In 2010 a number of Ottawa’s numerous (and diverse) poetry communities came together to form VERSe Ottawa, with the aim of organizing a poetry festival. Their hard work paid off with the inauguration of VERSeFest, Ottawa’s week long poetry festival, in the spring of 2011.
That first year had had twenty events, held over six days and organizer (and Plan 99 Reading Series front man) Dave O’Meara said at the time, ““We hope that our festival of poetry, by emphasizing original thought, bold oration, startling imagery, fresh, innovative language and artful phrasing, will represent another articulate part of the extensive culture of music, dance, theatre, visual arts and literature here in our city.”
VERSeOttawa wanted the festival to become an annual event, and given that this is its fourth consecutive year, it’s safe to say it has become a reality. Dave Currie, who at the time was an editor with In/Words Magazine and Press, one of the poetry groups that form part of VERSeOttawa, said that year that VERSeFest allows, “…us to escape the insular experience of running one reading series and to integrate it into the wider poetry community of Ottawa.”
The demand for poetry is such that last year they easily reached their crowdfunding target, as people were more than happy to donate to see the festival continue.
A World of Poetry in Ottawa
March 25 – 30
VERSeFest 2014 kicks off tonight, March 25 at the Knox Presbyterian Church (120 Ligar) and runs to Sunday, March 30th. Each poetry community within VERSeOttawa has the opportunity to present, or share a time slot, and each evening is generally split between a 7pm event and one at 9pm. Some highlights include:
Tuesday, March 25, 2014, 7pm: Opening fun with Liz Lochhead, Sarah de Leeuw, Mary Pinkoski and Matthew Tierney.
The 9pm slot is presented by the AB Series, and features Andrew Faulkner, Suzannah Showler and Peter Richardson.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014, 7 pm: Sisters in Slam Showcase, with Billie Jean Kears, Light, Philsoi-fire Candice Bruchhaeuser.
The 9pm slot is organized by In/Words & Blue Mondays featuring Selina Boan, Lenelle Moïse, Blaise Moritz and Austin Weber. The 9 pm slot features spoken word and dance with For Body and Light, as well as performer Sandra Alland.
Thursday, March 27, 2014, 7 pm: The Tree Reading Series is bringing 2013 Griffin Prize for Poetry Winner David McFadden, along with award winning poet and fiction writer Karen Connelly, and Sue Goyette, winner of the Atlantic Poetry Prize and 1999 nominee for the Governor General’s Award.
The 9 pm slot features spoken word and dance with For Body and Light, as well as performer Sandra Alland.
Friday, March 28, 2014, 7 pm: Arc Magazine has Shane Rhodes, Susan Gillis, Vincent Colistro and Tim Bowling.
The 9 pm slot features Urban Legends, “…a spoken word organization that functions mainly as a poetry slam on Carleton University campus.”
Events on Saturday from 1:30 pm with a screening, and go until 9pm, with an event hosted by Capital Slam. Sunday’s events start at 1 pm with a workshop and run all day with events hosted by Dusty Owl, The Ottawa International Writer’s Festival, and Artistic Showcase the and Hall of Honour.
For full details, schedule and ticket information, check out the VERSeFest website.
Back in 2011, organizer Rod Pederson said, “Ottawa is a poetry town!” and as the continued growth and success of VERSeFest has show, it still is, and will be for a long time.
And not just any ol’ pirates.
Featuring the talents of Margo MacDonald and Richard Gélinas, Much Ado About Feckin’ Pirates opened at Ottawa’s Gladstone Theatre last Thursday (March 13, 2014) and runs until March 29. Directed by improv-comedy king, and award winning director, Al Connors, the play is, “…a romantic comedy, only with pirates, and no romance.”
The play features the characters of Her and Him (MacDonald and Gélinas), with Her being mightily upset, having accused Him of being responsible for the disappearance of her parrot. They’ve been banished to the crow’s nest by their captain, there to remain until they learn to get along. Which is where the play starts. Almost.
Almost, because it’s an improvisational show. So there is some structure to it, as with many improv shows, but instead of getting story ideas by having the audience shout them out from their seats, let’s just say, as MacDonald wrote to me in an email, that “…the show begins with a pirate party in the lobby.”
I asked them about the background to the show, and MacDonald wrote that she and Richard came up with the title while in rehearsals for the Company of Fools production of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. “We originally toyed with having some text from Shakespeare’s play,” she says, “but we’ve come to feel it’s a more pirate-y thing to just steal part of the title. That being said, I feel there are elements of the Beatrice/Benedict [from Shakespeare] in the relationship of Him and Her in the show.”
As for future plans, they hope to tour the show to festivals and different venues throughout the next couple of years. “The beauty of the format of the show means we can play it on a big, beautiful stage like at The Gladstone, or we can play it small, like just the pirates and you in a closet somewhere.”
But that’s the future, for now, as Gélinas said to me, “…the listed start of the show is when the Pirate Party starts!”
So ahoy to that, mateys. The show runs about 70 minutes, and if you’d like a drink at the Pirate Party remember that the Gladstone bar only takes cash. Arrrr!
Much Ado About Feckin’ Pirates
Featuring Margo MacDonald and Richard Gélinas
Directed by Al Connors
March 13–29, 2014
Saturdays and Sundays at 2:30pm
@ The Gladstone Theatre (910 Gladstone Ave)
Tickets from $10–25, available at www.thegladstone.ca
Here’s the pirates facebook page if you do that.
And their website if you don’t.
Author of Up the Ottawa, without despair, Brendan McNally writes regularly about local things like this for OttawaTonite.com . While not a pirate, he was once mistaken for a Welsh goat herder, having to defend himself by saying, “Actually, these aren’t my goats.” So it’s a matter of being a little from column A….
In/Words Magazine and Press, the Carleton-based, student-run literary mag is launching Issue 13.1 this Wednesday, February 12 (2014), 7p.m. at Café Pressed (750 Gladstone). This latest issue contains new poetry and prose from writers based both locally and abroad, including JC Bouchard, Marilyn Irwin, D.S. Stymeist, Claire Pattison Hunter, Cassandra Nykyforak, and Rob Thomas.
Following on from the enormous success of their autumn and winter showcases, the launch itself will feature readings from some of those contributors and will have bookend performances by Ottawa-based singer-songwriter Amanda Cottreau. Where: Pressed, 750 Gladstone, Ottawa, Ontario When: 7PM on Wednesday, 12th February
Says Chris Johnson, one of the current coterie of editors, “Come out to listen to and support art and literature in Ottawa, pick up an issue of the magazine for your reading pleasure, or to just enjoy a sandwich and some company.” As for cost, “There is no entrance fee at the door.” Johnson tells me, adding that they, “might ask you to pay with a pleasant smile.”
In/Words Magazine and Press Launch for
Wednesday, February 12, 7p.m.
750 Gladstone Avenue
Brendan McNally writes regularly for OttawaTonite.com and this is the first time he has used the word coterie.
Since its inception in 2007, Festival X has been committed to advancing photographic knowledge, creativity and innovation in Ottawa. Through its programming, X intends to increase exposure to, and recognition for regional, Canadian and international photo-based artists.
Included in the festival programming are a number of exhibitions of photographic art on view in both public and private galleries throughout the area, films focused on the celebration of photography, public lectures on artistic processes & technology, artists' talks, portfolio review opportunities and community-based events.
X Ottawa Photography Festival will put you on the map with Ottawa and Gatineau's 4th edition photographic arts festival! The festival will be held from September 20 to 30, 2012.
With such a diverse and exciting array of art and artists to feature, it has been a wonderfully busy and informative year!
So many events and so little time…YOUR interest in what Ottawa artists are doing and helping to extend their reach, is what Ottawa Tonite is ALL about!
Have a wonderful holiday season, as we look forward to sharing more with you in 2012!
Cheryl and the Ottawa Tonite Team
Babes4Breasts organizers today announced they will be releasing the first-ever Babes4Breasts Compilation CD at the 5th annual Babes4Breasts benefit concert in Ottawa.
Saint Brigid’s Centre for the Arts
310 St. Patrick Street, Ottawa
Tickets: $15 in adv; $20 at door
The compilation CD features 17 original songs by Canadian singer/songwriters ranging from a Juno award winner to the best of up-and-coming Canadian talent. Largely made up of female artists, the compilation also features a track from Craig Cardiff to represent the men who have contracted breast cancer but also the men who stand behind their mothers, sisters, wives, girlfriends and friends during their journey.
“We are thrilled to be releasing our first B4B compilation album, to continue to support the women and men who are on their breast cancer journey through funds, awareness and the positive power of music,” says Ana Miura, Babes4Breasts founder and local singer/songwriter.
The concert will be held at the Saint Brigid’s Centre for the Arts in downtown Ottawa featuring five women in song-circle format who also appear on the compilation: Leela Gilday, Annabelle Chvostek, Amanda Rheaume, Tara Holloway and Ana Miura. Compilation CDs will be sold at the concert for $5 but will also be available starting today online digitally through iTunes and CD BABY as a special pre-release opportunity. Physical sales available at numerous Ottawa retailers including all Bridgehead Coffeehouses, Ottawa Folklore Centre, CD Warehouse, CD Baby, Compact Music, Chez Lucien Restaurant, Mint Hair Studio, Physical Therapy Institute, Morning Owl Coffee Shop and mymusic.ca.
Proceeds from the concert will be used to build upon the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation’s Survivorship Centre’s music therapy program, while proceeds from the sale of the album will go to a variety of breast cancer related charities including the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation, the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and the Canadian Cancer Society.
Founded in 2003, Babes4Breasts has raised tens of thousands of dollars for breast cancer related charities on their many successful tours across Canada.
For a list of featured artists on the CD, please visit http://www.babes4breasts.com
Online sales of CD or Tickets for Concert:
For Tickets, head to www.ticketbreak.com and search for Babes4Breasts ($15 in advance)
For Compilation CD, head to cdbaby.com or iTunes ($9.99 each)
Advance Physical copy of CDs and physical tickets:Advance Tickets as well as CDs on sale as of Friday, September 23, 2011 at: Ottawa Folklore Centre, all CD Warehouse and Compact Music Locations, Chez Lucien Restaurant, Mint Hair Studio and The Physical Therapy Institute.
Advance copies of CDs will also be sold at all Bridgehead Coffeehouses, Ottawa Folklore Centre, CD Warehouse, CD Baby, Compact Music, Chez Lucien Restaurant, Mint Hair Studio, The Physical Therapy Institute, Morning Owl Coffee Shop and mymusic.ca.
Come check out the largest gathering of Ottawa area middle eastern, bellydance, tribal and now including items for bollywood dancers with the best selection of new and used costumes, fabrics, music, accessories and more.
Open to all -free admission! Meet teachers, check out class schedules, get costume information, and much more! Something for everyone – young and old – men and women! Come on out and enjoy the afternoon!
The Ottawa Dancer’s Bazaar hosts about 40 tables of goods and services to appeal to the shopper in us all! All booked with a variety of local and out of town vendors for your shopping pleasure! Looking for zills? Sticks? Veils? Skirts? Music? Anything you can think of, and many things you might not have thought would come in handy – tote bags and cover-ups, baladi dresses, and accessories to complete any outfit! Whew! There will be new stock from Egypt, Turkey and of course from our local artisans and designers.
And be sure to check out the many deals for used costumes as well.
Check online for more details about the vendors and their websites: http://halyma.com/bazaar/
Sunday, October 16, 2011
12:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Where: 260 McArthur (Knights of Columbus Hall)
Created by the producers of Wed By Hand (Ottawa’s indie wedding show), Urban Craft will feature hip and modern goods designed and crafted by local artisans. Inspired by similar shows which have become wildly popular in cities across the United States and Canada, Urban Craft will offer Ottawans the opportunity to shop in a show setting on a monthly basis—an opportunity the city’s residents haven’t had until this point.
Get more information and preview of all our fantastic vendors on our website.
DATES: 1st Saturday of Each Month: September 3, October 1, November 5, December 3, January 7, February 4
TIME: 10am – 2pm
PLACE: The Great Canadian Theatre Company, 1233 Wellington Street West (corner of Holland and Wellington in Hintonburg)
COST: Free to attend
For more information, contact Krista Leben at email@example.com or (613) 422-8932, or visit Urban Craft.
A documentary about social media for social change that is showing at the Mayfair in Ottawa on the 25th of September:
‘With Glowing Hearts – The #van2010 Social Media Story’
More information can be found on Facebook right here.
Here is some insight, and a review of the film by Ottawa blogger, Susan Murphy:
Here’s your chance to see With Glowing Hearts on the big screen!
The Mayfair Theatre (1074 Bank St)
Sunday, September 25th, 6:30pm, $10
Come early to see the photography of Kris Krug (staticphotography.com) featured in the lobby, stay late for a Q+A with (Ottawa born) director Andrew Lavigne!
One night, two shows, and a cast and a half.
Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps is now playing at the Gladstone Theatre, and as a special treat, Friday night is a double bill!
At 11pm at the Gladstone, following the play, Crush Improv featuring The 39 Steps‘ Richard Hannay (played by AL Connors) will be performing an encore performance of their hit 2011 Ottawa Fringe Festival show Spotlight On…
Spotlight On… is an improv show where the performers improvise scenes inspired by the true-life anecdotes of a guest monologist, and Friday night’s stories will be coming from none-other than the Director of The 39 Steps: Mr. John P. Kelly!
If that wasn’t reason enough to visit the theatre at 11pm Friday, the cast of Crush (2001 ‘Best Ensemble‘ winners: AL Connors, Brad MacNeil and Cari Leslie) will be joined by Uncalled For improv’s Dan Jeannotte and Sex T-Rex‘s Robin Toller and MORE!
If you’re planning on watching The 39 Steps this Friday or have already done so, bring your show program or ticket along and receive HALF OFF the already low price of TEN DOLLARS!
Friday September 9th, 11pm (ending around midnight)
$10 at the door (cash please) or $8 in advance
http://crushimprov.com for tickets
Here’s a clip from Monday’s Crush show at the Elmdale Tavern to whet your whistle.