The Ottawa Fringe Festival, an open-access endeavor, is held every summer at the Arts Court Theatre. It’s the best place in town to experience live theatre. One hundred per cent of ticket sales go to the performers, who put on independently-produced plays over a two-week span in June – and again for the Undercurrents Festival in February. After some years with Ottawa Jazz Festival, Greggory Clark has taken the reins as Ottawa Fringe’s media and marketing manager. Since then, Fringe has been breaking attendance figures. “When I first took the job I remember telling some of my friends I got this gig with the Ottawa Fringe Festival and a lot of them might have done a double take and asked me, ‘The Ottawa French Festival?’ or even a few times I got ‘The Ottawa Fridge Festival?’” says Clark. “Not many people had heard of it. I do feel the profile of independent theatre has grown some more now.”
Clark’s favourite destination: House of TARG
Old Ottawa South’s House of TARG is the city’s only true classic arcade, with over 35 pinball and arcade games. With an assortment of events ranging from burlesque shows and ‘80s dance parties to lip sync battles and regular punk concerts, TARG offers up options for any mood. “The House of TARG is owned and operated by musicians,” says Paul “Yogi” Granger, co-founder of the establishment. “We are dedicated to providing our community with an entertainment experience that doesn’t exist anywhere else.” It’s safe to say that one of their weekly events is also one of their best: Free Play, every Sunday, on all arcade and pinball machines. “All the games are free to play from 9 p.m. till 2 a.m. and the arcade/dance floor jams will keep you rockin’ during your high score pursuits,” says Yogi. “Sunday night of free play at TARG certainly makes my night fun and interesting, not to mention the perogies,” says Clark. Free Play Sunday gives you unlimited access to vintage games sure to fill your heart with nostalgia and keep your purse strings happy.