In its second year running, MEGAPHONO has upped the ante and significantly expanded its scope and size. The festival, which takes place February 2–5, 2016, brings industry professionals to Ottawa and gives local artists and delegates the rare opportunity to connect with those who are working in the music business.

Last year saw the release of the Connecting Ottawa Music report on the city’s status in the music industry, which presented some revelations about the challenges Ottawa faces with respect to its lack of music infrastructure and connectedness to the wider industry in Canada and North America. We at Showbox were very proud to contribute to this report by providing important data on 2014 album releases.

This unprecedented report not only outlined the barriers that are preventing Ottawa from moving forward as a “music city,” but it also offered a glimmer of hope by providing recommendations and a strategy based on core principles. One of the most critical recommendations from the report reads as follows [p.65]:

3. Connect Ottawa’s music community to the global music industry.

  1. Advocate for Ottawa’s music community at national institutions
  2. Facilitate exchanges with more prominent music clusters
  3. Lead delegations to trade shows and festivals (e.g. MIDEM, SXSW)
  4. Promote Ottawa’s music cluster to outsiders

 

MEGAPHONO is doing something that has never really been done in Ottawa before. Not only are the organizers tirelessly reaching out to important industry personalities in places like Toronto, Montreal, Los Angeles, New York City, and London (UK), but they are actually bringing them to Ottawa over the course of the festival. This affords Ottawa artists the opportunity to have an audience with the people that might be able to advance their careers – or at least get on their radar. This includes booking agents, record labels, music publishers, film/TV music supervisors, managers, publicists, and more. Like any other business, music is about connecting with the right people, and just as the report recommends, Ottawa needs to bring industry personnel together so that coalescence can happen.

“MEGAPHONO is about getting the right people in the room to see our artists,” says festival director Jon Bartlett. “The best way to tell the story of Ottawa music is to drag industry folks here to see and hear it for themselves. If we put our best artists on stage with key music people in the room, I’m confident good things will happen.”

Attendees will enjoy four solid days of music, with all performances open to the public. Over those four days, 60 artists will be performing in Ottawa at various locations, 47 of which are local acts.

Ottawa artists such as New Swears, Merganzer, Boyhood, Mehdi Cayenne, SILKKENIsaac Vallentin, Scattered Clouds, The Visit, and Pipahauntas will all perform alongside veterans of the scene such as The Acorn and Lynne Hanson.

MEGAPHONO will also showcase some of the best bands from the Toronto-Montreal corridor and beyond, including synth/punk rockers Duchess Says, psych-sludge outfit Darlene Shrugg, Saskatchewan songsmith Andy Shauf, garager rocker Michael Rault, harpist/chanteuse Emilie & Ogden, and Ottawa ex-pat Michael Feuerstack.

Noted music critic and author Jessica Hopper (MTV, Pitchfork) will kick things off at the launch on Tuesday, February 2nd with a keynote speech at St. Alban’s Church; MEGAPHONO will also screen a film this year called Terminal Device, directed by Ross Turnbull, edited by U.S. Girls‘ Meg Remy and with music composed by Slim Twig.

Additional panels and networking opportunities with industry reps are available to those purchasing a delegate pass. Fan festival passes are $50; delegate passes run for $100. Both are available at http://www.megaphono.tv/passes/.

Highlights of this year’s festival include:

  • MEGAPHONO Meltdown — MEGAPHONO after party in Hull, QC at AXENÉO7
  • PANELS — daytime talks focusing on music industry-related topics and conversations focused on our local music community
  • FREE SHOWCASES — Wednesday & Thursday afternoon showcases in the Centretown & Hintonburg neighbourhoods
  • Over 30 visiting delegates from LA, NYC, London (UK), Toronto & Montreal


Festival Schedule

 

Tuesday, February 2nd

jessica hopper, megaphono

4:00 – 6:30pm
MEGAPHONO FESTIVAL OFFICIAL LAUNCH
w/ keynote by JESSICA HOPPER
@ ST ALBANS CHURCH
Event Link

7:00pm
THE ACORN / EMILIE & OGDEN / PIPAHAUNTAS
@ ST ALBANS CHURCH
Event Link

9:00pm
THE VISIT / HEAVY BEDROOM / NOVEMBER @ BLACK SQUIRREL BOOKS

Event Link

9:00pm
PATCHOSTARS / RÈGLEMENT 17 / HIGH WATERS @ HOUSE OF TARG

Event Link

 

Wednesday, February 3

megaphono, andy shauf

4:00pm
FRED WOODS / JULIE CORRIGAN / LAURENT BOURQUE
@ TWO SIX ATE
Event Link

4:00pm
MICHAEL FEUERSTACK / AMANDA LOWE / DANIELLE ALLARD
@ PRESSED
Event Link

7:30pm
ANDY SHAUF / MERGANZER / FIVER (SIMONE SCHMIDT)
@ ST ALBANS
Event Link

9:00pm
DUCHESS SAYS / FET.NAT / BOYHOOD / EVERETT
@ DOMINION TAVERN
Event Link

9:00pm
PEPTIDES / RIOT POLICE / JESSE DANGEROUSLY / MIVCA @ ZAPHODS
Event Link

 

Thursday, February 4

ottawa, silkken laumann, megaphono

4:00pm
CLAUDE MUNSON / JILLIAN KERR / JOHN PUNCH BAND
@ RECORD CENTRE
Event Link

4:00pm
LYNNE HANSON / JIMMY TRITONE BAND / ELEMENTALS
@ ELMDALE TAVERN
Event Link

7:00pm
TERMINAL DEVICE – DOCUMENTARY FILM SCREENING
dir. ROSS TURNBULL / music score by SLIM TWIG / edited by U.S. GIRLS’ Meg Remy
@ BYTOWNE CINEMA
Event Link

7:00pm
MEHDI CAYENNE / FIRE ANTLERS / LOST TO THE RIVER
@ HAPPY GOAT
Event Link

7:00pm
PITH AND THE PARENCHYMAS / ICE CREAM / THE HEAVY MEDICINE BAND
@ HOUSE OF COMMON
Event Link

9:00pm
SILKKEN / CABAAL & HARD SCIENCE / FRAYD / DJ DAN VALIN (THE QUEER MAFIA)
@ BABYLON
Event Link

 

Friday, February 5

ottawa, new swears, u.s. girls, slim twig, megaphono

4:00pm
YAO / VALOIS
@ ZIBI WELCOME CENTRE (HULL)
Event Link

4:30pm
HER HARBOUR / ISAAC VALLENTIN
@ ZIBI WELCOME CENTRE – MILL (HULL)
Event Link

7:00pm
CHÉRIE / CHRIS PAGE / JACK PINE
@ BRIDGEHEAD ROASTERY
Event Link

8:30pm
PONY GIRL / SAXSYNDRUM / TÁDÉ
@ LE GAINSBOURG (HULL)
Event Link

9:00pm
KRISTINE ST-PIERRE / NOISY LOCOMOTIVE / SAINT CLARE
@ LE TROQUET (HULL)
Event Link

11:00pm
NEW SWEARS / SCATTERED CLOUDS / DARLENE SHRUGG / MICHAEL RAULT / US GIRLS & SLIM TWIG DJ SET
@ AXENÉO7 (HULL)
Event Link

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