag Your Words Through.” His music is inspired by the natural world, and by his Aboriginal heritage and community life on the reserve. Lovers of traditional and contemporary Canadian folk rock will be charmed by Sherman’s subtlety and grace.
July 10 at 7:30 p.m.
Barney Danson Theatre

7lowridersunsetHIGHLowrider Band 

This is a group for those with broad diverse tastes. The Lowrider Band is a melting pot of funk, R&B, rock, reggae and jazz. They’ve been around in various incarnations since the 60’s and they’re still going strong – all four original band members are Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees, and their hit “Low Rider” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Check out this legendary group and experience a timeless sound.
July 18 at 7:15 p.m.
Monster Stage

Slim Moore and the New Soul Project 

Slim More and the NewSoulProjectSlim Moore began his singing career in the Pentacostal church as a child. He went from there to become a powerful soul singer with all the passion of his church background. An Ottawa-based performer Moore and his band will bring plenty of funk and fire to the Bluesfest Stage.
July 10 at 6 p.m.
Monster Stage

The RBC Ottawa Bluesfest 2015 line-up is full of talent! Don’t miss a single band on your ‘must-see’ list. Buy your tickets here!

Bluesfest Beats

July 8, 2015 12:02 pm
Wu-Tang_Method Man_Steve G

Photo courtesy of Steve G

The RBC Ottawa Bluesfest is here! As the festival plays on, OLM will continue to highlight must-see performances by some of the acts that you may have not yet discovered–so Ottawa music lovers listen up! An exciting variety of bands and artists will rock the festival this year. Check out a few right now:

Renee LandryRenee Landry

“Chin up my baby girl/don’t let yourself get brought down by this big old bad world,” sings Renee Landry in her infectiously optimistic 2015 single “Chin Up.” Landry draws comparisons to legendary female vocalists Etta James and Janis Joplin for her big brassy sound. Landry has a powerful voice with a stage presence to match. She’s as comfortable covering “Uptown Funk,” as she is rocking out to Neil Young. Her live show should be dynamic and fun.
July 19 at 6:30 p.m.
Barney Danson Theatre

The Yips

The YipsWhat on earth is Ouija rock? Bluesfest atendees who catch The Yips bracing live show might just find out. A staple of the Ottawa garage punk rock scene since 2012, The Yips music is a blast. Scratchy guitars, and insistent drums surround Kerrie Carisse’s skillful passionate vocals. Their performance is sure to be exhilarating.
July 17 at 6 p.m.
Canadian Stage


Expand your understanding of what music can be by checking out this experimental Quebec collective. Fet.Nat’s performances feature absurdist theatrics and improvisation. They don’t fit into a specific genre but draw upon many musical traditions including punk and jazz with a combination of saxophone, electric guitar, drums and vocals. They’re atypical, surreal and fascinating—perfect for the adventurous music lover.
July 16 at 7 p.m.
Canadian Stage

Winchester Warm

Winchester_Warm[1]True to their band name, this group is indeed warm. Their melancholy songs are rich and nostalgia steeped, complimented by sweet pleasant harmonies. Their newest release Belle Attente is a mix of catchy poppy anthems and darker folk. Inspired by folk artists like M. Ward, this band will charm audiences, especially those interested in Canadian indie folk rock.
July 15 at 6 p.m.
Barney Danson Theatre

Paul Oakenfold

paul-pressThis English music producer and DJ has been on the scene since he started mixing music as a teenager in the early 80’s. He was at the forefront of England’s electronic House music movement and went on to remix huge acts – from U2 to Snoop Dog. Still a dance music DJ at the height of his powers, Oakenfeld is a must see for anyone who wants to dance the night away.
July 16 at 9:45 p.m.
Monster Stage


The RBC Ottawa Bluesfest 2015 line-up is full of talent! Don’t miss a single band on your ‘must-see’ list. Buy your tickets here!

Bluesfest Beats

July 7, 2015 11:59 am

Photo courtesy of Steve G

The countdown to the RBC Ottawa Bluesfest is on. As the weeks leading up to the festival go by, OLM will continue to highlight must-see performances by some of the acts that you may have not yet discovered – so Ottawa music lovers listen up! An exciting variety of bands and artists will rock the festival this year. Check out a few right now:

Flight Distance

Flight_Distance[1] (2)Compelling layered beats and dark unusual lyrics are all part of the package for this Ottawa hip-hop trio. MC’s Bender and Patience and DJ Calkuta have released three albums together and are in the process of creating their fourth, “Harmony Chlorine.” They’ve garnered praise from respected Canadian rap artist Jessie Dangerously who called their latest album High Priests of Low Life “thought provoking,” and “sophisticated.” For anyone curious about Ottawa’s underground hip-hop scene they are a must see.
July 15 at 8:15 p.m.
Monster Stage

The OBGM’s

OBGMs 2014This punk quartet rocks hard so you can party harder. OBGM’s is short for “Oh Baby Gimme More,” and that’s what audiences will be asking for once they get a taste of this band’s crazy punk groove. They engage audiences with driving drumbeats and synth and their boundlessly energetic stage presence. If you plan on attending this performance be ready to get thrashing and dancing with wild abandon.
July 12 at 5:45 p.m.
Canadian Stage

Gold and Marrow

Gold_and_Marrow[1] (2)“We’ll do our best to sound like a seaside sunset that makes you completely forget the city behind you on a perfect summer night as you walk barefoot, collecting shells and gathering driftwood to make a big fire on the sand,” says folk singer Shannon Rose. “Come!”

Partners on the stage and in real life, Shannon Rose and guitarist Steven James create engaging soulful folk music under the title “Gold and Marrow”. They’ve been mentored by Canadian folk sensation Basia Bulat and recently released their first album “Forever.” This group is a perfect fit for festival-goers searching for heartfelt folk performed with passion. “This city has a lot of life and our exciting music festivals are proof,” Rose says. “We’ll bring our sweet, raw, still-beating hearts to the stage.”
July 14 at 7:15 p.m.
Barney Danson Theatre

Lily-Kershaw-Press-Photo-1Lily Kershaw

Sweet voiced singer songwriter Lily Kershaw’s gentle melodies are perfect listening for a relaxing summer evening. In her debut album “Midnight in the Garden,” Kershaw explores heartache and loss with sensitivity. Perfect for folk and country music fans looking for something low key and thoughtful.
July 13 at 7:30 p.m.
Barney Danson Theatre


Blakdenim[1] (2)“In my opinion, we are at our best live,” says BlakDenim vocalist Erin Tompkins. “There is some sort of indescribable magic that happens when we step in front of a crowd . . . the moment that the band and the crowd start vibrating on the same wavelength is magic. I get goose bumps just thinking about it.”

BlakDenim is an 8-member hip-hop extravaganza. They compliment their rap and pop vocals with a cacophony of instruments – a flute, a trumpet, a sousaphone and more. “I think it’s fair to say that most people don’t expect a flute in a hip-hop act,” Tomkins says. Dynamic, socially conscious and energetic, BlakDenim’s shows often feature impromptu beat boxing and rap battles, break dancing and audience participation she says. If you’re looking for funk and fun check them out!
July 9 at 7:15 p.m.
Canadian Stage

The RBC Ottawa Bluesfest 2015 line-up is full of talent! Don’t miss a single band on your ‘must-see’ list. Buy your tickets here!

Bluesfest Beats

July 6, 2015 2:24 pm
FUN. Steve G

Photo courtesy of Steve G

The countdown to RBC Ottawa Bluesfest is on. As the weeks leading up to the festival go by, OLM will continue to highlight must-see performances by some of the acts that you may have not yet discovered – so Ottawa music lovers listen up! An exciting variety of bands and artists will rock the festival this year. Check out a few right now:

Pony Girl

Pony_Girl[1] (2)Bluesfest audiences who attend Pony Girl’s performance will get the chance to hear brand new songs from their upcoming fall release! This Ottawa based art rock group creates a unique and beautiful ambience using a variety of different instruments including guitar, piano, organ and clarinet. “The music and the band are quite dynamic in terms of volume and vibe,” says bass guitarist Greggory Clark. “One piece can cover both ends of your mellow/wild spectrum and lots in between.”
July 11 at 7:30 p.m.
Barney Danson Theatre

The Visit

The_Visit[1] (2)The Visit is like nothing else you’ll see at Bluesfest. Dynamic cello player Raphael Weinroth-Browne accompanies ethereal vocalist Heather Sita Black and together they make haunting transcendent music. They’re inspired by traditional Middle Eastern music as well as Western classical compositions and this combination of styles makes for a truly unforgettable listening experience. Festival goers seeking out the strange and daring need look no further.
July 12 at 3:30 p.m.
Barney Danson Theatre

Al Wood and the Woodsmen

Al_Wood_and_the_Woodsmen[1] (2)These Ottawa blues artists champion a classic blues sound and bring a high energy to their stage performances. “Our audience will experience a diverse array of grooves and themes,” says Al Wood. “High octane harmonica driven double barrel blues designed to make you do a little bit of thinking and a lot of dancing.” Wood himself has represented the Ottawa Blues Society twice at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. He says he hopes to incorporate the whole audience into his bands Bluesfest performance. “People like to be dealt in when they are entertained and that’s basically our simple iron rule of performance.”
July 11 at 5 p.m.
Monster Stage

Tribal Seeds

TribalSeeds01Get your groove on at this performance! An energetic reggae act from San Diego California, Bluesfest is just a stop in their “2015 Summer Smoke Out Tour.” Formed in 2005 this band has been perfecting their style for ten years. Their rock infused reggae has kept them at the top of the Billboard Reggae charts and garnered them critical acclaim–in 2008 they won the “Best of World Music,” at the San Diego Music Awards. Spiritual, freeing and joyful music awaits Bluesfest reggae lovers.
July 12 at 4:30 p.m.
Canadian Stage


Lowell_Approved Press Photo_lowellbynormanwongOn the lookout for some empowering psychedelic dream-pop? Calgary artist Lowell’s released her debut album We Loved Her Dearly earlier this year. Her work is a mix of sweet pop melodies and rebellious riot grrrl infused anthems. A passionate advocate for individuality and personal expression, Lowell’s convention-challenging ideas about gender and sexuality come through in her music. Her unique style and passion are a must see.
July 17 at 8:15 p.m.
Canadian Stage

The RBC Ottawa Bluesfest 2015 line-up is full of talent! Don’t miss a single band on your ‘must-see’ list. Buy your tickets here!

Bluesfest Beats

July 3, 2015 10:14 am
Moonset on the site_Steve G

Photo courtesy of Steve G

The countdown to RBC Ottawa Bluesfest is on. As the weeks leading up to the festival go by, OLM will continue to highlight must-see performances by some of the acts that you may have not yet discovered–so Ottawa music lovers listen up! An exciting variety of bands and artists will rock the festival this year. Check out a few right now:

Skylar_Spence[1] (2)Skylar Spence

Skylar Spence is the stage name of disco pop extraordinaire music producer Ryan DeRobertis. DeRobertis has a distinctive vibe–it’s been called a number of things from “vapourwave” to “liquid disco”–but whatever you call it it’s the perfect music to groove to on a summer night.
July 11 at 8 p.m.
Monster Stage

The Reverb Syndicate

The_Reverb_Syndicate[1] (2)“The Reverb Syndicate experience is all about fun. It’s an accessible sound that can tell a story but also loosens your hips on the dance floor,” says band member Jeff Welch.

The Ottawa based guitar ensemble creates “surf spi-fi sounds to accompany 60’s spy films that don’t exist.” They released their fourth album “Odyssey” in April. Inspired by instrumental rock bands like the Ventures, this band brings instrumental music to the stage that evokes mystery and adventure. “Don’t let the lack of singing throw,” says Welch. “Come discover a music you’ve always known but didn’t realize you loved.”
July 11 at 3:15 p.m.
Canadian Stage 

Hat Fitz and Cara

hfc4Hat Fitz and Cara are bringing the blues from down under. This duo will bring audiences to their feet with driving blues and soul and passionate vocals. Hat Fitz is a veteran blues guitarist and singer from Australia while Cara Robinson rounds out the act with her Irish folk roots. As well as being a powerful singer Robinson adds drums, washboard and flute to the duo’s songs. Join them for an evening of rollicking folksy fun.
July 12 at 6:30 p.m.
Monster Stage

Jungle By Night

JungleByNight_2Jungle by Night produces jazzy classical Afrobeats inspired by the funk sounds of Nigerian and Ghanian artists. This nine- piece band from Amsterdam is a must see for jazz lovers. Their newest album El Miraglo also has Columbian influences, broadening the band’s sound and multicultural flair. They’ve played all over Europe, even performing in Paris with the “father of Ethiojazz” Mulatu Astake and now they’re bringing that same groovy vibe to the Bluesfest stage.
July 10 at 8 p.m.
Canadian Stage

Willie Nile

wl2A veteran performer who has shared the stage with legends like Bruce Springsteen and the Who, Willie Nile is a distinct performer in his own right. He’s garnered praise from publications such as Rolling Stone for his He plays a laid back contemplative style of folksy Americana that is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
July 12 at 8 p.m.
Monster Stage

The RBC Ottawa Bluesfest 2015 line-up is full of talent! Don’t miss a single band on your ‘must-see’ list. Buy your tickets here!

A Company of Fools Coming to a Park Near You

July 2, 2015 2:00 pm
Company of Fools - Comedy of Errors

Photo credit: Justin Van Leeuwen at JVL Photography

Come one, come all! A Company of Fools, Ottawa’s original professional Shakespeare company, is bringing The Comedy of Errors to parks all over the city and you’re invited!

The production is a celebration of the Fools’ 25th anniversary. This particular play has special meaning for the theatre company. The Comedy of Errors was its inaugural piece—its first full-length production! Twenty-five years later, the company is bringing it back.

Part of the Torchlight Shakespeare series, this summer’s play is a must-see performance for local theatre-lovers.

This show is sure to make you laugh! One of Shakespeare’s earlier plays, the plot is packed with humour, slapstick and wordplay. It’s a tale of mistaken identity. Two sets of identical twins are accidently separated at birth and later brought to the same town. Antipholus of Syracuse and his servant, Dromio of Syracuse, arrive in Ephesus, the hometown of their twin brothers, Antipholus of Ephesus and his servant, Dromio of Ephesus. Confusion and hilarity ensues when the Syracusans meet the friends and relatives of their twins. It raises the questions: how well do you know your friend? Your spouse? Yourself?

This version, directed by Catriona Leger, involves a talented cast of characters, including Warren Bain, AL Connors, Scott Florence, Gabrielle Lazarovitz, Geoff McBride and Katie Ryerson, with costume design by Vanessa Imeson and set design by David Benedict Brown.

The show opens at 7 p.m. on July 2—to be declared ‘a Company of Fools day’ in Ottawa by Mayor Watson. The show will run in a different Ottawa park every night from July 2 to August 15, 2015. Is there a better way to spend a summer evening than outdoors, enjoying a show with friends and family? Bring a lawn chair or blanket and prepare to be entertained!

Tickets are ‘pass-the-hat’ or ‘pay what you can’ with a suggested donation of $15 per person.

For more information, visit www.fools.ca.

Splash into Summer!

June 29, 2015 2:43 pm

Jump in the pool this summer for some fun, family-friendly exercise!

Swimming is a great sport everyone can enjoy, regardless of age or ability. It is a cost-effective activity that almost always provides a good time—plus, it’s good for you!

IMG_0704The health benefits of swimming include building immunity against disease, strengthening the heart, increased muscle memory, heightened circulation and decreased chances of obesity. Water play also supports 90 per cent of the body’s weight; providing a safer form of exercise for individuals with physical injuries or disabilities.

The City of Ottawa’s objectives support accessibility for heart healthy and health-oriented initiatives. Serving residents from east to west, municipal leisure programs offer a convenient range of scheduling for both indoor and outdoor swimming pool locations.

Below is a list of where you can get your splash on:

Ottawa East indoor splash pad locations include Bob MacQuarrie, Brewer, Canterbury, Champagne, Lowertown, Ray Friel, St. Laurent, Sawmill Creek and the Wave pool on Ogilvie Road.

Indoor Ottawa West splash pad locations include Dovercourt, Goulbourn, Jack Purcell, Minto recreation, Walter Baker Sports Centre, Nepean Sportsplex, Pinecrest, Plant Recreation Centre, Richcraft Recreation Centre and the Kanata Wave Pool.

Ottawa East outdoor swimming activities can be found at Bearbrook on Innes and Genest on Ste-Cecile.

Outdoor Ottawa West swimming aIMG_0707ctivities can be found at Beaverbrook, Corkstown, Crestview, Entrance, General Burns, Glen Cairn and Katimavik in Kanata.

Make sure to check out the City of Ottawa’s public swim schedule to find a time and place for you!

Municipally funded leisure water sports consist of youth and adult-only lap swimming, daily family swim for adults and children, casual public all-age swim, wave activated swim, aged 5 and under playtime preschool swim, women only family swim (boys under age 6), 50+ adult lap swim, aged 50+ vitality social exercise swim and the teen swim for youth aged 13-19.

Subject to swim type and participant age, admission prices range from $1.90—$7.75 per person. Swimming admission is free of charge for residents with long-term disabilities. Memberships are also available for all City of Ottawa public swimming pool locations.

If you are looking for a fun-filled, health oriented physical activity…Jump in!

Celebrate Canada Day Early at Nature Nocturne!

12:10 pm

Photo credit: Martin Lipman © Canadian Museum of Nature

Canada Day in the Capital is one of the most iconic events of the year! People come from all over to celebrate our nation’s birthday. But what about the night before? The Canadian Museum of Nature is throwing a Canada Day bash on June 30, so you can start the partying a little early!

Put on your best red and white attire and head to the Canadian Museum of Nature’s pre-Canada Day Nature Nocturne celebration.

If you were lucky enough to grab a ticket to this sold-out event, you can party like an animal with the animals! Make sure to check out the Animal Inside Out exhibit and the other galleries while you are there. And don’t forget your dancing shoes! You can party all night long with music from DJ Rise Ashen and DJ TDot.

It’s everything you love about Nature Nocturne—dancing, music, drinks, food, fun—but with a special Canadian twist.

“The theme centres around the maple leaf,” says Cynthia Iburg, event coordinator. “This year is the 50th anniversary of the Canadian flag. We have a display on maples, an interactive “Maple Bouquet” craft where you write a word that inspires you about our nation on a little Canadian flag and it’s secured into a base of special Maple Leaf Forever tree wood. And, of course, we’re encouraging everyone to dress in red and white for the occasion.”

The fun starts at 8 p.m. and goes until midnight!

Just because tickets are sold-out doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the festivities! General admission to the museum is free on July 1, so you can bring the whole family for some Canada Day fun.


Cirque du Soleil Lands in the Capital

June 25, 2015 2:12 pm

Cirque du Soleil descends from the sky for seven shows in the capital, and we guarantee it will not disappoint.

Landing at the Canadian Tire Centre from July 2– 5, Cirque du Soleil presents its breathtaking performance of Varekai.

Varekai is set in an enchanted forest where a plethora of mystical characters emerge and entertain. The story of Varekai begins with a young man, Icarus, falling from the sky. He is parachuted into the shadows of a magical forest where he is met with fantastical creatures that guide him throughout his extraordinary adventures.

Written and directed by the renowned Dominic Champagne, this production pays tribute to the spirit and art of the circus tradition. Woven with hints of humour, Varekai demonstrates the power of storytelling through movement. The high-flying tricks of the characters not only provoke amazement, they further the plotline and intensify the overall experience.

Created by a team of astonishingly creative minds that are experts in their craft, Varekai brings a level of entertainment only Cirque du Soleil can. As intricate details from set design, choreography, costume and music come together, audience members are transported to a mesmerizing land for a night they won’t soon forget.

The truly unbelievable company of performers that bring Varekai to life exceed all expectations. With physicality that seems beyond human capability, their raw talent and practiced skills awe-inspire and captivate audiences from start to finish.

Cirque du Soleil, the sensational international success, began with a small theatre troupe in Quebec. The young entertainers, among whom was Cirque du Soleil-founder Guy Laliberté, walked on stilts, juggled, danced, breathed fire and played music. During Quebec’s 450th anniversary celebration of Jacques Cartier’s discovery of Canada in 1984, the province sought an event to bring the festivities to all Quebecers. Guy Laliberté convinced the organizers that the answer was a provincial tour of Cirque du Soleil, and the rest is history!

Recognized worldwide for its high-quality entertainment, Cirque du Soleil has sought to spark the imagination, senses and emotions of audiences across the globe through its uniquely breathtaking shows that exemplify the art of performance. Creativity lies at the heart of Cirque du Soleil’s success. With a deep respect for the work of all artists, Cirque du Soleil offers its expert creators the freedom to collaboratively bring their wildest dreams to life.

Varekai is certainly no exception.

Expect to be whisked away into an evening of unequivocal entertainment that will enchant like pure magic.

Show Schedule:

Thursday, July 2 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, July 3 at 4:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 4 at 4:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, July 5 at 1:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Click here for complete show and ticket information.

Enjoy the show!

Southway Hotel Plans Luxurious Transformation

June 22, 2015 2:15 pm
Southway Hotel 2013.jpg Larger Photo

In 1958, Peter and Theresia Zlepnig immigrated to Canada and built a simple seven unit motel next to their home. Two generations later, the guest-focused institution has stayed in the family and has big plans in the works.

1967 - Centennial Year - Southway Inn - 23 Rooms

The Southway in 1967

Just a few years after the opening, the Zlepnig’s son, Bill, and his wife Louisa, took over the family business. Being the first and only local airport motel, the property served as a valuable asset to the community. After adding 170 guestrooms, the Shallows Grill, fitness facilities and a meeting space, the motel transformed into a bustling hotel.

A generation later, the business continues to run in the family and the new owners, Fred and Stephen, Bill and Louisa’s sons, have made big plans to carefully curate the Southway Hotel into a state of the art retirement home. The $6 million project will convert the building into a full service retirement residence by January 2016.

Seniors and their families can expect the same level of quality treatment that has earned the Southway the status it has today: The soon to be Waterford Retirement Residence will be all about luxury living.

Despite the many occurring changes, the Zlepnig’s wanted to keep around their most valuable traditions. Known for showing off their holiday spirit, the Southway will continue its annual display of 100,000 colourful bulb decorations around Christmas time.

The Waterford will be crawling with luxurious amenities, features and services, like an indoor pool, 24-hour on-site staff and an array of fitness and wellness centres, like an HD cinema with exercise program demonstrations and a therapeutic spa.

For nearly 60 years, the Zlepnig’s hotel has maintained its reputation for great food and a cozy, homely atmosphere–an experience that will no doubt be passed on to the Waterford’s high standards of Ottawa’s finest senior living.

Try Orange Grove’s 14-Day Skin Care Challenge

June 17, 2015 2:24 pm

Are you in need of a spa day but don’t have time to make the trip? Orange Grove is bringing the spa to you with two weeks of easy tips and tricks! You’ll learn about everything from beauty to building flexibility with this online event.

Starting on June 22, Orange Grove’s 14-day skin care challenge will IMG_0685bring you experts in the fields of skin care, nutrition, exercise, massage and makeup with DIY simple, fun and easy information, activities and videos to give you radiant skin.

“The journey to healthy, glowing skin is what we put on the end of our fork, and enhanced by what we put on the tips of our fingers!”

You can follow along or just watch and learn. Either way, it’s a great way treat your skin over the summer months.

It’s the perfect time to work on that healthy, summer glow!

Click here to check out the group on Facebook.

To learn more about the Orange Grove spa, click here.

Glowfair 2015: Transforming Bank Street into a Radiant Wonderland

June 15, 2015 2:04 pm

The Bank Street BIA is transforming downtown Ottawa into a technicolour dreamscape for two whimsical days of music, performances, art and activities.

From June 19 to 20, Glowfair Festival 2015 will immerse Bank Street in a sea of neon light.

Electropop singer and three-time Juno winner, Kiesza, will be headlining the festival on the Main Stage on June 20.

Take a listen to her hit single, ‘Hideaway’, here.

EZCpinXboSMDwpBspc6E7Lslp0bBd1ZtGRPxuNY46OU“We are thrilled to have Kiesza in Ottawa, fresh from what has been an amazing year for her. She is the headliner, but by no means the only aspect to the festival. Glowfair 2015 will be a feast for the senses in every way possible,” says Christine Leadman, Bank Street BIA executive director.

Other must-see performances include The New Deal, Blonde Redhead, Lowell and The Peptides.

This year’s festival promises to be even bigger and better than its 2014 inaugural event.

“Last year, we introduced Glowfair to Ottawa. We’re taking the event and making it high entertainment, while making it something everyone can come to,” says Kevin Martin, Glowfair producer.

The Glowfair Festival committee asked themselves: “Can we get more lights, more décor, more everything into the 2015 festival?” The answer: Yes!

The 2015 event will throw neon trees, yoga and body paint into the mix. Each block from Slater to James Streets will take you on a journey from the Moroccan bazaar to the circus to the enchanted forest. If you’re looking for some family fun, stop by the Kids’ Zone between Lisgar and Cooper Streets for puppet making, face painting and more!

This festival will be unlike any other in Ottawa—a luminescent landscape that brings the community together. Bank Street’s restaurants, bars, merchants and community members are all a part of this two-day event.

z72ELmmE5VEKuwoxn2tw6ei5hE80zHff8msznaViM5A“BIAs are all community-based and main streets have always been their strength,” says Christine Leadman, Bank Street BIA executive director. “We want to make [it] about community while returning Bank Street to its stature as Ottawa’s oldest and most traditional main street, so this year we’re adding a strong tourism component in attracting visitors from outside of the city.”

Glowfair Festival street activities will run from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Friday, June 19, and from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, June 20.

Click here for more information.

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