If you’re looking for fun and exciting things to do around Ottawa-Gatineau this coming week, look no further, you’re at the right place. Not only is festival season in full-swing, so is summer season and vacation. If you’ve got some time to spare and wish to attend a few events in the days ahead, check out Eventful Capital’s hand-picked highlights below.
The people behind Ottawa Explosion have prepared a series of shows leading up to this year’s Ottawa Explosion Weekend. As part of this lineup, Danish post-punk group Iceage will be performing live at Babylon this Monday, June 17 alongside Ottawa’s own Pregnancy Scares and Lower. This will be Iceage’s first time in Canada, so if you’re into punk music, be sure to welcome them to Ottawa in large numbers!
If you’re single, looking for a date and want to try something new, then Summer Fling Speed Dating might be just for you! Two Guys With Beards invite you to partake in two nights of summer speed dating on June 18 at the Hintonburg Public House and on June 20 at Shanghai Restaurant. Tuesday, June 18 is specially dedicated to men and women between the ages of 30 and 40 while June 20 is tailored for people who situate themselves between the ages of 25 and 35.
The second annual edition of the Ottawa Explosion Weekend runs from June 19 to June 23 at various locations across Ottawa including Club Saw, Mugshots, Mavericks, Cafe Dekcuf, and Avant-Garde Bar. This young music festival which features underground indie bands from Ottawa and beyond will present over 75 groups, the majority of which you’ve probably never heard of but that you should definitely discover and encourage nonetheless. This is what Ottawa Explosion is all about.
The Ottawa Dragon Boat festival is celebrating it’s 20th anniversary this year with tons of free family-friendly activities. Namely, the organizers are offering a series of free live shows featuring the Sam Roberts Band, Born Ruffians, Raine Maida of Our Lady Peace, Sloan, and Great Lake Swimmers among others. Get the full programming by clicking on the below banner.
Ottawa’s largest theatre festival, the Fringe, is back for its 17th season this year from June 20 to June 30 at 14 different downtown locations. The 2013 edition will feature over 300 performances half of which are local-based productions. The Fringe is one of the city’s most accessible festivals with tickets for performances priced under $11. New this year, festival organizers will introduce a series of free outdoor concerts for which beautiful posters created by Pascal Huot are available below.
To kick off the 2013 Fringe Festival, organizers invite you to a complimentary launch party with the PepTides at the Arts Court Courtyard. The PepTides, a local favorite avant-garde pop group, will be performing live alongside Ottawa DJ Sweet Cheeks.
On Thursday, June 20, the Ottawa Fringe Festival presents Blue Sky Miners live at the Arts Court Courtyard. The second free concert of the series, organized as part of Fringe, will feature Blue Sky Miners, a Toronto-based folk group from BC.
Later this month, on June 27, it will be The Elwins’ turn to take over the Arts Court Courtyard for a free live performance. The Ontario-based indie pop quartet will be performing in Ottawa in an effort to promote their latest album And I Thank You.
For the last free concert of the series, Fringe organizers invited Ottawa’s own StillNative to perform live at the Arts Court Courtyard. The local rock duo will be giving a live show on July 1, which is none other than Canada Day, in front of what is sure to be a packed audience.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves and get back to what’s happening this week in the National Capital: the launch of the Ottawa International Jazz Festival. This year’s eclectic lineup includes headliners Dr. John & The Nite Trippers (see below poster), Willie Nelson, Macy Gray, David Byrne & St. Vincent, Boz Scaggs, The Heavy and Mavis Staples among others. Organizers have also included several local acts to the roster namely The Souljazz Orchestra, Florquestra, The Hornettes and Sax Appeal. The After Dark series is also back this year with some fantastic acts including The Herbaliser, Gregory Porter, Tin Men & The Telephone, Carmen Souza and Young Galaxy. Check out the full lineup by clicking below.
The third annual Summer Solstice Aboriginal Arts Festival & International Competition Powwow is being held from Friday, June 21 to Sunday, June 23 at Vincent Massey Park in Ottawa. The 2013 edition, which offers free admission to all, will feature a variety of traditional powwow dance competitions along with free music shows (namely a performance by Holly McNarland), a drum contest, a children’s village, workshops, artisans, crafts, a selection of traditional aboriginal foods and more.
On Friday, June 21, Spectrasonic and punkottawa.com present Ivan and Alyosha, Neulore, and Bronson Novella live at Zaphod Beeblebrox. If you enjoy a mix of indie folk rock and folk pop, you may want to check out this show and click below for more info.
Just in case there weren’t enough festivals happening in the National Capital Region, ELE aka Everybody Loves Everybody will soon be born. According to the ELE Fest Facebook Page, this is a project “run by young people, showcasing young talent” and who’s goal is to “encourage the rise of original music in Ottawa”. The new music festival is set to inaugurate in September, but in the meantime organizers invite you to the ELE launch party at Babylon this Friday, June 21. To give you a taste of what’s to come, The Lionyls and Madison & Fifth will be performing live alongside beat-providers Neegus, Jarett Lopez|Black Jesus, Wolfie and J.A.H.
As part of the Ottawa Jazz Fest, the Mercury Lounge proudly presents LAL live this Friday, June 21. The Toronto-based electronica/down-tempo/soul trio which weaves Asian, African and diasporic rhythms into its sound will be giving a live performance alongside Mercury Lounge resident DJ Lance Baptiste.
Also this Friday, June 21, Hip Hop Karaoke Ottawa is celebrating its 1-year anniversary at Mugshots. Hosts DJ So Nice and Atherton invite you to partake in the monthly hip-hop party by either performing a track or by encouraging the Jay-Zs and Lauryn Hills of the night. To sign-up or to get details, simply click below.
On Saturday, June 22, Ottawa-based multi-disciplinary artist Rise Ashen will be launching his new album titled Music in the City at the Mercury Lounge. Rise Ashen will be live for a Mercury Lounge Locally Grown Edition to bring attendees on a journey across futuristic deep global house and club music. The album launch will be followed by live disco beats provided by resident DJ Trevor Walker.
Other noteworthy events happening this week in the National Capital include Wonder Geeks Activate! 3: Retro-Active taking place at Zaphod Beeblebrox this Monday, June 17. Simply put, this event is an 80s and 90s themed night where you have to sport you’re most colouful fanny-pack and neon leggings, where you need a side pony-tail to get in, and where you’ll be able to play old school Nintendo games all with 80s and 90s throwbacks provided by DJ Lowpass.
If you’re into Canadian metal, there will be a show at Cafe Dekcuf this Wednesday, June 19 featuring live performances by Rainbow Pony Power, Striker, and Descendant.
If you want to check out some EDM, head over to Ritual on Friday, June 21 for Flex Friday featuring a live set by Frederik Mooij, an eclectic DJ based in Mexico that mixes House/Electro/Progressive and Hip-Hop sounds.
On the Quebec side this Friday, June 21, D-Track and Kalibre will be performing live at the Petit Chicago alongside Le R. D-Track, a local rapper and slammer, will be joined on stage by his partner Kalibre and Le R, a West African rapper now based in Quebec who’ll be presenting material from his first solo EP Maktub.
So there you have it Ottawa-Gatineau: you certainly can’t say that the National Capital Region is boring with the amount of amazing events happening in and around town in the days ahead. Wether you’re a resident of this city, a student temporarily living here for school, or visiting from outside, be sure to enjoy your week in our eventful capital!