Ottawa Grassroots 2021 and the Festival Virtual Choir!

If you are ready for some singing, learning, laughing and sharing, here is a wonderful opportunity.  The Grassroots Festival has asked Andy Rush to take on musical leadership of a choral project and is providing him with significant technical support.  Andy has chosen two uplifting, personal and musically interesting songs for us. ‘Let All Our Hearts’, by Jim Scott has a beautiful unison melody and rousing four-part harmony chorus. It is a great song for getting into the online choir game. Jim Scott is thrilled that we are doing this.  We will also sing Buffy St. Marie’s ‘Up Where We Belong’ (we know, Bob Nesbitt our Grassroots Festival founder, loves Buffy and the song is so great!).

On Friday – April 23 the 2021 Grassroots Festival Choir will make its debut performing these two songs. There will be a little intro, and then we’ll run our videos. There are LOTS of examples on the internet of what these multi window, multi singer, online choral projects look like.

This project is envisioned as a learning and sharing opportunity. We will help you with clear and easy instruction about how to practice and perhaps ultimately record your singing to submit to our editor Andrea.  Participants will be linked to a google folder with practice trax, practice videos, conducting videos, PDF files of the print music, and instructions for practicing and trying out your recording.   Andy will conduct live zoom rehearsals and practice sessions and, once registered, you’ll be sent links to all of this.  It’s all free. You can dabble, learn along, really dig in, submit a final recording or not, just enjoy the process… whatever.

You can participate at any level you choose. There is no audition and all voices are welcome.
Rehearsals will commence March 1 (new) with final video or audio submissions due March 24.

There are resources regarding the Virtual choir on the Ottawa Grassroots Festival YouTube channel.
https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCR2i0cF6_JI4oQSF9tj1jaw

Register now at this link – it’s not too late to sign up
http://ottawagrassrootsfestival.com/virtual-choir-sign-up/
Register for the 2021 Virtual Choir Here | Choir Resources

Ottawa Grassroots – Live Streamed in 2021

The 2021 Ottawa Grassroots Festival will be a live streamed event. If the safety guidelines around COVID-19 change significantly, we will also live stream from Irene’s Pub. The festival will run from April 23 – 25, and it will consist of two nights of ticketed concerts (Friday and Saturday), and two days of free daytime events (Saturday & Sunday). As a special thanks, this year volunteers will be admitted free, to the evening concerts!

Please save the date, folks!

We are excited to share the amazing line-up with you very soon!

Virtual Winners – OGF Algonquin Performing Arts Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
GRASSROOTS FESTIVAL

April 17, 2020 – The Ottawa Grassroots Festival (OGF) and Algonquin College Performing Arts Program are thrilled to announce the winners of their first collaborative event, Algonquin College Entertainers Showcase (ACES). Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the public event had to be cancelled. The students had already put so much time and effort into the event, OGF and Algonquin College decided to make it into a virtual production.

The celebrity judges were: David Yazbeck, host of CKCU’s Thursday Blend, Rebecca Noelle, award-winning vocalist for The Pep Tides and Cath Kenney, a former musician and artist, and founder of Algonquin’s Performing Arts program. The judges viewed each of the Performing Arts students’ submissions, and narrowed them down to four winners and two honourable mentions. The time and effort the judges dedicated to ensure this event was able to go on, despite the challenges concerning the COVID-19 crisis, is greatly appreciated.

The winners are: 1st place, Ethan Carty and Olivia Gault, 2nd Josh Bajpai, and 3rd place goes to Aidan Gomes. An honourable mention goes to Mackenzie Reese & Sarah Culbert. The Best Video award goes to Xavier Silva and Alexandria Lavigne, with an honourable mention going to Jordan Mason. Congratulations to the winners, and to all of the Performing Art Students who worked so hard under such unique and challenging circumstances. The winners were announced on Friday, April 17th, during a Zoom Video Conference.

Each of the ACES winners has their video, bio and photo promoted on the OGF’s website and social media sites. The first place winner will receive $175, the second, $125, and the third, $100. The winner for best video will receive a Neptunes Music Workshops gift certificate. Each of the honourable mentions, will receive an amazon gift card.

Bob Nesbitt, OGF Producer was determined to see the ACES show go on, “This partnership with Algonquin College Performing arts students is an exciting addition to the Ottawa Grassroots Festival. It not only benefits Grassroots, but is designed to give emerging artists a chance to perform where a live audience will get to see them. Obviously this online performance is not the same as a live one, but given COVID19, it is the best we could do under the circumstances. These students have been working hard and are passionate about what they are doing. The winners especially deserve to be showcased on the Grassroots website. I was so taken by these submissions, I hope that we can get to see them all live in the near future, once the virus has passed”.

Teri Loretto, a professor of Performing Arts, TV Broadcasting at Algonquin College, and co-creator of ACES, was glad the event was able to continue online, “I was so pleased and excited to see this first year of our partnership with Grassroots come to fruition. It is such a tough time for everyone and these young performers have shown us that art can happen in the most unlikely of times. I would like to thank Grassroots for keeping this initiative in place, despite the difficult times.”

Rebecca Noelle, “Being able to connect with, and adjudicate these young artists has been one of the most inspirational experiences in my career. The opportunity provided by the Ottawa Grassroots Festival to these students is such a valuable experience that truly helps to mold and motivate our young performers and creators. It’s a gift to everyone involved! Thank you!”

Cath Kenney was pleased to be a judge for this event, “It is a privilege witnessing the talent and passion of emerging artists. My thanks go to the Grassroots Festival for empowering the students of the Algonquin College Performing Arts program”.

You can find the playlist of videos by the Algonquin College Performing Arts students at our new OGF YouTube channel.

The Grassroots Festival is a family-friendly gathering of folk music, dance and spoken word. It’s called Grassroots because it is! This not-for-profit organization is run entirely by volunteers, and prides itself for the well-known and emerging performers, and participatory workshops it provides, cultivating community, embracing diversity and nurturing inclusivity in a fun and friendly way.

Media contacts:
Bob Nesbitt
Grace Smith

Algonquin College:
Teri Loretto

“The Ottawa Grassroots Festival: Cultivating Community.”
-30-

Press Release: Ottawa Grassroots Festival and Algonquin College ACES Event Goes Online

For immediate release

UPDATE: April 17, 2020: Click here to view the submissions, and the winners

April 3, 2020 – The Ottawa Grassroots Festival (OGF) and Algonquin College Performing Arts variety show, Algonquin College Entertainers Showcase (ACES), is going virtual. Due to the unfortunate circumstances concerning COVID-19, the public event had to be cancelled. To ensure the time and hard work the students had already put in did not go unrecognized, OGF and Algonquin College decided to take the competition online.

All Performing Arts contestants will submit a video of their performance by April 9th, 2020. A panel of judges will review each video, and decide on four winners (1st, 2nd, 3rd and best video) to be announced April 17, 2020. The celebrity judges are: David Yazbeck, host of CKCU’s Thursday Blend, Rebecca Noelle, award-winning vocalist for The Pep Tides and Cath Kenney, a former musician and artist, and founder of the Performing Arts program at Algonquin College.

Each of the ACES winners will have their video, bio and photo promoted on the OGF’s website and social media sites. The first place winner will receive $175, the second, $125, and the third, $100. An additional winner for best video will receive a Neptunes Music Workshops gift certificate. The festival website will also feature a link to a YouTube page, with all of the performances by the Algonquin Performing Arts Students.

Bob Nesbitt, OGF Producer is determined to see the ACES show go on, “It would be great to keep the partnership alive and keep the students inspired. These students are important because some of them are tomorrow’s Headliners. I have always been interested in helping students, so if you can think of other ways the festival can help, we will listen.”

Teri Loretto, a professor of Performing Arts, TV Broadcasting at Algonquin College and ACES collaborator, says, “These talented students were able to overcome a lot of roadblocks set in front of them by the current crisis. When the stages closed, they stepped up and onto the internet.”

“Sadly, we were forced to cancel this year’s Ottawa Grassroots Festival because of COVID-19, for the health and safety of all involved. The festival was organized in every way, and all set to go in April. We are especially sorry we can’t showcase the artists we had selected for 2020, as it was a particularly good lineup with many top notch artists. As 2020 would have been our 9th year, this means that 2021 is really our 10th year, and an anniversary to mark. We intend 2021 to be very special!” says Nesbitt.

During this period of social isolation, many are performing music – our universal language – outdoors, or on the internet. We look forward to joining them, and celebrating the ACES student winners online!

The Grassroots Festival is a family-friendly gathering of folk music, dance and spoken word. It’s called Grassroots because it is! This not-for-profit organization is run entirely by volunteers, and prides itself for the well-known and emerging performers, and participatory workshops it provides, cultivating community, embracing diversity and nurturing inclusivity in a fun and friendly way.

Media contacts:

Bob Nesbitt
Grace Smith

“The Ottawa Grassroots Festival: Cultivating Community.”
-30-

Ottawa Grassroots Festival update on the COVID-19 virus

March 19, 2020 -The world is being faced with an unprecedented outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. As of March 15. Ottawa’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Vera Etches, estimates there could be up to 1,000 cases of COVID-19 currently in Ottawa. She urged residents to “strengthen their social distancing measures”, cancel any planned events and “not go out for non-essential reasons.” The numbers are expected to increase. The province is now in a state of emergency. 

Bob Nesbitt, Founder and Producer of The Ottawa Grassroots Festival is closely monitoring information being shared by all of the public health agencies at all levels of government and is also in close communication with Ottawa Festivals, The health and safety of our community is extremely important. It is for this reason we are announcing the cancellation of the 2020 festival. We would like to thank all the artists who were scheduled to perform this year and we encourage everyone to visit the performers page on the website for ways you can connect and support them through this very difficult time. http://ottawagrassrootsfestival.com/performers-2020/

We all need to continue monitoring the updates offered by Ottawa Public Health at: https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/ 

Coronaviruses are spread mainly from person to person through close contact. At this time, it is CRITICAL we practice social distancing, as described at the Ottawa Public Health website: 

https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/public-health-topics/self-isolation-instructions-for-novel-coronavirus-covid-19.aspx

 Taking these steps will reduce exposure to the virus and protect your health:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Sneeze and cough into your sleeve
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick
  • Avoid shaking hands
  • Stay home if you are sick

We recognize the situation with respect to the virus is fluid. You can also stay connected with Ottawa Grassroots through these channels

Facebook
Twitter

“The Ottawa Grassroots Festival: Cultivating Community.”

-30-