Dancing in the street, singing wonder women and Westfest this weekend

Propeller Dance celebrates its tenth anniversary by taking the party to the street, Barrhaven band Lemon Cash headlines Westfest and a female choir makes empowering music.

Sandra Abma's weekly list of things do on the weekend

Propeller Dance is celebrating a decade of inviting everyone on the dance floor. (Alvin Sim)

With Doors Open Ottawa taking place throughout the city, it's a great weekend to wander around to enjoy local festivals and dance in the street.

Every body dance now!

"If you can breathe, you can dance," is the guiding philosophy of Ottawa's Propeller Dance.  The local company is celebrating its tenth anniversary by creating a moving, grooving dance sculpture made up of 50 dancers of all ages and abilities, who will boogie their way down Wellington Street West Saturday afternoon.
Propeller Dance brings the EveryBody Dances Moving Sculpture to the streets of Wellington West on Sunday. (Propeller Dance)

"You're going to see a lot of heart, lots of shapes, dancers spinning in wheelchairs doing tilts, lots of mirroring of each other and lots of connection between dancers and the audience." said Shara Weaver, who shares artistic director duties with Renata Soutter.

The moving sculpture will end its journey at Somerset Square, where there's a party going on, as everyone is invited to take part in free recreational dance classes led by the teachers and choreographers of Propeller Dance.

WHERE: It all gets started outside the GCTC (Great Canadian Theatre Company), 1233 Wellington St. W. at Holland Avenue.

WHEN: The event begins at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

COST: Free. 

Local boys make good

Three members of Lemon Cash, brothers Cory and JJ Papineau and Jeff Armstrong dropped in to CBC to play acoustic version of their tune 'Mind Over Matter'. 1:05

Boyhood friends from Barrhaven, Lemon Cash is headlining Sunday night at this year's edition of Westfest, after being discovered by the festival's artistic director performing at a Christmas party in Fitzroy Harbour.

"I'd say it was sheer luck," laughed Lemon Cash guitarist Jeff Armstrong. "It's probably the biggest opportunity we've had so far."

The lead singer and drummer of Lemon Cash, are brothers Cory and JJ Papineau.  In case you're wondering where the name for the band originated it's what the two boys called the profits from their childhood lemonade stand, and it's a good description of the sunny, feel-good music they play.

Westfest is a three-day free festival that serves up a smorgasbord of entertainment, everything from DJs to drag queens to gospel choirs and folk. Local Juno-Awards-winning blues band MonkeyJunk headline Saturday night at 8 p.m.

WHERE: Westfest is located in Laroche Park, 52 Bayview Rd. in Mechanicsville.

WHEN: Friday, Saturday and Sunday until 11 p.m.

Cost: Free.

Wonder women

We dropped into to see the choir rehearse for 'Her Voice'. 0:56

Last year a group of accomplished local female singers banded together to make empowering music, calling themselves Aella (for the Amazonian warrior). Their mission was to showcase women's voices, music written by and about women, and do it all for themselves.  The choir has no conductor, but operates as a creative collective- where the singers stand in a horse shoe formation so they can see each other's faces while they sing. 

On Sunday Allea presents Her Voice, a concert of poetry, percussion, movement and choral arrangements, featuring local poets Jennifer Baker and Natalie Hanna. 

​WHERE: First Baptist Church, 140 Laurier Ave. W.

WHEN: Sunday at 7 p.m.

COST:  Free donation.

About the Author

Sandra Abma

Journalist

Sandra Abma is a veteran CBC arts journalist. If you have an event or idea you want to share, please do at sandra.abma@cbc.ca.