What to do today: Poutine season begins on Sparks


Thursday, April 28

PoutineFest starts just in time for lunch, with 30 different vendors setting up for an 11 a.m. opening of four days of cheese curds, gravy and fries — with special toppings as well, and vegetarian options, Sparks Street. The fun continues into the evening with live music along the (mostly) pedestrian walkway from 6 to 8 p.m. sparkslive.com (For those out of town this weekend, there’s more poutine to be had next weekend.)

For those wondering why the flags are at half-mast, it’s the National Day of Mourning, and a moment of silence will be observed at 11 a.m. to commemorate those who have lost their lives or been injured on the job. Then a gathering organized by PSAC is scheduled for 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the Vincent Massey Park, with a call to not only remember the dead but also “protect the living.” psac-ncr.com


Make your own beer this summer.

What eases suffering, I asked a friend? Why, Chocolate, she answered — and this is true in more ways than one at the gala event to benefit the Distress Centre’s 24/7 confidential phone services, 6 to 10 p.m., Trillium Ballroom, Shaw Centre. Enter the door and be given a chocolate, sit down to a four-course chocolate-infused dinner, then taste delicious treats from local chocolatiers. Tickets: $110. www.dcottawa.ca

Speaking of consumption, there’s a home brew basics workshop on tonight for those who want to make their own pints, from the head chef and brewer at West End Well, who will give tips on fermentation, equipment and making tasty tipples, 8:30 p.m., McKellarPark Field House. Cost: $25. www.westborobrainery.com

Your money is worth nothing at the 8th Timeraiser art auction, but your time, donated to help local non-profits with which you are matched based on skills and interest, could net you something for your walls — all while sipping cocktails and mingling in a fun atmosphere, 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., Horticulture Building, Lansdowne Park. Tickets: $20. weareframework.org/timeraiser

Each fall, I wonder why some plants thrived (parsley) and others failed (strawberries) in my garden. Before most of us begin planting, Linda Chalker-Scott, author and horticulture professor at Washington State University, will explain How Plants Work, addressing the science in an accessible way — and maybe the gardens will be even better this year, 6:30 p.m., Confederation Education Centre, 1645 Woodroffe Ave. Cost: $5. justfood.com

The NAC Orchestra is channeling a gin-joint, speakeasy tonight, playing the likes of Duke Ellington and others from the early days of jazz at The Cotton Club, joined by trumpeter and singer Byron Stripling, world famous and still energetic tap dancer Ted Louis Levy and singer Carmen Bradford, 8 p.m., NAC. Tickets: from $25. Show is on until April 30. nac-cna.ca

Photos: What to do this week

Looking for some inspiration for your evenings and days? We've got you covered.

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    The Mermaid Theatre brings through touring producting of The Hungry Caterpillar to the Centrepointe Theatres for two shows in one day.

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    Matthew Mellor and Marc Andre-Fournier (R) tuck in to some Bacon Poutine from the Tornado Potato at the fall edition of Poutinefest. The Texas Tornado will be back at the spring edition, on all weekend until May 1. Wayne Cuddington / Ottawa Citizen

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    Science by Night is a free, adult-only event at the Museum of Nature. And its free.

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    The Ottawa Loft Gala, is on this week, so dress up. Caroline Phillips / Ottawa Citizen

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    Men i Trust bring some mellow, electro-pop vibes to Ottawa.

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    Randy Fenoli from TLC's Say Yes to the Dress is in town and giving advice (and free stuff)

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    Pablo Picasso's Minotaur Kneeling over Sleeping Girl, is part of an exhibit of etchings, last seen in the 1950s. Pablo Picasso / National Gallery of Canada

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    There's a short story writing contest only open to people 50 years and over.

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    Downtown Boys play Ottawa — this is going to be fun.

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    Uncensored British comedian JImmy Carr has two shows at Algonquin College Theatre.

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    Get some inspiration on a 200-acre nature reserve at the Creativity Blitz day.

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    Ottawa Flamenco Studio dancer Sara is performing at a Monday night tapas event at Soca Kitchen.

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    Bilingual comedian Mike Ward has six shows over four days at Yuk Yuk's.

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    Suicide Girls Blackheart Burlesque is back in town.

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    Pony Girl are releasing the vinyl version of their debut album. Isaac Vallentin / supplied

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    See The Lego Movie at a free screening at Jack Purcell. Handout photo / TT Games

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    Bon Appetit Ottawa has been helping others for 20 years.

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    Corners play House of Targ on Thursday. Jeff Fribourg / su

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    Tickets to see Pearl Jam could be a great Mother's Day gift.

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    Cyclofest has its first year down Preston Street.

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    Zoe's Corner is among the local makers selling wares at a love-themed pre-Valentine's day show. Facebook for endemann

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    My Fair Zombie makes its world premiere at The Gladstone.

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    Danny Michel plays St. Alban's.

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    Moon Tan plays psych rock arena style. Jason Cottes / supplied
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Friday, April 29

Apparently, it’s International Dance Day, which means one cannot do the house chores or taxes and must, instead, hit the clubs.

But first, etchings by the famous artist Picasso in the National Gallery of Canada collection are being exhibited for the first time since they were first acquired in the 1950s. The pieces, about 100 in number, have not been shown before because they are very fragile, showing Picasso playing with different styles, outside of the cubism for which he is so famous, on to Sept. 5. gallery.ca

Nature Nocturne is going to the Birds and Bees just in time for spring (and thoughts lightly turning to love) so catch the fever in your best togs as the Museum of Nature is turned into dance club, 8 p.m., 240 McLeod St. Tickets: $25, includes one food ticket. nature.ca


Downtown Boys play Ottawa — this is going to be fun.

Rhode Island band Downtown Boys (but they’re fronted by Victoria Ruiz) have recently been called one of the 10 great modern punk bands by Rolling Stone magazine. We like them because they’re political but also bring a party, and this is an all-ages show so everyone can dance, or thrash, about, 8 p.m., Zaphod Beeblebrox. Tickets: $12 in advance. zaphods.ca

Another all-age show is metal-informed, with hardcore bands from Ottawa including Forest, Isometric, Fall in a Day, Trentia and Sazara playing, 7 p.m., Club SAW, 67 Nicholas St. Tickets: $10.

France’s Afro-pop and reggae singer-songwriter Kyssi Wète is at the NAC Fourth Stage, with new songs off an upcoming album, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $25. nac-cna.ca

The oddity that is B.A Johnston, who is part comedian, part irreverent, dystopian musician who sings about the life of a quintessential loser, from remembering skinny jeans the first time around to living in one’s parents basement, is at his “natural habitat,” the pinball underground that is House of Targ, 10 p.m. joined by garage punk bands Average Times and Faux Cults. Tickets: $5 before 10 p.m. www.houseoftarg.com

For something utterly different, Stick Men perform something that sits between progressive rock and free music improv, perform challenging and interesting music on innovative “stick”-informed instruments — the 12-stick Champan Stick and touch-style guitar, or percussion and its many permutations, including electronic, 8 p.m., Mavericks, 221 Rideau St. www.mavericksbar.com

Saturday, April 30


Randy Fenoli from Say Yes to the Dress is at Centrepointe Theatres on April 30.

TV’s Say Yes to the Dress’ Randy Fenoli is bringing gifts with him while dishing on the hottest wedding trends and how every woman can and should look beautiful on their wedding day, 2 p.m., Centrepointe Theatres. Tickets: $60, $100 for VIP tickets, including pop-up shop, swag bags and cocktails. Also: There are manu giveaways, including a one-on-one consult with Fenoli and a wedding dress from The Handmade Bride. centrepointetheatres.com

Also, it’s International Table Top Board Game day (according to Wil Wheeaton’s baby, Geek & Sundry). May we recommend turning off the devices for some family time. (However, if you decide to play A Study in Emerald for the first time, budget atleast four hours, and stock in tequila. There were desperate pleas for shots about halfway through the instruction-reading when we tried to play.) Mrs. Tiggywinkle’s is hosting two tournaments at two locations, Munchkins on Richmond Road and Ticket to Ride in The Glebe — however both are full.

Riverside South Community is doing its annual clean-up after winter with activities for all, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., starting at the Rideauview Community Centre, 4310 Shoreline Dr. www.riversidesouth.org


Also suitable for amusing the kids, with less activity on your part, is a free screening of The Lego Movie, the blockbuster film that is somehow anti-capitalist, 1:30 to 4;30 p.,.,., Jack Purcell community centre, 320 Jack Purcell Lne. It’s indoors, but feel free to bring blankets or yoga mats. Also, be be sure you can handle resurrecting that theme song in your household.


Author Terry Fallis

The Gananoque Literary Festival starts up just days after the Ottawa Festival ends, featuring 13 authors in 19 sessions, starting with a writers workshop with critically-acclaimed author Terry Fallis this morning (9 a.m.), a lunch and reading with Frances Itani or James Raffan and Diana Beresford-Kroeger (12:30 p.m.), then many panels and discussions throughout the day, ending with a pub quiz. Ticket prices and locations vary, at www.gananoqueliteraryfestival.ca

Send a little extra love to those who may need it this Mother’s Day (which is next week), at a card-making event for women in shelters, 2 to 4:30 p.m., Planet Botanix, 301 Bank St. Donations are also being accepted of toiletries, bus tickets, makeup and jewelry. There’s also a basket set up at the store for those who can make cards at home.

Come spring, people often want to divest themselves of stuff. But we say get more stuff and some amazing deals at the OC Transpo Unclaimed Items Sale on for only two hours, noon to 2 p.m., 404 MacArthur Ave. There will be the usual umbrellas, sunglasses, missing gloves but also cellphones and other gadgets, to benefit Heartwood House, with unsold items going to the Canadian Diabetes Foundation. (Last sale, there were even strollers and laptops to be had.) www.heartwoodhouse.ca

Then get ready for some time on Ottawa’s numerous waterways at a Stand Up Paddle Board fundamentals clinic in the warmth and safety of the Dovercourt Pool, 8:30 p.m., 411 Dovercourt Ave. Cost: $50. www.dovercourt.org

Crafters and quilters take note, the Hintonburg Fabric Flea Market is on from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., with over 50 vendors selling materials of all sorts, 1064 Wellington St. W. (There is an undisclosed entrance fee that will be going to charity.)

Here are three different food events:

There are unlimited tacos included in this City Crawl yoga event (but, after the mat part), with a DJ flow class from 7 to 8:15 p.m., and an after-party from Pure Kitchen until 10:30 p.m., Lansdowne Park. Cost: $35, including yoga, two drinks and all those tacos from Pure Kitchen. All proceeds top benefit the Syrian refugee family Pure Yoga is sponsoring. pureyogaottawa.com

Meawhile in centretown, Night Brunch brings the best of Sunday to Saturday night, for the first time, with four chefs from North and Navy, The Pomeroy House and others cooking up four-courses, made with pork from Castor River Farms and paired with “boundary pushing beers” from Dominion City Brewing, 6:30 p.m., Bridgehead Roastery. Tickets: $70+, to benefit the Ottawa School Breakfast Program. www.nightbrunch.ca


The Ottawa Loft Gala in 2015 fatured beautiful gowns by McCaffrey Haute Couture.

Meanwhile in Merrickville, Miss Scarlett is up to no good in the library: Enjoy the opulence of vintage New Orleans at Game of Clue — wine edition in a masquerade, mystery evening with dinner cooked by Steve Mitton of Murray Street and Jo-Ann Laverty of The Red Apron, at Ms. McGarrigle Mustard (of course), 7 to 11 p.m., 311 St. Lawrence St., Merrickville. Costumes encouraged. Tickets: $65. To benefit the Parkdale Food Centre. www.beerbarleyandfood.com

The Loft Gala heads to the Big Band era this year, so add a 30s-40s twist to that most elegant, outrageous or sparkly outfit, and enjoy an evening of high fashion, art and music to benefit the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation, 6 to 11:30 p.m., Hilton Lac Leamy, 1 Casino Blvd, Gatineau. Tickets: $300. www.loftgala.com

There may be jazz hands at the Show Tune Showdown, part singing competition, part Name That Tune event, pitting three groups of four singers against each other in good fun, with the audience the actual winners, hosted by the “quite queer choir” at De La Salle high school, 8 p.m., 501 St. Patrick St. Tickets: $25-$40. www.tonecluster.ca

Ottawa art-rock group Pony Girl, fronted by Pascal Huot and Julien Dussault, are in concert tonight, celebrating the release of the vinyl version of their popular 2015 album, Foreign Life. This is lush electronic pop songs with strings and a raw hush, 8:30 p.m., The Black Sheep Inn. Tickets: $10 in advance. theblacksheepinn.com

Sunday, May 1

Décor Day is a a home show with a learning difference, offering one-on-one time with designers throughout the day, alongside a full day of demonstrations and tutorials, including when to hire a professional for your kitchen remodel and maximizing space, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Nepean Sportsplex. Tickets: $49. http://bit.ly/1T3uJ7E

In a tradition that has gone on for centuries in their Italian home village of Pretoro, Catholic descendants in Ottawa will be celebrating the arrival from Italy of a statue of Saint Domenico Abate, who saved a young child from the clutches of a wolf. There will be a special mass and unveiling of the statue (10 a.m.) at Saint Anthony’s Church, followed by a re-enactment of the story of Lu Lope outside, culminating in a five-course, al fresco Italian feast. All welcome, with the meal costing only $20 — but reserve a spot by calling 613-852-6757. (There will be lasagna.) www.ottawaitalians.com


Flowering trees at the arboretum.

The guided tour of flowering trees at the Arboretum was rescheduled from last weekend to today, looking at the most showy of trees while discussing the impact of climate change, 2 p.m., starting at Building 72, Arboretum, Experimental Farm.Tickets: Free, but donations to Friends of the Farm appreciated. www.friendsofthefarm.ca

Learn how to take your garden to the next level, with a lecture about plant guilds, or how planting plants together can increase their happiness, with master gardener Rebecca Last, 7 to 9 p.m., Friends of the Farm, Bldg. 72 CEF Arboretum, east exit off Prince of Wales roundabout. Cost: $12-$15. www.friendsofthefarm.ca

Mother May I is a chance to pick up something unique for the woman in your life (Mother’s Day is only a week away) from over 25 quirky vendors, while sipping on a drink and listening to tunes, noon to 6 p.m., Zaphod Beeblebrox, 27 York St. zaphods.ca


The Mermaid Theatre brings through touring producting of The Hungry Caterpillar to the Centrepointe Theatres for two shows in one day.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar, that apple-biting character made famous for generations in the children’s books by Eric Carle, comes to life through the award-winning and whimsical puppetry of the Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia, who are performing twice today at Centrepointe Theatres, at 1 and 4 p.m., 101 Centrepointe Dr. The show is an hour-long and is suitable for most ages. centrepointetheatres.ca

Artist Kathy M. Haycock will be at Cube Gallery for the opening event of her show, featuring pieces that explore the boundaries of traditional landscapes — a tree line, edge of a pond or periods of transition in weather, 2 to 5 p.m., 1285 Wellington St. W. Exhibit continues to May 29. cubegallery.ca

Or, make your own art at the annual Creativity Blitz invites all artistic sorts to be inspired by the 200-acre High Lonesome Nature Reserve outside Pakenham, from making art with natural materials to writing songs inspired by the scenery, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mentors will be on hand to guide artists to the spectacular spots, just remember to wear sturdy footwear and bring protections for instruments. Admission: $10, free for children 12 and under. Details and directions at mmlt.ca/events/creativity_blitz_at_high_lonesome.

This is a heartwarming music event: Music Matters brings people living with dementia and their caregivers together with two local musicians, including Juno award-winning percussionist Jesse Stewart and singer-songwriter Julia Churchill, to perform originals and popular songs from the past, 2 p.m., NAC Fourth Stage. This is the culmination of an eight-week program supported by various local health agencies; all proceeds will go towards its continuation. Tickets: $25. nac-cna.ca

Just as the warm weather begins in earnest, champion athletes will be performing on the cold at Stars on Ice, featuring the top skaters, including a return to the show by Elvis Stojko and a feature appearance by Kurt Browning, 4 p.m., Canadian Tire Centre. Tickets: $25-$130. canadiantirecentre.ca

Deadpan British comedian Jimmy Carr, famous for his quirky laugh and uncensored one-liners and seen often as a TV guest or host in Britain, is on his first Canadian tour with his all-new show Funny Business (also viewable on Netflix). He is performing twice today at Algonquin Commons Theatre, 6 p.m., and 8 p.m., 1285 Woodroffe Ave. * Not suitable for children aged 15 years and under. Tickets: $45.50/show. http://ticketf.ly/1rqhLL7

Monday, May 2


This could be you, responding to a fire.

Wanna ride the big red truck and maybe pose in some calendars (oh, and also save lives)? The Ottawa Fire Service has pot out a rare call for firefighter candidates, open to anyone 18 years of age, legally entitled to work in Canada with a high school diploma, First Aid Certificate Level C CPR and driver’s license (to drive that big red truck). Applications are being accepted until May 31. Read more here: http://bit.ly/240ClTv

Shepherd’s Fashion is holding a fundraiser showcasing the latest in spring outfits, including “après-golf attire,” with light refreshments and tips from experts, 6 to 9 p.m., 145 Trainyards Dr. Tickets: $30-$45. Proceeds will benefit the Healthy Women, Healthy Community program of the Ottawa Hospital Foundation. http://bit.ly/1NxBWAp

Eclectic gypsy, folk, rock band Moonfruits will play at the first Music Mondays event, bringing together local members of the industry to chat, 7 to 9 p.m., LIVE on Elgin. Tonight’s theme is Parlez-vous Canadian?, looking at the question of linguistic diversity and asking if it is an opportunity or a threat. Cost: $5. ottawamic.com

Pretend its Spain and we stay out late on Mondays and always eat dinner at 10 p.m. Ottawa Flamenco Studio dancer will be performing at The Soca Kitchen on a themed tapas night, at the more reasonable 8 p.m., 93 Holland Ave. Reservations recommended. www.thesocakitchen.com

Tuesday, May 3


Bon Appetit Ottawa has been helping others for 20 years.

It’s the 20th anniversary of Bon Appétit Ottawa, a foodie event that has raised over $2.1 million for local charities by bringing together some of the best chefs, brews and wines at a chic cocktail party— and there are no extra costs once you’re inside, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Aberdeen Pavilion, Lansdowne Park. Proceeds go to 19 local charities focused on hunger relief, children and the elderly. Tickets: $85 ($50 tax receipt). bonappetitottawa.ca

Not all writing contests are for the young. This one is for on anyone over the age of 50 with a current Ottawa Public Library card, who may submit up to two short stories, under 2,000 words in English or French, May 31. Stories must be original and unpublished. Plus, the library is offering three writing workshops, starting with one offered by telephone today (Not sure how that will work, but register at 613-236-0428 ext. 2323, and they may be able to explain it). www.BiblioOttawaLibrary.ca/50plus.

Speaking about books, it’s thrillers, superheroes and award-winning sagas at the Chi Series reading series, featuring the best voices in horror, dark fantasy and sci fi, 7 p.m., Patty Boland’s. Toronto psychotherapist Matt Cahill’s debut literary-thriller novel was dubbed one of the must-reads of 2015 by Harper’s Bazaar. He is joined by graphic novelist Mark Shainblum and Chadwick Ginther. chiseries.com

Wednesday, May 4



Ottawa Art Gallery Toddler morning is a free, drop-in tour with gallery staff for parents/caregivers (yay! adult conversation!) with their children, including activities for the little ones, May 4, 10 to 11:30 a.m. trollers are always welcome, 2 Daly Ave. Cost: Free. www.ottawartagallery.ca

Spring Blooms is a different art show, exhibiting watercolours by young cancer patients and their siblings created with the help of a local artist, with silent and live auctions and delicious canapés, 6 to 8 p.m., Koyman Galleries. Tickets: $25, with proceeds benefitting The Candlelighters childhood cancer support programs.

Everything is coming up zombies, even the plains of Spain it seems, with My Fair Zombie putting an undead twist on the popular musical My Fair Lady, on for three nights and one matinée at The Gladstone, 7:30 p.m. This time, it’s about turning a zombie into a lady (no comments about Cockneys, please). Tickets: $20-$34. thegladstone.ca

Let’s take things down a beat. Men I Trust is a very, very, very mellow electro-pop dance band from Quebec City, creating music that is so calm time seems to be, very calmly, going in reverse — but in a good way, 7 p.m., Minotaure, 3 Kent St., Gatineau. They’re joined by fellow QCers and collaborators, dream-pop group Ghostly Kisses. In English. Tickets: $9.45. lepointedevente.com

Thursday, May 5

We’ll start with the PG rated stuff and move into the more risqué.


St. Albert brings its cheese curds to City Hall.

First, poutine. Ottawa in warm weather is not complete without a foodie fest each weekend. This time, the curds and gravy have moved to City Hall festival plaza, where the St. Albert Cheese PoutineFest gets under way at 11 a.m., and runs to May 8. This year, they promise traditional, but also exotic and extreme poutine (judging tarts at 3 p.m. on Saturday), a Craft Beer Garden, live entertainment and a poutine-eating contest (Sunday at 2:30 p.m.). www.ottawapoutinefest.ca #spreadthecurd

Now, networking. There are three events on today, beginning with AccelerateOTT, where innovators, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists mingle and share their thoughts (think Shopify, Livestream), 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Horticulture Building, Lansdowne Park. Tickets: $60-$180, including drinks and food.
At the same time, Startup Canada, Day on the Hill 2016, brings other innovators, startups, government leaders and politicians together to talk about the country’s innovation strategy, with panels and hack-a-thons, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Shaw Centre. Tickets: $15-$95. www.startup.ca.
Then, Hub & Spoke is thinking about Canada’s 150th anniversary, bringing local groups and people together to talk about what 2017 can look like across the city, including unding opportunities, 6 to 8:30 p.m., 71 Bank St. Tickets: $10-$17. http://bit.ly/1NQArYM

Beloved broadcaster Carol Anne Meehan is hosting a fundraising fashion show and cocktail event, featuring items from Viens Avec Moi and others, to benefit the Zonta Club of Ottawa, whose mission is to advance the status of women in society, 6 to 8 p.m., City Hall. Tickets: $25. www.zontaottawa.ca

Science By Night is an adult-only evening to explore the museum, free of charge, with scientists on hand to answer qustions on everything from DNA, dissection and dinos. There will also be video games to play, trivia and a cash bar, 5 to 9 p.m., Museum of Nature, 240 McLeod St. nature.ca

Popular local folk-pop Métis songstress Amanda Rheaume is at the NAC Fourth Stage, having just released Red Dress, the first song off her new album Holding Patterns, being released tomorrow. The song is intended to honour murdered and missing indigenous women and girls in Canada, with some help from Canadian singer Chantal Kreviazuk (all proceeds from the song are going to the Native Women’s Association of Canada), 7:30 p.m., 53 Elgin St. Tickets: $25. nac-cna.ca

Bilingual, acerbic Québécois comedian Mike Ward is going anglo for his six scheduled stand-up shows at Yuk Yuk’s this week, starting at 8:30 p.m. tonight, 292 Elgin St. Ward regularly sells out in La Belle Province, and he’s won all the awards, including being named one of the 25 best comedians of all time at Just For Laughs. Tickets: $25. www.yukyuks.com


Blackheart Burlesque is back in town.

It’s only $5 to see L.A. band Corners, whose love for Joy Division is evident in their songs, which are early 80s goth power-pop interestingly tinged with the happy beats of surf punk — possibly showing that growing up in California has lasting effects, 10 p.m., House of Targ. www.houseoftarg.com

The alternative sexuality of Suicide Girls’ Blackheart Burlesque is back in town on tour with a new show, celebrating geek-culture and counter-culture. They performs with local openers Rockalily Burlesque and Helvetica Bold, 8 p.m., Bronsons Centre, 211 Bronson Ave. Tickets: $29.50-$129.50 (the expensive tickets include front row seats and a meet-and-greet with performers). spectrasonic.com

Friday, May 6

The Hintonburg Happening, a week-long art, business and community event, launches tonight with music, snacks, beer from Beau’s Brewing and an art tour through the neighbourhood, 7 to 10 p.m., 1140 Wellington St. W. Check hintonburghappening.ca for the full scheduled of activities, deals and events.


Danny Michel plays St. Alban’s.

This post-punk surf all-ages show is strictly dry, with no alcohol nor intoxication allowed, with guitar-heavy post-punk Toronto band Several Futures playing with locals Bonnie Doon and The Young Offenders, 10 p.m., Gabba Hey, 250 City Centre Ave., #202. Tickets: $8 at the door.

“Are you too cool for love?” One of Canada’s nicest, most thoughtful and respected singer-songwriters, Danny Michel, is playing a solo set at St. Alban’s Church, days after his new album, Matadora, was released. The album is meant to be an empathetic answer to turbulent times, borrowing from the Caribbean to Bowie, witha catchy message that is, somehow, not irritatingly preachy, 8 p.m., 454 King Edward Ave. Tickets: $22.50. spectrasonic.com

Psych space rock is often expected to be inoffensive and a bit quirky; France’s Quetzal Snakes has created something that is not metal, not punk, but guitar-heavy power noise (they call their wall of riffs “deafstruction’), with some catchy lead lines. They play with garage rockers Sonic Panic, weird surf band Uvula and grungers Warp Lines, 10 p.m., House of Targ. Tickets: $8. houseoftarg.com

With the deep voice and folk-rock longevity, five-time Grammy Award-winning singer songwriter James Taylor brings his All-Star Band to the Canadian Tire Centre, 8 p.m. Tickets: $59.50 to $149.50.

Not music, but there will be live taping for broadcast on radio: The Toronto Comedy All-Stars are back with seven new comedians — all who have either won awards or should have, including Lianne Malaudin who has appeared on The View, in the beginning of this season’s popular series, 7:30 p.m., NAC Fourth Stage. Tickets: $20. nac-cna.ca

Saturday, May 7


Get some running in ahead of Race Weekend — and don’t forget to register.

It’s only three weeks until Ottawa Race Weekend, so get registered now for the coveted spots in the half and full marathon, and 10K to 2K and kids marathon for CHEO. Also, remember there is a free, 5K, self-timed run on today in the beautiful Experimental Farm at the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, hosted the first Saturday of every month by Run Ottawa., 8 a.m. for registration, 9 a.m. for run. www.runottawa.ca


Zoe’s Corner is among the local makers selling wares at this weekend’s handmade show.

The Main Farmers’ Market is opening today, back at the Canadian Museum of Nature for its second year (that’s right downtown, so no excuse not to get your veggies), with 30 vendors expected from 9 a.m. and running to 2 p.m. mainfarmersmarket.org

Don’t panic: Mother’s Day is tomorrow, but the Cheerfully Made Craft Show is on today, featuring 50 makers today, and then a whole 50 different other makers tomorrow (which means you could buy a gift for mom today, and then bring her to the market as a nice outing tomorrow, and she won’t find out you bought the gift last minute. Cunning.), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Almonte AG Hall, 195 Water St., Almonte. Admission: $2, but free parking. www.cheerfullymade.com

Arguably the band of the 90s (except that other one), Pearl Jam is in town tomorrow, and fans are gathering tonight to get ready for the show, while raising money for a good cause: They’re calling it The Wishlist Foundation Pearl Jam Fan Preparatory & Fundraiser. The cause is Do It For Daron, in aid of teen mental health, at Earl of Sussex, who is donating a portion of its sales tonight, 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. facebook.com

Edmonton’s The Wet Secrets describe themselves as a ‘pep’ band; horn-heavy, with matching outfits, playing brit-pop meets surf-rock with a ton of cheesy 60s organs over some really engaging, heavy drumming. (The band took a break for some other projects before releasing their 2014 album — you may remember founder Lyle Bell with Shout Out Out Out Out Out), and are now about to release another, The Tyranny of Objects, some time this year, 8 p.m., Zaphod’s. Tickets: $8 at the door. spectrasonic.com

Sunday, May 8

It’s Mother’s Day, and we are dedicating ourselves to her pleasure. Billings Estate is offering a Mother’s Day Tea, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., including delicacies and actors performing vignettes about motherhood from 1815 to 1975 ($20, reserve at 613-247-4830). The Cumberland Heritage Village Museum has activities for the whole family, with painting, track and field races, geological dig, and even visits from Canadian women from history (10 a.m. to 4 p.m., free, ottawa.ca/museums).


Cyclofest begins this year.

The art-loving mom might like to take a drive in rural West Carleton to enjoy the Red Trillium Tour, where 26 artists can be found in 10 different studios, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., all weekend. Admission: Free. Maps at www.redtrilliumst.com

Or, spend some time together decorating the bikes for the first-ever Cyclofest, including a parade down Little Italy’s Preston Street, as it will be safely closed to traffic, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Anything with wheels is welcome. www.prestonstreetbia.com

For the grunge mom who was rocking in the early 90s, rock band Pearl Jam is back in Ottawa tonight, five years after they blew our minds with an epic show, 8 p.m., Canadian Tire Centre. The band has no opening act, and they are known to use every ounce of time, so get there early. Tickets: $87.50. canadiantirecentre.ca


Canadian Playboyz are doing a Magic Mike night for Mother’s Day.

Only ladies are welcome as Magic Mike comes to life on stage, with performers from the Canadian Playboyz stopping on their cross-country tour in Ottawa just in time for Mother’s Day, 8 p.m., Playmate CLub, 175 Montreal Rd. Tickets: $20, $30 for front-row seating. www.magicmikeplayboyz.eventbrite.ca .

Send your event information to kendemann@postmedia.com, by 8 a.m. Monday, two weeks before it starts. Photos and audio/video files are welcome.