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Party Mondays
New clubbing venue blasts off

GAY and lesbian people in Ottawa just got a new party opportunity on Monday nights.  And it's wall-to-wall.

Called 'Circus Alternatif', the well designed and tastefully decorated riverfront club in Gatineau is a 3-5 minute drive after crossing the bridge.

Geared towards people who work in the service industry, the Monday night party spot is open - and apparently attractive - to all.

Doug Muir of Out Productions is the promoter of Circus Alternatif Mondays and heads up the entertainment.

"We're going to live up to the name 'Circus,'" said Doug at the grand opening June 26th.  "We're going to bring this event to pretty crazy levels ... there's no rules.

Circus Alternatif manager Mark and promoter Doug
"It's geared towards the staff - people in the service industry - but everybody's welcome," he continued.  "All the people that want a fun place to go out to on a Monday night."

The club sits atop a restaurant which serves Canadian cuisine into the evenings and has patio space.  The dance floor and light show of Circus Alternatif may be the center of attention, but patrons who want a quiet break can indulge in the more intimate lounge spaces on the periphery.  Plenty of waiters were walking around.

The $2.50 prices for beer and shots don't hurt, either.

Said manager Mark, "It's tastefully done, it's fabulous, it's a social place to be.

"We want to bring something a bit different ... I feel we will attract a lot of francophones ... it's going to be a treat - for people who want to go out on a Monday night," he continued.

The manager went on to explain that Circus Alternatif will be introducing a new dimension as the summer weeks progress.

"We want to start being a bit more 'Montreal / Toronto' where we'll have theme nights with staff participation.  We also want to get customer participation."

Mark strongly encouraged people in Ottawa to check it out.

Circus Alternatif Monday staff
"It's our first night," he stated.  "We don't know exactly what to expect."

Low expectations or high, the place was packed before midnight.  Dancing, standing and cruising, chatting in the lounge areas - all were taking in the new place to party on Mondays.  Men and women, and in a range of ages.

DJ Jamie 'C' described the music.

"It's going to be house music ... mellow at first, going into a frenzy later on in the evening," he said.  "Montreal style, a little bit of everything," he continued.

The music mixer said that anybody that has a strong feeling for house music and the 'after hours' scene in general will enjoy it.

Patrons were asked to comment on their experience so far at Circus Alternatif.

"It's very trendy - the place is really hot," said patron Fabienne.  "The staff is very nice and people are all good looking ... it's just a big, big bash party."

Ottawa man Sylvain was asked if it is a good place for Ottawa people to go to.

"Absolutely," he said.  "Very nice atmosphere, looks very nice, a nice change."

Some women were also asked if it would be a good place for them.

"I think so," said one.  "I like it ... I like to go out Mondays because I work on week-ends ... so I need a place where it's fun to go out."

"I don't know if women go out that much on Mondays," said another.  "I'm working and that's why I go out."

Circus Alternatif is located at 21 Jacques Cartier.  The phone number is 246-4761.