Chinatown Remixed 2014 Highlights

Chinatown Remixed presents its sixth annual arts festival in Ottawa’s Chinatown. This month-long free art festival kicks off with a vernissage day on May 17th and runs until June 17th at various locations on Somerset Street West, between Bay and Preston Streets. The 2014 festival will feature the works of over 40 visual artists, free kid friendly workshops, free concerts, yarn bombing, and special curated exhibition spaces.

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Photo by Sarai Strikefoot

Chinatown Remixed highlights visual art, sculpture and performances presented in unconventional spaces such as restaurants, medical offices, hair salons, grocery stores and alleyways. The festival aims to celebrate the uniqueness of Chinatown, one of Ottawa’s most vibrant neighbourhoods by bringing together both businesses and artists.

Some features of the festival include: self portraits by Erika Struck at DK Hair and Spa; a group show by the EnrichedBread Artist collective at ZenKitchen; sketches of Chinatown businesses by Colin White at Nasa Food Centre; a performance piece by Bucko, using a mobile sound and light system mounted on his powerwheelchair and painting of monsters and other comical creatures by Westin Church at Monopolatte

The day-long vernissage is Saturday May 17th from 1pm to 5pm along Somerset Street West with an after-party from 5pm to 11pm in the parking lots of Shanghai Restaurant and  ZenKitchenHighjinx will also hold a night market during that time. The day and evening programming includes visual and performance art, live music, food installations and free child-friendly workshops. 



Highlights include a live food performamance by Chef Caroline Ishii and musical performances from The Girls Rock Band Camp and Loon Choir.








We are also pleased to have, Smoota, from Brooklyn, NY, performing his seductive and sultry sounds from his newly released Fetishes album at the after-party.

A new contest has been added this year, thanks to our Jade sponsor, PORTER AIRLINES. Pick up one of the Chinatown Remixed Passports or visit our website for a printable copy. 

Collect Stamps by exploring the neighbourhood for a chance to WIN 2 FREE TICKETS anywhere PORTER AIRLINES flies.

Enjoy and explore one of Ottawa’s most colourful neighbourhoods through the eyes of over 40 local artists, including: Petr Maur, Anna Griffiths, Laura Fedynyszyn, Sandra Hawkins, and Gillian King. And by strolling down Somerset Street West enjoying businesses such as: Kowloon Market, Raw Sugar Café, The Daily Grind Café, My Sweet Tea and many others.

“We love Remixed!” State HighJinx owners Karen Nielsen and Leigh Reid. “It’s a wonderful showcase of local creativity and brings so many diverse people to Chinatown. We are always excited to participate as we have such a fantastic time, get to meet talented artists, and share the love of art with our neighbours.” 

Introducing our new bird, the elusive downtown owl.

The Chinatown Remixed Collective is proud to introduce this years poster.

Owl and night sky woodcut print by local artist and printmaker Guillermo Trejo and poster design by Julie Cruikshank

This month-long art festival kicks off with a day-long vernissage at various locations along Somerset Street West, between Bay and Preston Streets.

From 1pm to 5pm wander around Chinatown admiring art and enjoying free visual and performance art, music, child-friendly workshops, live food demo by Chef Caroline Ishii and a whole lot more!

From 5pm to 11pm there will be a fun filled after-party in the parking lots of Shanghai Restaurant and ZenKitchenHighJinx will also run a night market during that time.

Thanks to our Jade sponsor, Porter Airlines, a contest has been added to this year’s festival. The grand prize is 2 ROUND TRIP TICKETS anywhere PORTER AIRLINES flies. The contest rules are fun and simple – explore the neighbourhood and visit the work of over 40 different artists in Chinatown and get your passport stamped. For every 3 stamps, your name will be entered in the contest. Pick up one of the Chinatown Remixed Passports at any of the participating venues or click on our website Passport & Contest for a printable copy and the contest rules.




Here’s a teaser of this years bird!

Specially designed for Chinatown Remixed, by local artist Guillermo Trejo.

Stay tuned for more! 




Remixed Horses Around in Style, Naturally

by Adrian Di Giovanni

Gung hay fat choi! Today is the first day of big new things for me – I have got to hold on to the reigns and hang on tight for the ride!

Facebook Friend, Status update

Gung Hay Fat Choi Remixed-cionados! I hope that Chinese New Year has provided a good reprieve from the winter’s cold. Don’t worry I’ll spare you any pithy one-liners about making your own warmth to melt the cold, or finding strength in facing the polar vortex head on. And, no, no mention of groundhogs here, for this is the Year of the Horse, and we have much to celebrate.

The Horse Year is a lucky one, I discovered thanks to a quick and dirty Google search, and promises to be full of “adventure and movement, delightfully delving into new ways and practices.” And for all of you lucky Horses out there, well, like your namesake, you are “animated, active and energetic” creatures, who “love being in a crowd.”

(As a Snake, I found one prediction directing me to “think about marriage” this year, whereas another sagely counseled me to “avoid being too hasty.”) 

Thanks in part to Chinatown Remixed, celebrations to kick off the New Year started early. Those of you brave enough to stir from your mid-winter slumber a few Friday nights ago (January 24) were treated to a whimsical and brash party, truly fitting of our equine enchanters, and no other.

Picture a four-story loft, with hopping dance floors on each level, but also a castle looking out onto the bright lights of the city. No, this wasn’t the east side of Berlin before the whole world descended on Prenzlauer Berg, or Tribeca in the ‘80s. This was a museum, the Museum of Nature, on a Friday night no less. Props Ottawa, no one puts the hip in square quite like you. And, damn, you sure clean up nice for a frigid -30C (+piercing wind) night!

nature museum by night.

The event, themed “Horsing Around,” was a collaboration between Chinatown Remixed and Nature Nocturne. When asked for his impressions, Remixed leading light Don Kwan remarked how excited he was to see the yearly arts festival get such great exposure, which he regards as yet another sign of Remixed’s continued growth, now building up to its 6th edition in May. Kwan also expressed how fantastic it was to see – in true Remixed form – so many members of the community come out and experience the museum like this; interacting with it as a public space in new and different ways. Call it Remixed Transplanted.

When pushed to step out from behind his media persona, and press release one-liners, Kwan confided that Horsing Around was a bit of a childhood dream come true. As a kid, his parents would send him and his siblings off to the Nature Museum whenever they wanted them out of the house. You could see the delight in his eyes, as Kwan vividly recalled running around the old building with its once wall-to-wall carpets. And now the chance, all grown-up, to party in the museum at night!

Without a doubt, Remixed’s line-up of activities had enough fancies to tickle and tease the inner child of every grown-up there. And what a diverse if stylish mix of grown-ups it was. On relatively short notice – about a month – your tireless Remixed Collective threw together a program big enough to fill the fourth floor and parts of the third. On offer, was a wide assortment of games like Ping Pong, Twister, and giant sized versions of Jenga, Battleship and, my favourite, Snakes and Ladders, as well as candy (all courtesy of Monopolatte).

Local celebrity China Doll was also in the house hosting a karaoke lounge, all decked-out in a glamorous yellow dress (complete with leopard fringes). And there was no shortage of (sober?) songsters in search of glory here. Thanks to furniture provided by vintage store/social enterprise HighJinx, this enthusiastic roller coaster ride of musical highs and lows – both in talent and taste – could be enjoyed from the comfort of a tastefully decorated retro-lounge.

(Thankfully, My Sweet Tea set up a table to sell their yummy bubble tea, as Nocturne continues to live-up to its infamous reputation for painfully slow, never-ending alcoholic drink lines.)

In the throws of a Snakes & Ladders game                           China Doll on stage

As for the dancing: great all-around. Tunes pulsed from all corners, but without competing with one another, and offered up a solid dose of something for everyone (electric, ‘80s pop, house, hip hop etc.). The dance floor in second floor atrium, aka the Lantern, was especially popular with this crowd. So popular that dancing at one point spilled out, all the way up onto the overlooking staircases. A special highlight was a tightly stitched mix of hip-hop hits from across the decades, between the hours of 11 pm and midnight.

Second flooratrium  dance floor, before and after.

The Earth Gallery proved an unexpected treat, with its sparkling, almost otherworldly array of gems, rocks and minerals. My charming companion and I stumbled on the Gallery in search of a quiet sanctuary, away from the frenzy of games and dancing. It turns out we weren’t alone. This was apparently the place to be for anyone on a date at Nocturne. A steady procession of couples streamed eagerly by, lost in gentle conversation, and pausing only to ooh and aah some of the sparkling wonders. Many radiated with the nervous excitement of a first date. Others, the wistful energy of new love. Sigh. Who knew rocks could be the source of so much handholding, dreamy-eyed fun. Then again, with objects on display such as the Lover’s Crystal (or was it mineral?), maybe it’s no wonder.

 Lover’s Crystal (or Mineral?)

All in all, what better to way to gallop into the New Year? More to the point, what better reminder than Horsing Around that Remixed is a celebration we carry inside us all-year around, and not just one month a year on Somerset Street. What’s that… too many pithy one-liners for you? Don’t worry, I’m done, go back to sleep sweet one and see you in May in Chinatown for the real deal.


The Call for Artists Submissions is officially closed.

Save the date – Saturday, May, 17th 2014.

For those of you that applied, we’ll get back to you with our decision no later than March 1st. 2014.

In the meantime stay connected with us on:

instagram: Chinatown Remixed