OttawaStart’s Weekly Event Round-Up: Films, fireworks, skateboards and more


Here the big list of the best events in Ottawa this week, according to our intrepid panel of contributors…

Bryony Etherington, aka @ladylovewell:
 This week my pick is the Ottawa International Film Festival. In it’s second year, the festival will be screening World, Canadian and Ottawa premieres, feature films, documentaries, comedic shots, selections from the 2010 Digi60 Festival, a music video challenge and “An Evening with Aaron Ryder” (director of Donnie Darko & Memento). Plan your visit by viewing trailers from the schedule and purchasing your tickets before they sell out (a full festival pass is just $70). I’ve been sharing previews of films by Ottawa producers/directors and will be blogging about the festival and it’s events from the OGFT site.

Juliette Giannesini, aka Zhu, photographer:
The second Ottawa International Film Festival is kicking off this week. On Thursday, August 18 at 7:30 p.m., I’m going to catch A Violent State, a locally produced crime drama flick by Ottawa-based director Adrian Langley. Tickets for all movies are $10 each and can be bought online on the OIFF website.

Andrew Snowdon, writer:
THEATRE: I highly recommend taking advantage of the last few nights of Odyssey Theatre’s 25th anniversary production of The Fan. A perfect evening’s ribald (yet never quite crude) entertainment for the whole family in Strathcona Park against the backdrop of the Rideau River. Totally worth it. (Through Sunday at 8pm, plus Saturday and Sunday at 3pm.)

Ming Wu from Photogmusic:
MUSIC: Adam & The Amethysts and Owl Loris at Raw Sugar Cafe on Thursday, August 18. The Montreal band will be previewing new tracks on the new album Flickering Flashlight. That album is being released on Ottawa’s Kelp Records. Who doesn’t love a live show at Raw Sugar Cafe?

Sara-Lynne Levine, Ottawa Capital Region Macaroni Kid: 
SKATEBOARDING: Get your Tony Hawk on! Check out the World Slalom Skateboarding Championships Aug 19-21. Enjoy three days of awesome action! Best of all, it’s free! Friday, August 19: Dovercourt Avenue at Denbury Avenue, starts at 9:30am, Saturday, August 20: Carling Avenue at Maple Drive (southside of Carling), starts at 9:30am and Sunday, August 21: Carling Avenue at Maple Drive (southside of Carling) starts at 9:30am.

Yasir Naqvi, MPP Ottawa Centre:
SKATEBOARDING (again):  I’m really excited about the World Championships of Slalom Skateboarding that is coming to the Dovercourt Recreation Centre. There will be world class athletes and competitions all day – not something you want to miss! Opening Ceremonies begin at 9:00am on Friday, August 19 with fun all weekend long.

Denise Deby, who writes for Green Living Ottawa:
I’m happy to have found a way to mention both the Ottawa International Film Festival and the World Championships of Slalom Skateboarding, on until Aug. 21. The two come together Friday, Aug. 19 when the documentary Highway Gospel has its Ottawa premiere at 8 p.m. at the World Exchange Plaza. The “humorous and at times heartbreaking” film features internationally-renowned Ottawa skateboarder, coach and force behind the Canadian and World Championships – and the sport itself – Claude Regnier, who still skateboards in his 50s even after heart surgery.

Stuntman Stu from Majic 100:
Join Majic 100 for our final Movies on the Beach “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” this Friday August 19, at Mooney’s Bay. We start the movie at dusk, which is around 8:30 now. Always free and lots of fun!

Lisa from
Ottawa’s Funkiest Soul Party happens every third Friday of the month. DJ’s Zattar, Eric Roberts, MemEtic and guests regularly spin soul & hiphop. It is the hottest party in town, literally. There are no open windows in Eri Cafe (953 Somerset) so be prepared to sweat yourself sexy.

Gordon Dewis, blogger:
 This Saturday is the fourth annual RCC Dragon Boat Festival at the Rideau Canoe Club. The first race is at 8:30am. The day ends with some exhibition 1000m races, which see the dragonboats doing a U-turn halfway though the race!

Andrew King, artist:
 Residents of Ottawa are fortunate to have a gorgeous operating farm in the middle of their city, and even more fortunate that once a year artists display their work in it.  Art on the Farm is this Saturday, August 20th (rain date 21st) at the Central Experimental Farm. Check out some artwork from local artists in this amazing setting right in the heart of our fine city.

Max KeepingCTV Ottawa’s Community Ambassador:
Ottawa born independent filmmaker Bryan Michael Stoller is in town, to premiere his newest offering, FIRST DOG.  The theatrical opening was at 7pm Wednesday; a bonus showing is at 10am Saturday, at the Coliseum Theatre on Carling Avenue.   Bryan and Little Bear, the star of the movie, will be there. Little Bear was once owned by Nancy Reagan. Human stars in the flick are Eric Roberts, Tiny Lister and Joan-Paul Howard. It features three original songs by Dolly Parton.  The movie has already won several awards at film festivals.

Max KeepingCTV Ottawa’s Community Ambassador:
Saturday evening the sky over Lac Leamy in Gatineau will light up with fireworks from the best pyro-tekkies from China, Italy, Canada, and Germany.  All four will repeat the best of their shows from the competition for final judging.  The panel of jurists will pick a winner while the resident fireworks creator shows off a Grand Finale closing. More than 2,000 tonnes of explosives are used in these shows – at a cost of more than a quarter of a million dollars a night. Italy is leading in the People’s Choice voting at I will argue that this Sound of Light is the best event of summer in the capital.

Josee from Frugal Fun Ottawa:
FESTIVALS: The Lumiere Festival ends Saturday evening with an enchanting Evening of Light. It will be held at New Edinburgh  Park (aka Stanley Park) from 5 to 10 pm. Bring your lanterns and your fairy wings! Admission is by donation and there will be entertainmdnt throughput the park. I wish we could go!

Kaitlin Wainwright, blogger & twitter-er:
I recommend the the 8th annual Lumiere Festival’s Evening of Light. The festival has taken place over the last few weeks, but it all ends this Saturday with the Evening of Light at Stanley Park. There will be performers from all walks of life and lanterns as far as the eye can see. It’s a great chance for kids (or adults) to throw on a pair of fairy wings and glow in the lantern light. I would especially recommend the event for photographers, as there are always some beautiful handmade lanterns worth capturing.

Ryan Bresee, radio host of CKCU’s Whatever’s Cool With Me:
MUSIC: If you like catching bands before everyone else hears about them, you have to go check out Fevers on Saturday at Club Saw. People are going to be hearing about this band very soon! You can download the new single, Straighter Line, for free on their website

Brett Delmage,
This Saturday, it’s a unique opportunity to hear one of the city’s favorite jazz pianists, Brian Browne, for the first time with one of Canada’s best jazz guitarists, Ottawa’s own Roddy Ellias. They be joined by veteran Montreal bassist Michel Donato. It should be a great trio, full of melody and improvisation. Saturday, August 20 – 7:30 to 10:30 p.m., Cover: $10, at Café Paradiso 199 Bank Street 613-565-0657. Reservations strongly recommended.

Stephan Telka, public engagement consultant by day and avid Ottawa lover by night:
I’m looking forward to the Fourth Annual Urban Agricultural Bike Tour, taking place on Sunday August 21st from 1100-1500. Organized by, the 15km ride (suitable for all biking abilities) is a chance to roll through some of the city’s most beautiful community gardens, while learning about local food production. Suggested donation is $5 with proceeds going to the Ottawa Food Bank. The meeting point is 179 Primrose Ave and Rochester. For more information, contact Hannah at See you there!

Amanda Earl, poet & publisher:
LITERARY: Samandra Eardly, Christine McNair and Pearl Pirie read at the Tree Reading Series on Tuesday, August 23 at 8pm, Arts Court, 2 Daly Ave. Eardly is the entity of Amanda Earl and Sandra Ridley reading from their collaborative poetry work, “Eve, a mere roar.” Ridley’s Post-Apothecary (Pedlar Press) will be out this fall. McNair has a book out with Book Thug in the spring. Pirie just won the Robert Kroetsch Innovative Poetry Award. All four were on the Kroetsch award shortlist. Come out to hear some poetry on the ledge of the edge and read your own poems at the open mic.

Laura L. Benn of PAWSH Magazine:
Are you always worried that your teeny-tiny dog is too little to play with the big dogs at the park? Then you need to drop by WAG’s Tiny Tots Playdate on Wednesday August 24th from 6:30pm – 8:30pm. Exclusively for the little furballs, this social evening promises to be all sorts of fun for the pups and their humans! Grab a coffee, mingle with some other little dogs and have a small night out that comes with big memories. 

Glen Gower, Editor/Owner of
Sometime in the next week or so, the Ottawa Fatcats will play in the International Baseball League championship series, against either Toronto or Brantford. The series schedule will be posted to the Fatcats web site once it’s announced. The Ottawa Stadium is a great spot to bring a date or your family to watch a ballgame.

More fun events this week include: Pride Week, the St. Albert Cheese Curd Festival, the Japanese Summer Fest, Midway Magic (aka Super Ex Lite), and Show Jumping at the Nepean Equestrian Park. Add your event suggestions to the comments below!

See also: Ottawa Events Guide
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OttawaStart Staff


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