Head north this weekend for internet cats, kilts, jazz and more

Henri, Le Chat Noir. Photo via Facebook

Henri, Le Chat Noir. Photo via Facebook

It’s a crazy busy time of year, which gets even worse on the weekends. There’s just too much to choose from, which is a good problem to have, I suppose.

There’s always a wide variety of events in and around the North Country at NCPR’s community calendar. For this post, I’ll revisit a couple of Ontario/Ottawa topics discussed earlier, plus a few extras.

All things Scottish will be back to roam the streets of Perth, Ontario on Saturday, featuring the world’s largest race featuring runners in kilts. Sorry, registration for the run is closed. But it’s still a sight to see. And then there are the extras, like lots of music, the shortbread contest, a medieval camp, a scotch tasting, a Scottish writer’s tent, and a haggis hurling contest.

Not into kilts? Well, sticking with the off-beat, a previously-mentioned “Just for Cats” film festival takes place Sunday from 2-8 p.m. at Ottawa’s Algonquin College. And there’s a special guest appearance (via Skype, that is) by Will Branden, the creator of Henri, le Chat Noir.

Here’s more on that from Peter Simpson, “The Big Beat” arts reporter for the Ottawa Citizen:

It all began as a tardy class project a few years ago. Braden, now 34, was at the Seattle Film Institute and had to complete a two-minute “profile of someone.” He took too long to choose a subject, and was running out of time.

“I was housesitting and Henry” — Henri is Henry’s stage name — “was there. I had a piano, and a cat, and I thought maybe if I make this funny enough and I parody some French New Wave films we’ve been watching, they won’t really notice I didn’t follow the assignment properly. And it worked.”

Classmates asked him to put the video on Youtube so they could show it to friends. Now there’s a series of videos, and a book — Henri, le Chat Noir: The Existential Musings of an Angst-Filled Cat — in its fourth printing, with a sequel on the way later this year.

What a great outcome for procrastinating on homework. Check out more existential musings  on YouTube.

And if neither kilts or cats are your thing, or if you just want to do it all, the TD Ottawa Jazz Festival is happening June 20- July 1. NCPR’s jazz guy by night, production wizard by day, Joel Hurd, will soak up all he can get to, with highlights and photos via Twitter. (Here’s NCPR’s preview.) The festival offers a long list of big stars mixed in with groups you maybe don’t know but will be glad to discover. (Todd Moe says he’s planning to catch living legend Aretha Franklin.)

As if that isn’t plenty already, this weekend round-up from Jessa Runciman for the CBC mentions free music at the Tim Hortons Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival, plus something else that more people should know about:

The Summer Solstice Aboriginal Arts Festival starts Friday and runs throughout the weekend at Vincent Massey Park, with free admission. I spent some time at the festival last year and couldn’t get over the positivity of the atmosphere. There were stalls set up with aboriginal crafts, and pop wow dancers young and old, wearing stunning costumes.

The musical performances range from traditional Inuit throat singers to singer-songwriters like Amanda Rheaume. If you’re an aboriginal musician looking for advice on succeeding in the business, she’ll be involved in workshops happening Saturday and Sunday throughout the day that you’ll want to be present for.

In separate coverage for the Ottawa Citizen, Janet Wilson calls this event a feast for all senses:

It’s free, family friendly and promises to offer visitors and locals alike an authentic aboriginal experience in the heart of Ottawa. For many, North American aboriginal culture is often a source of mystery and fascination. The Summer Solstice Aboriginal Arts Festival in Vincent Massey Park provides a forum for everyone to experience this diverse culture firsthand through authentic music, dance, foods, visual art and fashion shows.

“We welcome aboriginals and non-aboriginals from across Canada and the U.S. to this lively festival. It’s an opportunity for the whole community to come together and celebrate,” says Trina Mather-Simard, executive director of the festival and Aboriginal Experiences. “People will want to take in the powwow, interactive art workshops, fashion shows on Sunday. There’s something for everyone.”

Phew! Too much fun. From catching up in the garden to getting out and about, weekends in June are busy!


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment on “Head north this weekend for internet cats, kilts, jazz and more”

  1. Hank says:

    It’s probably not kosher to plug individual retailers on a blog like this; nevertheless, for some interesting variety a little outside Ottawa, the following is a good place to start:


Comments are closed.