Ottawa Events Guide

With the listings and directories in our Events Guide, there really is no excuse for sitting at home with nothing to do. Here are some listings and links showing what's on in Ottawa.

OttawaStart's Weekly Event Round-Up: August 21-27, 2014

Here's our crowdsourced list of the best events in Ottawa this week.

Thursday-Sunday, August 21-24: Peoples’ Social Forum and "Art Sparks Change" Festival
From themed walking tours to performance art, the next few days are packed with activities associated with the Peoples’ Social Forum, a gathering of people working towards social, environmental and political justice. Even if you’re not at the PSF, check out the “Art Sparks Change” Festival with music, spoken word poetry and other experiences along Sparks Street—catch the book launch of “The Winter We Danced” (on the Idle No More movement) on Thursday at 7 p.m., and the Traditional Pow-Wow on Saturday from noon until 6 p.m.
-- Denise DebyGreen Living Ottawa

Thursday, August 21: Words of Courage
Recognizing that the topic of child sexual abuse is uncomfortable, but that turning from it will not make it go away, Voice Found has taken great care to design an informative evening that will leave you feeling inspired…and you’ll have some fun too!  Featuring special speakers including Jerry Sandusky's son and others, this should be a fantastic evening to learn, be inspired and help out.
-- Laura Gauthier

Friday, August 22 (8pm): Randypeters Reunion Show
Influenced by a mishmash of the Rolling Stones, the Clash, rockabilly, 65/66 Beatles, surf music, and whatever the heck else was on CKCU-FM those days, the Randypeters were a difficult band to pin down, though a roots rock/country/punk hybrid would be accurate. The band opened for the likes of the Cramps, the Minutemen, Rough Trade, Trio, the Exploited, the Anti-Nowhere League, Forgotten Rebels and Alien Sex Fiend.
-- Eugene Haslam

Friday, August 22: In/Words Magazine and Chapbook Publication Release Party
7:30 pm at Pressed, 750 Gladstone. Steven Artelle, Chris Johnson, Hungry Animals (music) & readers from the issue.
-- Amanda Earl, Bywords

Friday, August 22: OKA live at the Mercury Lounge
Live and direct from Australia, the progressive roots/world 4-piece band known for its feel good sounds featuring electrified didgeridoo, heavy slide guitar, soaring flutes & juju rhythms is sure to feed your soul with a noteworthy live performance. Before and after, local DJ Magnificent will be taking care of the playlist to get you moving and grooving. 
-- Eliane Laberge, Eventful Capital

Saturday, August 23: Urban Agriculture Bike Tour
A pleasant Saturday bike ride with stops at some of Ottawa’s thriving community gardens—that’s Just Food’s Urban Agriculture Tour. Marvel at the bounty, learn about local food and sample some snacks at either four or six community gardens. 10 a.m.
-- Denise DebyGreen Living Ottawa

Saturday, August 23: SAVE GAZA Humanitarian Relief Emergency Fundraiser
Our mission: To encourage Canadians of all persuasions, to come together for a SIMPLE HUMANITARIAN RELIEF EFFORT, showing the true spirit of Canadian compassion. Even if you can’t come, buy a ticket as a donation. 100% goes to Palestine Children’s Relief Fund, for Gaza. We are also lending our support to: HEAL 100 KIDS. http://www.heal100kids.com. As Canadians our wish is that our government provide visas and support for Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, "The Gaza Doctor’s" initiative to bring the most seriously injured to Canada for treatment. Event starts at 7pm.
-- Eugene Haslam

Saturday, August 23: Barnstorm 
In Finch, Ontario, south-east of Ottawa. This year’s edition of the annual music festival will feature live performances by Saint Clare, Big Jeezus Truck, Ray Harris & the BSOB’s, the Sick Sick Sicks, Lynne Hanson and R.W. Haller. Free camping is available and encouraged for those who want to get their party on. 
-- Eliane Laberge, Eventful Capital

Saturday-Sunday, August 23-24: Public Archaeological Dig at Vincent Massey Park!
Join an archaeologist from the NCC as he/she leads a public dig aimed at "gaining a better understanding of the pre-contact occupation of (the) site." The area was used by groups as a portage around 4,000 years ago, but didn't have "principal occupation" until about the year 800 BC. This sounds like a rare, cool event. Get your kids out learning without them realizing it!
-- Jake Naylor 

Saturday-Sunday, August 23-24: Trainfest 
Do you love trains? Ever seen an operating model railway? Ever taken a ride in a caboose, or been on a guided horse-and-wagon tour of our railway history? The weekend will feature a variety of vendors, exhibitors, demonstrations, workshops, a kid’s tent, museum BBQ, train rides, town-wide train trivia race, and so much more fun for the whole family! At the Railway Museum of Eastern Ontario, 90 William St. West, Smiths Falls.
-- Sara-Lynne Levine, Macaroni Kid Ottawa

Saturday-Sunday, August 23-24: Twist Festival
If you’re a fan of fibre, as in the kind that’s spun into yarn, then you’re in luck because the Twist Festival is happening this weekend in St-André-Avellin, a municipality about 45 minutes away from Ottawa-Gatineau. The two-day annual event serves as a showcase for the fibre world and is intended for the general public, enthusiasts, fibre producers, fleece animal breeders, transformers, artists, artisans, professionals and semi-professionals. It’ll feature dozens of workshops, activities, a textile art exhibit with a modern twist and over 80 exhibitors from all trades of the fibre industry.    
-- Eliane Laberge, Eventful Capital

Sunday, August 24: Share the Road Ride Ottawa
This bike ride is in memory of Mario Theoret, founding member of Trips for Kids Ottawa, which gives kids access to mountain bike outings and environmental education. Proceeds from the 55 km and 105 km routes benefit Trips for Kids Ottawa and Share The Road Cycling Coalition. Sign up to cycle, or support the riders on their way.
-- Denise DebyGreen Living Ottawa

Until August 23: Arboretum Music Festival
The only concert that I felt I couldn't miss this summer was the Constantines at Arboretum Music Festival. If you don't already know, they are a recently reunited rock'n'roll outfit who, in my humble opinion, are one of Canada's crown jewels in its history of music, and almost assuredly one of our country's best-ever live acts. This band is but one of way-too-many reasons why you should visit this new and growing festival, which is a celebration of many of life's joys - wonderful food, visual and video arts, artistic growth, community collaboration, supporting local - beyond its primary focus of music. Across twelve different venues over the course of a week, come eat, dance, learn, be inspired, drink some beer, make some friends, and - for your own good - see the Constantines. (PS: The entire music line-up is killer, and includes Kevin Drew of Broken Social Scene, Chad Vangaalen, locals Hilotrons and Steve Adamyk Band, and another one of my must-see acts: Weaves.)
-- Jake Naylor 

Until August 24: The Capital Fair
It's not quite the Super Ex but it's close. The Capital Fair (formerly the Gloucester Fair) takes place at Rideau Carleton Raceway. Featuring a full midway, monster truck show and free grandstand entertainment.
-- Glen Gower

Until August 30: Crush Improv presents My Summer Crush
Three weeks of improv theatre continues. This weekend features Montreal improv group Uncalled For on Thursday, stand-up with Kevin McDonald (Kids in the Hall) on Friday, and Spotlight On Kevin McDonald on Saturday night. This will be a very funny weekend.
-- Glen Gower

Until August 23: Changing the Guard on Parliament Hill 
See a Canadian tradition at its most colourful! The Ceremonial Guard brings stirring military drills and music to Parliament Hill. Daily at 10:00am on Parliament Hill. And it's free.
-- Sara-Lynne Levine, Macaroni Kid Ottawa

Until September 1: Who glows there? The science of bioluminescence at the Canadian Museum of Nature
What is behind the mysterious science of bioluminescence? What are the organisms that glow and why do they do it? Check out this fascinating natural phenomenon all summer long at the Museum of Nature. 
-- Sara-Lynne Levine, Macaroni Kid Ottawa

Anytime: Explore the capital region's bike paths!
After the completion of the Sawmill Creek pathway recently I am now finally able to get from the South Keys area to the pathways down the river and canal! A great reminder there are constant updates to paths, and beautiful things to see and do along the way. Lots of great resources to make a lovely hour, afternoon, or day of biking the beautiful pathways around the Ottawa and Gatineau areas. Don't forget Sunday Bike Days are still on!
-- Laura Gauthier


Have a great week!

OttawaStart Event Listings

The most recent event announcements added to our site.

Annual Events

More local web sites with event listings

  • Betidings
    A new-ish user-driven local events listing "created as a way for friends to discover and share events". Check out specific lists for local food, running, arts, and business.
  • Bywords.ca
    Literary / spoken word / poetry events.
  • Fundraising Events
    OttawaStart's listing of annual fundraising events in Ottawa.
  • Frugal Fun Ottawa
    Lists free and frugal events and activities happening in the National Capital Region, geared towards families and kids.
  • Ottawa Concerts Guide
    A listing of upcoming music concerts in Ottawa.
  • Ottawa Festivals Guide
    A big list of annual festivals in Ottawa.
  • OttawaFocus.com
    Ottawa's restaurants, events and entertainment guide
  • Ottawa Meetups
    Get-togethers for people with a common interest in hobbies, activities, politics, etc.
  • OttawaStart Community News
    Our free news & event listing service, featuring Ottawa entertainment events, community events, and other activities.
  • For even more arts & entertainment listings, please visit our Entertainment Guide

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