Covert Ottawa Newsletter: Winter is Coming Edition

Happy almost-December, everyone!! Isn’t it crazy that Christmas is in like 3.5 weeks?? Yikes! I hope you all got a jump on your Christmas shopping over the Black Friday week/day/weekend sales. It’s such a funny time for consumerism, with so much pressure to find the best deal on items that we may or may not have purchased otherwise. I find myself always looking for that can’t-pass-up special, but I rarely end up buying anything. It really is an interesting phenomenon. Remember when Black Friday was just one day, and it was only in the US? And the introduction of Cyber Monday several years ago, which now seems irrelevant as we’re all shopping online anyway? To me, Black Friday is nothing more than the day after some good football.

This is my first post in a while; and while I’ve got a lot to say and lots of updates to pass on, I’ll try to limit the length as much as I can. Events are definitely back in full swing, with all kinds of fun activities, so let’s look at a few highlights!

USS Concerts

It is with a heavy heart that I share that USS has played their last shows in Ottawa. Their Farewell Tour came and went this past weekend at Algonquin Commons Theatre. As usual, they put on an amazing show; they truly are second to none in both stage presence and entertainment. I’m not actually sure why they’ve decided to call it quits on their long music career, but it definitely is not due to the slowing down of the Human Kabob. His energy levels are unlike anything I have seen; he runs around the stage, doing handstands while playing his instruments, exerting more energy in 90 minutes than I do in a week. The only missing element this weekend was his signature crowd surfing, but I guess that’s a no-no during a pandemic.

USS had a singer/band called Vissia opening for them. She hails from Edmonton and was the perfect opening act for USS. She has a great voice and a surprising mix of music that really engaged the crowd, which was made up of all ages.

Overall, USS delivered a great show. Performing their final Ottawa shows at Algonquin Commons was fitting, as they’ve performed there many times in the past. I’ve reviewed their shows at that venue twice before, so I won’t do another full review here. If you’re interested, you can find those on my site in the “reviews” category.

Event Announcement and Theatre Ticket Give Away!!

I’m so excited to announce the inaugural play of a new company in town: Moonlit Theatre Company! After two years of delays due to the pandemic, their first show, “Twisted: The Untold Story of a Royal Vizier” finally opens next month! With three performances over December 17th, and 18th at the  Algonquin Commons Theatre, it features many talented local performers, including Julie Seguin, whom you may remember from my reviews of Orpheus’ “Falsettoes” and Suzart’s “9 to 5.”

“Twisted is presented as an alternate history of the events of Aladdin: instead of being a scheming villain, Ja’far is a good-intentioned, hard-working official who wants what’s best for the kingdom, but is nevertheless blamed for all the problems of society. The Princess is portrayed not as a heroine, but as an arrogant spoiled child who does not realize the potential consequences of humiliating a powerful foreign prince. Aladdin is a sociopathic con artist, thieving because he is lazy and does not want to work. He is shown not to care about the victims of his crimes. Instead of taking place in Agrabah, the events unfold in “the Magic Kingdom”, a euphemism for The Walt Disney Company and its financial struggles in the 1990s. The foreign kingdom of Pik-zahr is based on Pixar, the pioneer of 3-D animation. The story has allegorical references to the rivalry between the companies, which ended in 2006 when Disney bought out Pixar.” – Wikipedia (yeah, that’s right, I went there!)

Apparently, some knowledge of popular Disney films would benefit the audience member in fully appreciating all of the jokes. So, with that being said, let’s talk about free tickets and how you can win them! I’m running a contest, giving away 2 free tickets to the Friday night show. There will be opportunities to enter posted on my social media accounts starting Tuesday, November 30th, but here’s your first shot at a DOUBLE entry!! All you have to do is leave a response/comment on this blog post (below), and answer the question: “Who is the best Disney villain and why?” The other entry opportunities will be on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, but they’ll only be valid for one entry each. The contest will run until Sunday, December 12th at 6pm, with the winner being notified that evening or the following morning. Good luck!!

Affordable tickets for the show are now available to purchase through Eventbrite by clicking here! You can also get venue information for Algonquin Commons on their events calendar by clicking here.

Christmas Market at Lansdowne

‘Tis the season!! Christmas markets almost seem like they’re a dime a dozen right now, but this year’s Ottawa Christmas Market at Lansdowne Park has gone European. When I attended 613Christmas a couple of weeks ago, I saw dozens of little shacks built in the area beside the Aberdeen Pavilion, in front of a main stage area. It looked incredible, and it wasn’t even running yet. The market is now open most days with a fantastic lineup of activities and entertainment for the whole family.

This past Saturday night, I got the opportunity to go and see what there is to offer, and wow, what a great event!

Greeters stand at the gates, wishing warm welcomes and farewells to patrons. The area on Saturday night was abuzz with a variety of groups and people of all ages. Couples cuddled next to fires and large heat lamps, groups of friends sipped warm and cold beverages, and patrons browsed the vendors, who offered everything from fancy/funny socks to stuffed cookies, to candles and Tupperware!

A small crowd gathered near the stage, taking in the live entertainment: on this particular night, a local musician from Kanata. Throughout the small market area, there were numerous photos opportunities: a large, beautifully lit Christmas tree, a hanging wreath to frame one’s face, and large block letters spelling out “NOEL” illuminated brightly, to name a few. Beyond the market area was a path, also brightly lit, leading to an outdoor rink, where popular music was being played over speakers. The entire atmosphere was fantastic. It really got me into the holiday spirit!  

There is paid parking onsite. The market itself is fairly small, so I would recommend getting to Lansdowne early and grabbing dinner at one of the many restaurants there, then getting a warm drink and walking through the market. If skating is something you enjoy, bring your skates, and you’re all set for a fun, festive night out in Ottawa.

Faces Awards

‘Tis also the season for the ramping up of the newly branded “Ottawa Awards,” (previously the “Faces of Ottawa” awards). Faces Magazine hosts an annual gala-style event where they award Ottawa’s best and brightest (or at least most popular) people and professionals in hundreds of categories. This is a great opportunity to celebrate our city’s nurses, dentists, bartenders, hair dressers, security guards, bloggers, and everything in between. The nomination process has begun, and is open until December 15th. You can go to their website at www.facesmag.ca/awards and nominate your friends, family, co-workers or service providers to be voted the “best” of Ottawa. Voting begins in January, and I’ll make sure to let you all know when it’s open. **hint, hint: I’ve been nominated for Best Blogger and Promoter for the past three years. Just sayin’ 😊

http://www.facesmag.ca/awards

That’s it for me this week! There is a lot going on around the city, and I’m trying to stay on top of the events calendar, keeping it up to date with all of the events that I can find. I’m not used to this volume anymore! It has taken me a bit to get into the groove again, but it’s coming along, and the calendar is filling up!! So please tell your friends where they can find out “what is going on in Ottawa today,” all in one place.

Thanks for reading everyone! As usual, I’m happy to receive comments or suggestions for future posts. You can leave them right on this post, or send me a email or a message on my social media.

Have a great week, stay healthy and be kind to one another!

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