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Annalise Mathers | Fulcrum Contributor

IT’S HALFWAY THROUGH the semester, so your wallet might be feeling a little light. This weekend, take the chance to experience Ottawa without breaking the bank!

Thursday, March 7
U of O graduate student Neeko Paluzzi’s first feature-length film, Wanderweg, is premiering at the Mayfair Theatre (1074 Bank St.) at 7 p.m. The documentary follows Paluzzi’s 2012 journey across Switzerland to reach a letter he had written in 2008 and then hidden. After the film, Paluzzi will be hosting a Q and A session with the audience. Tickets are $6 for members of the Mayfair Theatre and $10 for all others.

Friday, March 8
Tonight, sit back and enjoy live music, good company, and an even better price tag: head over to the Raw Sugar Café at 692 Somerset St. W. in Chinatown. This cozy restaurant is worth the trek—they often have live bands playing throughout the week, complemented by a café/bar-style menu with delicious drinks and munchies. On Thursday, U of O grad Aaron Kozak and student Justin Labelle are launching a collection of photos and poems focused on Centretown. On Friday, you can catch a free show by Spookey Ruben, Thunderclap, and Jon Laurie-Beaumont.
Willing to spend a little more to get your music fix? Bluesfest tickets are now on sale. The lineup this year features Skrillex, the Zac Brown Band, Matthew Good, Weezer, The Tragically Hip, Passion Pit, the Dixie Chicks, and more. You can choose to get tickets for specific dates or get a wristband for the entire two weeks. See Ottawabluesfest.ca for the full lineup and ticket details.

Saturday, March 9
Students at the U of O are spoiled by the luxuries of having the downtown core a mere 10 minutes away. But to be a true Ottawa aficionado, you’ve got to venture into some of this city’s other neighbourhoods.
For a change from the hustle and bustle of downtown, try Old Ottawa South. You can bus (hop on either the 1 or 7) or stroll down Bank Street. As you go, you’ll find loads of cute cafés, bakeries, speciality stores, and more. If you take the walking route, you’ll pass through the Glebe, a truly eclectic area of Ottawa where you can sample a wide array of funky shops and restaurants.
If you have a friend at Carleton University, the perfect incentive to visit them is to meet up at Carmen’s Veranda (1169 Bank St.). This place serves up some of the best coffee in Ottawa and showcases a changing menu of unique and delectable plates—we recommend this month’s grilled cheese with havarti, apple, and caramelized onions. Just up the street, you can also check out The Clothes Secret at 1136 Bank St. for quality consignment clothing at incredible prices.

Sunday, March 10
Love designer clothes but hate the price tag? Try the designer sample sale taking place this weekend at the Travelodge Hotel at 1376 Carling Ave. You can find deals of as much as 80 per cent off of clothing, bags, and accessories from Canada Goose, Michael Kors, Diesel, Juicy Couture, Seven for all Mankind, and True Religion, among others. The half-hour bus ride is well worth it for the chance to spruce up so well for spring.

Plenty of students know about it, but few have done it: we’re talking about a guided tour of Parliament. The best part about the Ottawa experience is that it’s completely free, and might just leave you with a new appreciation of our country and its legacy. You can see the Centre Block with the Senate and House of Commons and go up the Peace Tower and Memorial Chamber. From the top of the Peace Tower, you have the best view of the city, neighbouring Gatineau, and the Ottawa River. If you want even more, you can sit in on question period at any time during the week and see members of the opposition ask the prime minister and other MPs to defend their policies and actions. Sound cool? Check out Parl.gc.ca/Visitors/public-e.asp for more info.