Visual Art Classes, Karaoke, Open Mic

Visual Arts

Do you like to draw, paint, sculpt, or compose photos? If so, Ottawa has quite a few options including laid-back sketching evenings around the city, in addition to formal classes in drawing, painting, pastel, sculpture, pottery, and photography. This not by any means an exhaustive list!


  • Sandy Hill life drawing workshop:
    • What: Running for over 30 years, it is one of Ottawa’s oldest, largest and most affordable ($5/night) life drawing workshops. One to two live nude models (male and/or female).
      • Series of anywhere form 90 second gestures to 30 minute poses in seated, standing and reclining positions
    • Where: Sandy Hill Community Centre, 250 Somerset St EAST, in the basement classroom
    • When: Every Wednesday except for Christmas and New Years from 7-9:30pm
    • How much: $5 entry cash (to pay for the model) and includes tea and cookies
    • Other details: BYOS – Bring your own supplies (and easel if you wish)
  • P (a)int and Draw:
    • What: Life drawing workshop with live model in a CATHEDRAL! Entry to Brigid’s Weil Speak Easy pub also a bonus
    • Where: St. Brigid’s Centre for the Arts, 310 St Patrick St (in the Market), use the Cumberland entrance
    • When: approx once-twice a month on Wednesdays (check the Facebook group)
    • How much: $15 cash at the door, beer/wine available for $5 each
    • Other details: BYOS but there are limited supplies of charcoal, paper, and standing easels available on a first come, first served basis
  • Urban Sketchers Ottawa:
    • What: Group that organizes urban sketching events (e.g. National Gallery, neighbourhood sketching) and other art related activities! If you like sketching parks, interesting buildings, etc. then this is for you!
    • Where: Around the city, rotates
    • When: Usually Wednesday 6:30 or 7pm – 9pm
    • How much: Free!
    • Other details: BYOS and be prepared for inclement weather if outdoors



School of Photographic Arts Ottawa (SPAO): Located in Lowertown/Byward Market. Offers photographic art classes and seminars for all levels!

Ottawa School of Art: Located in both Downtown (35 George St) and Orleans (245 Centrum Blvd) campus. Offers courses for adults and children in all manners of visual art (drawing, painting, water colour, sculpture…). Sessions are semester based (summer, fall, winter/spring)

Loam Clay Studio: Located in Hintonburg. Offers adult pottery classes on a semester-based system. Also opportunity to rent time/space for pottery wheel and kiln finishing

Nepean Visual Arts Centre: Located in the Nepean Sportplex. Offers courses for adults and children of all ages in a wide array of visual arts (drawing, painting, sculpting….)


Karaoke Nights!

Usually starts anywhere between 9-9:45pm and runs until 1am unless otherwise specified

  • Monday
    • Tease Inc, 5029 Bank St
  • Tuesday
    • The LookOut, 41 York St
  • Wednesday
    • The Brass Monkey, 250 Greenbank Rd
    • The LookOut, 41 York St
    • Swizzles, 246 Queen St.
  • Thursday
    • The Cock and Lion Pub, 202 Sparks Street, Ottawa
  • Friday
    • Don Cherry’s Kanata, 320 Eagleston Rd
    • O’Brien’s Pub, 1145 Heron Rd
    • Swizzles, 246 Queen St.
    • Hooley’s Pub (aka. Bytown Tavern), 292 Elgin Street *starts 11:20pm after comedy show (Yuk-Yuks)
  • Saturday
    • The Cock and Lion Pub, 202 Sparks Street, Ottawa
    • Hooley’s Pub (aka. Bytown Tavern), 292 Elgin Street*starts 11:20pm after comedy show (Yuk-Yuks)
  • Sunday
    • Swizzles, 246 Queen St.


Open Mic Nights

Come listen to local bands or come show off your talents yourself! Some updated listing and times can be found here . Sign-up tends to be 30-60 mins before start time. Not all sessions are open for public participation. Make sure to check the type of performance, the start time (may change), the sign up time, and the experience level required.

Of course keep your eyes peeled for the Department of Family Medicine’s Open Mic Night, which happens 3-4 times a year!

  • Monday
    • Absolute Comedy, 412 Preston St: comedy, all levels, 8:30pm start, 8pm signup
    • Rainbow Bistro, 76 Murray St: music, comedy, spoken word/poetry, all levels, 9pm start, 8:30pm signup
    • Woody’s Pub, 330 Elgin St: music,all levels, 8pm start, 7pm signup
  • Tuesday
    • Live! On Elgin, 220 Elgin St: music, spoken word/poetry, all levels
      9pm start, 8pm signup
    • Royal Oak (Kanata), 329 March Rd: music, all levels 8pm
  • Wednesday
    • Blackpepper Urban Pub, 1017 Wellington West: music, experienced 9pm
    • Pressed, 750 Gladstone: music, comedy, spoken word/poetry,all levels
      8pm start, 7pm signup
  • Thursday
    • Atomic Rooster, 303 Bank St: music and jam sessions, experienced 9pm
    • Cafe Nostalgica, 601 Cumberland Ave: music, comedy, spoken word/poetry,all levels 9pm start, 8:30pm signup
    • Grumpy’s Pub and Eatery, 4000 Bridlepath: music, comedy, spoken word/poetry, experienced, 8pm signup and start
    • The Brass Monkey, 250A Greenbank: music, jam session, experienced, 8:30pm
  • Friday
    • The Cock and Lion Pub, 202 Sparks Street: music, all levels, 9:30pm
    • Prime Burger Bar, 780 Baseline Rd: music, experienced
      10pm start, 9:30pm signup
    • The Tea Store, 53 York St: music, comedy, spoken word/poetry, all levels
      7pm start, 6:30pm signup
  • Saturday
    • Bowmans Grill, 1170 Carling Ave: music, experienced, 9pm start,signup 8:30pm
    • Grumpy’s Pub and Eatery, 4000 Bridlepath: music, comedy, spoken word/poetry, all levels, 9pm start, 8:30pm signup
  • Sunday 
    • Quinn’s Ale House, 1070 Bank St: music 0nly, experienced, 9pm start, 8:30pm signup