The headliners that will grace the stage at Mooney’s Bay include Sam Roberts Band (21st), Broken Social Scene (22nd), Wintersleep and Hollerado (23rd), and Matt Mays (24th). If all those Juno award winners and Polaris Prize nominees aren’t enough to get you excited for these free concerts, note that they will also be joined by Crown Lands, Amos The Transparent, M. T. Walker, Dizzy, Ellevator, Gianna Lauren, Fast Romantics, Rebelle, Old Man Grant, Birds of Bellwoods, Midnight Vesta, Rory Taillon and Craig Cardiff.
So mark your calendar, stock up on sunscreen and get ready to head down to Mooney’s Bay in late June to cheer on some racers and take in some most excellent performances.
Ottawa’s Chinatown is home to a diverse mix of people and all sorts of businesses. Remixed (formely Chinatown Remixed) is an annual festival that celebrates this neighbourhood by highlighting the arts scene that flourishes here. The opening party is taking place this Saturday, September 16 between 11am and 10pm, and there is a full schedule of free activities and events.
Where’s the music at?
Ottawa Showbox is proud to co-produce the festival’s music component, which will take place in the early evening. Attendees can look forward to performances by Loon Choir, Novusolis, and Sarah Howard.
8:30 pm – Loon Choir
Loon Choir are an energetic seven-piece band that have created a following for themselves in Ottawa and even across Canada. Showbox recently celebrated the milestone of five years, which in retrospect was an important period for Ottawa’s music scene. We created a “Five Years – Ottawa 2012-2017” compilation of some of the music that had influenced us over that time. You guessed it–Loon Choir made the cut, with their song “Bug.” You can also check out the entire compilation here.
7:30 pm – Novusolis
Novusolis is an ambient post-rock group featuring soaring and haunting vocals and hypnotic guitar melodies. Their music is sure to create a beautiful reverb down Somerset St, and create an intimate atmosphere for enjoying the early evening.
6:45 pm – Sarah Howard
Sarah Howard is a bilingual singer-songwriter based in Ottawa. Sarah’s work combines elements of folk with a jazz vocal style and explores themes of travel, love and loss.
Early afternoon (time TBA) – David Finkle
In recognition that this neighbourhood is unceded and unsurrended Algonquin territory, Remixed is also welcoming David Finkle to perform in the afternoon. David is an Indigenous drummer and singer, and will be the first artist to grace the stage.
What else is going on?
Now in its ninth year, Remixed is all-day affair that is sure to offer something for everyone. New this year is that they are closing Somerset Street between Percy and Bay, and filling the road with fun activities.
Some of the highlights of the afternoon include a skateboarding demonstration by Birling, a yoga class, an urban legends poetry showcase, a comedy show, food competitions, a beer garden, and a marketplace. There’s also a kids zone if that’s where you’re at.
And of course, there is the visual arts. There will be 26 venues throughout Chinatown displaying art, hosting workshops, or otherwise engaging people to explore the neighbourhood. While restaurants are a sure thing, many of the artists are located in non-conventional gallery spaces – like a grocery store, or a florist.
There’s a strong movement these days to celebrate local. We are throwing block parties and connecting with our neighbours. We make efforts to spend our dollars supporting ideas we believe in. A festival like Remixed is special because it shows what happens when people believe in their neighbourhood and share that vision with others. We hope to see lots of faces out on Saturday, so be sure to swing on by!
The schedule, merchants list, and map of the area can be accessed here.
A few weeks ago, my friends and I went to the Horticultural Building at Lansdowne in Ottawa for the Ukrainian edition of Ottawa Welcomes the World. We were treated to two great sets of live music by some of Ukraine’s finest, ONUKA and Mad Heads… for free.
Ottawa Welcomes the World invited embassies and high commissions to mark their country’s national celebration in Ottawa with free events which highlight their nation through food,art, music and more. I had no idea about these events and I have clearly missed out on a lot of really fun days and nights, but lucky for me my buddy invited me to go check out Ukraine.
The evening started with a sand art performance where the artists moved sand around on a back-lit platform creating beautiful images to tell the story of Ukraine and Canada’s connection. All of this accompanied by a violinist. It was very impressive and visually stunning.
Mad Heads, from Ukraine, performing at the Horticultural Building in Ottawa.
After a few speeches from very distinguished guests, including the ambassador to Canada, it was time for the music. Up first was Mad Heads—a ska band and the reason we were there. Little did I know they had been performing and releasing music for over 25 years and 8 studio albums. They were high energy and a lot of fun. I didn’t understand a word, other than their cover of “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” but their music was infectious and had us dancing.
ONUKA, from Ukraine, performing at the Horticultural Building in Ottawa and putting their big “horn” on display.
Headlining the night was ONUKA. ONUKA, which means granddaughter, are an electro-folk act and were introduced as a band with chart-topping hits all over Europe. The band has four main members, a singer/wind instrumentalist, keyboardist, percussionist and a banduryst (which is one of the coolest looking instruments ever with so many strings). For their live performance they also had a three piece brass ensemble with a french horn and two trombones. During some songs one trombonist switches to this massive 10 or 12 foot horn. All of this was performed in front of an ever changing video screen ranging from the abstract to animals. All that to say that it was quite a sight to see and even better to hear. One of the most touching and heavy moments was when they performed a song “Vidlik.” Lead singer Nata Zhyzhchenko simply introduced the song saying “let’s all pray for the victims of 1986,” which was a reference to the Chernobyl disaster, the biggest disaster in the country’s history.
All the great music was complimented by traditional Ukrainian food, including perogies and cabbage rolls, as well as Lvivske—a Ukrainian beer which traces its roots to a monastic beer of 1715. It was an amazing night and of this is a sign of what to expect from other Ottawa Welcomes the World events, I strongly encourage you to check them out.
The 18th annual Ottawa Fringe Festival, widely known as the nation’s capital’s largest theatre event of the year, will debut on Thursday June 19th with almost 400 performances during its ten-day run. But first the kick-off begins on June 18th at the Downtown Rideau Stage near the Arts Court. Should you walk into the area, you’ll feel the pull of the Fringe Courtyard in Waller Park, which will be open as early as 4pm tomorrow for the christening of the peripheral party.
(Let it be known that this autumn the Arts Court will be undergoing a major reno involving a new building to be erected where Waller Park now lies. Consider yourself warned that this might be the last time you can drink St-Ambroise legally on this turf…)
Every year the Fringe Festival has offered free concerts for all patrons, volunteers & rubberneckers who find their way past Waller Park in the evenings. Tomorrow, local acts Stillnative & 2React will open the festivities with their respective raw beat rock & hip hop jazz dub for all present. They are the starting gun bullets for this year’s sick line-up of free shows that include ’30s gypsy jazz Django Libre, juke jazz Adam Saikaley 5tet, a night of folk pop with Halifax-née, Windsor-based Crissi Cochrane & Ottawa’s Three Little Birds, indie pop from HIGHS & dance synth-pop from Silkken Laumann. On top of this every Thursday, Friday & Saturday night there will be Fringe Late Night,a midnight late night show hosted by comedian Deborah Ring and accompanied by the Jeff Kingsbury Trio (spoiler: this is approximately Pony Girl minus the vocalists).
Check out the full free programming schedule here!
What’s better than free live music in Downtown Ottawa? When it’s right smack in the middle of dozens of theatre groups & performers who are chomping at the bit to execute their drama & comedy for us. If only we had time to see them all… We raise our glasses to all present anyway, and to the end of Spring, and to the hot mess that is Ottawa Festival Season. Now let’s live on the edge a little bit — happy fringing to all and to all a good Fringe!
Jeremy Fisher released his new album The Lemon Squeeze today, and we’re giving away some free swag! This Canadian indie music veteran is now based out of Ottawa (!) and is releasing the new record through Hidden Pony Records. He’s also doing some cool stuff through PledgeMusic, be sure to check out the campaign here and see what you can score for pledging your support.
We’re giving away a prizepack that will include a FREE CD and vinyl copyof his new album delivered right to your doorstep! And believe me, it’s one great album so don’t miss out on a chance to add it to your collection for free. Enter in your contact info below to enter, and if you win we’ll get in touch to let you know. If you’d like to enter into future contests and giveaways, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter at the top-right of the page (SIGN UP FOR FREE TIX AND SWAG) and we’ll keep you in the loop in the future. May the force be with you.
The 11th edition of Ottawa’s greatest street party, Westfest, is chalked full of great talent once again this year. The free festival, yes free, is full of very good bands including Juno nominees and winners.
The festivals is being held the weekend of June 13 to 15 on Richmond road (centered at the Loblaws Superstore at 290 Richmond Rd).Friday night is a blues night, featuring Juno-nominated George Leach, a First Nations guitar man from Saskatoon. Saturday is a Canada centric night, featuring is Cape Breton fiddler Ashley MacIsaac as the headliner. Also Saturday is the aboriginal artist Shawnee and Ottawa’s pop noir sensations The Peptides. The last day is dedicated to local acts, and the crowd is in for a treat. Ottawa greats such as Pony Girl, FEVERS and Good2Go will play before Ottawa’s own international superstars, A Tribe Called Red close out the festival with their only Ottawa appearance of the summer. You can see the complete schedule here.
It is not just about the music, during the day don’t forget to walk around and check out all there is to see. The 14 block street party includes, dance acts, roaming street performers, buskers, a fun and exciting kidzone, as well as local vendors and charities all day long on Saturday and Sunday.