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10 things to do at the Ontario Scene : May 1st

10 things to do at the Ontario Scene : May 1st

Published by Leonardo Calcagno

01. Spoken Word
Info: OPENSECRET is an Ottawa-based superstar in the world of spoken word and is at the top of his game, having been crowned World Poetry Slam Champion in 2014. Acclaimed theatre artist and songwriter evalyn parry uses witty, genre-blurring music and storytelling to explore contemporary and historic themes. She has been described by CBC as “equally funny and dangerous.”

ROBERT PRIEST’s alias is Dr. Poetry, and he’s all that and much more: spoken word artist, musician, and songwriter. And at 18, Regent Park’s MUSTAFA THE POET has garnered considerable respect as a spoken word artist for his piercing look at uncomfortable topics such as mental health, youth-on-youth violence, and bullying.

Pianist NICOLE LEFEBVRE draws on a mélange of influences, from dreamy, ambient soundscapes to intense, aggressive breakdowns.

02. Home Away from Home
Info: Featuring the work of six Aboriginal artists represented in the Ottawa Art Gallery’s Permanent Collection, this exhibition addresses space and place, belonging and home, and a relationship with land and territory. Whether through interactions with nature, spiritual inquiry, or social and political intervention, the pieces explore and engage with these matters from varying perspectives and Aboriginal cultural backgrounds.

03. Molly Johnson Sings Billie Holiday
Info: Ask her about the frequent comparisons to Billie Holiday, and MOLLY JOHNSON will tell you: she’s not like Billie Holiday, she is because of Billie Holiday and the hard-won battles of an earlier generation of women and men. Molly’s most recent album, Because of Billie, is her tribute to Holiday’s heartbreaking childhood, and a portion of the CD’s revenues have gone to benefit Boys and Girls Clubs across Canada.

04. Cold Specks with Etiquette and Boyhood
Info: The music of COLD SPECKS (aka AL SPX) is at once beguiling and stormy, calm and wild. Since bursting onto the international music scene with her debut album in 2012, the young singer-songwriter with the intoxicating voice has drawn legions of fans to the music she calls “doom soul.” Shortlisted for both a JUNO Award and a Polaris Music Prize, Cold Specks has appeared and co-written with Moby, and was invited to join artists like Herbie Hancock and Kathleen Edwards at Luminato Festival’s tribute to Joni Mitchell on her 70th birthday.

ETIQUETTE is a new band, but its faces are familiar. JULIE FADER and GRAHAM WALSH (of Holy Fuck) weave together warm synths, muted drums, grating textures, and crafty bass lines to create delicate yet intricate compositions.

In two short years, CAYLIE RUNCIMAN has quickly established herself as one of Ottawa’s most original and adventurous songwriters. Her band BOYHOOD plays visceral rock that pulls no punches.

05. Folk Music Ontario Song Circle
Location: PRESSED
Info: Folk Music Ontario brings together some of the National Capital Region’s most talented singer-songwriters for an intimate evening of great music.

06. Ontario in Âjagemô : Selections from the Canada Council Art Bank
Info: Ontario boasts a rich history of visual and media arts – due in large part to its size, diversity, and vibrant urban centres. But is Ontario art distinct? Do Ontario artists have a single, discernible viewpoint? A unique cultural psychology? Judge for yourself at this exhibition in the Canada Council’s Âjagemô exhibition hall*. Ontario in Âjagemô draws on a selection of five decades of works from the Canada Council Art Bank to reveal that the most interesting conversations emerge from viewpoints that are both unique and personal.

07. Michael DeForge: All Dogs Are Dogs
Info: SAW GALLERY presents Michael DeForge: All Dogs Are Dogs, an expansive presentation of MICHAEL DEFORGE’s work that marks the artist’s first major survey exhibition. Originally from Ottawa, DeForge has produced an idiosyncratic body of work that has established him as a generation-defining voice in alternative comics.

ODD’s mixed program also includes commissioned works by ANDREW TURNER and international touring artist MÉLANIE DEMERS. Demers, artistic director of Montreal’s MAYDAY, premieres a provocative quintet entitled Mere Human, while Turner presents the physically demanding quartet entitled Speeds and Slownesses 1a.

08. Works from the National Gallery of Canada’s National Collection
Info: During Ontario Scene, the Gallery will feature the work of AN TE LIU, SHARY BOYLE, and other artists living in Ontario whose works engage with current trends and resonate with the historical works in the Gallery’s collection, building relationships across time, media, and culture.

09. Human Nature
Info: Human Nature presents the work of 14 contemporary Ontario artists who look at the state of the natural world and our impact on it as innovators and exploiters, creators and destroyers. Exploring a range of such critical issues as food production, habitat loss, post-industrialization, and natural disaster, Human Nature is by turns humorous and hopeful, utopian and dystopian. The works investigate the history and consequences of colonization, consider decaying infrastructure, find new uses for industrial waste, propose sci-fi alternatives to everyday life, and even encourage the sharing of food and stories. Taken together, the works of these artists reflect on the complex interconnection of nature, culture, and technology.

10. Jon Sasaki : Two Roads Diverged in a Wood
Location: Ottawa
Info: Three little-known works from the Firestone Collection of Canadian Art by the painter George Thomson (1868–1965) provide the foundation for a new body of work by JON SASAKI. The three paintings have been reinterpreted in ways that pay homage to an artist who was too often discussed only in connection with his more famous younger brother, Tom. Sasaki’s pieces in Two Roads Diverged in a Wood examine George Thomson’s ties to family, his community, and to the astoundingly eventful times in which he lived.

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