DayDreams Are Mine To Keep: A Tribute To Karl Goertzen


Sometimes music is about more than simply entertaining, it is about unifying people for a good cause. It is about working together as a community to help out and give back through the arts.

That is what it was all about Thursday night at DayDreams Are Mine To Keep held at Burgers on Main. The event which gathered local musicians and artists was a tribute to Karl Goertzen, a local artist who recently passed away from cancer.  Karl had battled with mental illness for most of his life, so all of the proceeds of the show and a portion of the art sales went to the Partners in Art Initiative, a very good program at the Royal Ottawa Hospital.

It was so inspiring to see so many people show up for the fundraiser. The walls were covered with awesome local art, including a few pieces by Karl himself, and the stage decorated with four different female singer songwriters from Ottawa.

karlG“SPACE BOY” by Karl Goertzen

First up was Andrea Warren. Her set had everything from a great cover of Etta James’ ”I’d Rather Go Blind,” to having someone from the crowd play saxophone with their mouth and hands (no instrument). Julia Churchill then joined her on stage and they played an original followed by ”Jolene” by Dolly Parton.

Julia took the stage next for a quick three song set. Julia studied jazz singing and asked us all to snap our fingers along as she opened with Sarah Vaughan’s ”All of Me.” I really liked her second song about her first crush, called ”Grade Six.”

Up next was Kelly Sloan who amused the crowd with her cute conversation between songs, as well as her great music. She mentioned that every day she challenges herself to not look like a Dr. Seus character… and succeeds 50% of the time. Well I am sure Dr. Seus would love to have that voice at his disposal. I really enjoyed her song ”Hurricane.” But the highlight of her set for me was when the classically trained singer sang one of Puccini’s opera while playing guitar.  The crowd and myself melted. Her mother would have been proud.

The last scheduled act was Keturah Johnson. People who read this blog know how much I like her music and can’t get enough of her powerful voice. Keturah knew Karl personally and it was quite the emotional night for her.  You could see her wiping away tears after some of her darker songs.  But she powered through playing a set mixed with originals and covers. The covers included, Joni Mitchells’ ”You Turn Me On, I’m a Radio” a slowed down version of Andrew Birds’ ”Glass Figurine” and the always awesome ”Hells Bells” by Cary Ann Hearst. Keturah played,”Black Eyed Creep,”  a powerful and hypnotizing song, which she explained was about this winter when she was ”battling demons, often known as unpredictable emotions with absolutely no regard for reason.” Here is a link to her performing ‘‘Black Eyed Creep,” back in march. She even found the time to play on of my favourites, ”Wrecking Ball Daughter.”

As mentioned, the event featured a lot of very cool local artwork. The artists included: Diana Kline, Sarah Lickley, Andrea Warren (yes she performed and displayed), Ben van D, Robert James and Pat Spencer.

Nights like these make me love music and Ottawa just that much more! I would like to commend everyone who participated in this wonderful event and as always I encourage people  to support local, and that does not just mean music but to causes that touch close to home.