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Annalise Mathers | Fulcrum Contributor

Thursday, March 21
Tonight, catch the latest Beerfest Battle of the Bands at the Lunenberg Pub & Bar (14 Waller St.), where every Thursday, local bands compete to win $500 in cash and prizes. This bar is only steps away from campus, making it a student hot spot any night of the week. Your vote determines the winner, admission is free, and an added incentive, the musical battle is complemented by $2 beers.

Friday, March 22
Seize the opportunity to combine a night at the club with a day at the museum: head on over to the Canadian Museum of Nature (240 McLeod St.) for the Nature Nocturne event. The museum opens its doors for an epic, four-floor dance party among the exhibits. When else will you get to party with 65-million-year-old fossils? Tickets are $20 available for purchase on the museum’s website or at the door. The dancing only goes on until midnight, but the museum’s convenient location at McLeod and Elgin means the fun doesn’t have to end there. You can stop for a more casual scene at Hooley’s Pub (292 Elgin St.) or try one of the eight poutine varieties available at the always-open Elgin Street Diner (374 Elgin St.) on the way home.

Saturday, March 23
Most of us are guilty of having visited Hull’s clubs—and only its clubs—at some point in our four years at the U of O. Turns out there’s a lot more to the city than Addiction and Vault. Starting today, you can catch the Ottawa Film Festival with screenings held at theatres across both Gatineau and Ottawa. This year’s annual event features over 100 films. Check out when and where various films are being played at Offestival.com. There’s a wide range of films to suit all movie-goers’ tastes, and most ticket prices range from between $7 and $10 (and some are free). With most theatres accessible by bus, this is an ideal diversion from school that allows you to get a look at the other side of the Ottawa River during the day. If you choose to catch a matinee in Quebec, be sure to drop in at Chez Edgar (60 Rue Bégin) for brunch beforehand. This quaint restaurant’s menu is packed with fresh paninis, soups, and salads that meet even the highest expectations. Try the Dutch Baby: a huge soft pancake bowl filled with a delectable combination of pork, aged cheddar, apple purée, and maple syrup.

Sunday, March 24
If you were dismayed by the return of the snow, don’t worry—there’s still time to try to appreciate one of the things that make winter—and its slow exit—so wonderful in Ottawa. Check out the annual Maple Sugar Festival held at Richelieu Park’s sugar shack in Vanier (300 White Fathers Ave.), where you can enjoy a pancake breakfast, hay rides, music, entertainment, daily outdoor events, or the cherished maple taffy on ice. Take a guided tour of or just wander around the grounds and the on-site museum to learn about Richelieu forest’s first sugar shack.
On your way back to campus, pop into Moulin de Provence in the centre of the ByWard Market. This cozy restaurant is famous for its Obama cookies and massive selection of fresh sandwiches, quiches, pastas, salads, pastries, and desserts of all kinds. You can stop for a sweet treat and a hot drink at this true French boulangerie while looking out onto the market, or bring home some freshly baked bread and goodies to satiate your appetite and help you get through the upcoming week.