We have put the new program for 2013 on the website. Please check under the Program tab. For those new to our festival, the afternoons are free. Enjoy.
I listened carefully to many people in deciding what to put in the program. This process is part of the Ottawa Grassroots Festival mandate, where everyone gets a say in how our festival is managed. What I heard was a wish for more days, more venues, more great artists, more workshops, more kid stuff and more fun. It’s never possible to please everyone, but I can say we will make those wishes come true and we are all going to have fun, both our volunteers and our audience.
I want to thank three groups of people. First I want to thank the very generous sponsors that make the festival happen. Without sponsors, it would be an entirely different festival. They make all the free daytime programming possible. Having afternoons free means that young families can afford to attend, kids can have fun and the place comes alive. The sharing of our festival with the community is another part of our mandate. Secondly, I want to thank all the artists who are participating in the festival. There are about 120 to 150 of you and I am humbled in the way you were all so agreeable to performing. Thirdly, I want to thank all the volunteers who are and will be working on the festival. It is you men and women who really make this happen. For the record, everyone who works on the festival is a volunteer. I doubt if the general public can really grasp the amount of effort that goes into putting on a festival like ours, but I know and appreciate every thing you do and I want to thank you. You are a joy to work with.
Now go check the festival programming and make plans to attend!
Music Festivals are founded for many different reasons, so I wanted to clarify why I wanted to found Ottawa Grassroots Festival, and how I view it. The Ottawa Grassroots Festival was created so that folks of all ages can enjoy community through music and other performing arts.
To start with, the idea of a small, simple folk festival, one driven by volunteers and with a minimum of formal structure, has been percolating in my mind for a few years now. Chris White and I have frequently talked over the years about how great the Blue Skies Music Festival is, and how wonderful the vibe is there. They are in their 39th year, a remarkable achievement for any festival. In that time, three generations have grown up there. I have attended Blue Skies for the last 5 or 6 years in a row, and Chris for much longer. We have often wondered if that Blue Skies feeling could be cloned and implemented closer to Ottawa. Continue reading
Back in February of this year, I was so sure the one-day 2012 festival would be a success that I booked the Legion for 2 days in 2013. The dates are Saturday April 27 and Sunday April 28, 2013.
The venue remains the same, the Royal Canadian Legion, Montgomery Branch, 330 Kent Street in Ottawa (corner of Maclaren). Indeed, the Legion was so good to us and it worked so well in so many ways, there was no reason to change venues.
Due to unavoidable roof repairs (thank you, Mother Nature) the venue for 2013 has been moved to the Rideau Curling Club, 715 Cooper St. at Percy. [ed.]
After this year’s festival, I, and others, were concerned that we couldn’t match an event that good in 2013. Well, I am now certain that 2013 will be at least as good as 2012. Continue reading
Well all the hard work that the volunteers and performers put into the festival on April 28 certainly paid off. The festival was a huge success in every way. There were lots of people at every performance in the afternoon and the vibe was wonderful. There were lots of things that people had never seen before and they were eager to learn. The evening performance was very exciting and the place was packed. Performers love an atmosphere like that and go all out to entertain the audience. And entertain us they did; Rick Fines, Katherine Wheatley and Missy Burgess were at their finest. Albert Dumont gave a very thoughtful talk as an opener, including a poem he had written specifically for our festival, and left people spellbound.
The fact that the entire afternoon was free was a really big hit. These are the performances that the audiences saw: Continue reading