Ottawa·The Weekend List

All aboard for a weekend of arts and entertainment

Indigenous voices at the NAC, CityFolk celebrates original music and destination art on the city's new LRT line.

Cityfolk, Indigenous Arts Festival, LRT tour top the list as the week winds down

A scene from the NAC production of The Unnatural and Accidental Women in the Babs Asper Theatre. (Justin Tang)

Indigenous voices at the NAC, CityFolk celebrates original music and destination art on the city's new LRT line.

Indigenous Arts Rising

This is a game-changing display of music, dance, visual arts and theatre from Indigenous artists from across the country; curated and presented by Indigenous directors, writers and designers. 

Mòshkamo: Indigenous Arts Rising will fill every nook and cranny of the National Arts Centre with performances, workshops and demonstration of Indigenous culture until the end of September.

It's hard to believe Métis-Dene playwright Marie Clements wrote The Unnatural and Accidental Women 20 years ago, long before the tragedy of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls became part of our national consciousness. 

Now on stage at the National Arts Centre. 0:53

Set in the mean streets of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, it's a surreal, poetic tale told by the mothers, sisters and daughters who vanished, and the people who loved them. 

"It's such a strong powerful work," said actor and playwright PJ Prudat, who plays Rebecca, a young woman in search of her mother.

"It's about the women themselves and their stories, so it's a powerful piece of reclamation, of taking back our voices."

  • Where: Babs Asper Theatre, NAC, 1 Elgin St.
  • When: Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The play runs until Sept 21.
  • Cost: Tickets run from $15 to $89 and can be purchased here.

Legendary singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie performs in Southam Hall on Sunday evening as part of Mòshkamo.   


Robert Plant joined forces with the Sensational Space Shifters in 2012. (Joel Ryan/Associated Press)

CityFolk is a beautiful festival nestled on the great lawn at Lansdowne Park, where the emphasis in on original music of all stripes.

The last time former Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant played Ottawa, it was clear he'd retained a whole lotta his formidable stage presence. Plant resumes his reinvention Sunday night at 9:30 p.m. on the City Stage with his band the Sensational Space Shifters.

Critically acclaimed L.A. singer-songwriter Eleni Mandell has created a fervent fan base by writing little gems of introspection wrapped in hummable tunes. Her latest set of songs is inspired by the intimate workshops she gives twice a week to female inmates in the California prison system.

"I wanted to open up to them like they opened up, so trust was built," Mandell said. "Writing songs is so personal, I couldn't demonstrate it without revealing myself."

Mandell conducts a songwriting workshop Saturday at 1 p.m. at Fourth Avenue Baptist Church, 816 Bank St.. After that she'll head over to the Ravenlaw Stage for a 4 p.m. concert.

  • Where: CityFolk on the great lawn at Lansdowne Park,  1525 Princess Patricia Way.
  • When: Festival runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Last performance starts at 9:30 p.m.
  • Cost: General admission day passes start at $69. Festivals passes can be purchased here.

Destination art

Màmawi Together features 100 paddles, each hand-painted by Algonquin-Anishinaabe artists and arranged in the shape of a canoe on the ceiling of Pimisi station. (City of Ottawa)

Jump on board and ride the rails through a tour of impressive art when the Confederation Line finally opens on Saturday.

It's the biggest investment in public art the city has ever made — 13 brand new stations adorned with murals, installations, sculptures and mosaics. From Tunney's Pasture to Blair stations, artists and designers will be on hand at each stop to discuss the ideas behind their creations. 

Expect live music at each station, too, Mayor Jim Watson said Friday.

A police officer stands next to the public art at Lyon station during the inaugural run of Ottawa's 12.5-kilometre Confederation Line on Aug. 23, 2019. (Joanne Chianello/CBC)
  • Where: LRT Confederation Line.
  •  When: 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Cost: The price of a ticket to ride $3.50, $3:45 with a Presto card.