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.”
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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.”
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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.”

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Ottawa Grassroots will deliver an energy filled experience rich with local Folk, Indigenous sounds and foot stomping entertainment

February 26, 2020 – The Ottawa Grassroots Festival (OGF) celebrated their 9th launch event yesterday with an impressive Tuesday afternoon crowd at the iconic, Irene’s Pub in the Glebe. Bob Nesbitt, Founder and Festival Producer, revealed another gender balanced roster of performers and workshops to eager volunteers, sponsors and festival supporters. Performances by Mia Kelly and Don Bray provided spirited musical interludes and a sampling of the local rich programming at the festival. OGF 2020 will take place from April 23-26, 2020 at its new location, St. Andrew’s Church, 82 Kent St. (at Wellington), in Ottawa Centre.

Nesbitt officially released the full line-up which celebrates the incredible talent residing within the Ottawa/Gatineau region. “I’m really excited about the partnership Grassroots has made with the Performing Arts Program at Algonquin College. The talent night winners will be performing at the festival and I have arranged for a mentor for each of the winners to help them prepare for the debut performance at Grassroots and make them feel at ease.” said Nesbitt. “It’s great to see so many people here today…our best turnout ever!”

Guest speaker, Teri Loretto, an Algonquin College Professor, CBC’s media weather team member, and fill in host of In Town and Out, spoke of the importance in offering students opportunities to perform, network and build connections in the community. “There is so much talent in this area…diverse talent that is underappreciated. The Grassroots Festival has filled a niche in our festival circuit locally that I think is extremely necessary.” Loretto continues, “ACES (Algonquin College Entertainers Showcase) will see 30 students competing for three spots and they will be paid, which is generous beyond generous… It’s places like the Grassroots Festival that offer a safe, positive, nurturing environment for the artists of tomorrow…The college is excited…The partnership is strong and if this goes well, next year we want to open up the competition to our Indigenous Pathways students and the Music Industry Arts Program.” Teri Loretto announced two of the celebrity judges as Rebecca Noelle (The Peptides and 1st runner up of La Voix in 2019) and David Yazbeck (Ravenlaw partner, CKCU radio host of the Thursday Special Blend and FACTOR judge). The third judge will be announced soon. Rowena Pearl, musician and popular music teacher, emceed the launch. She kept the event flowing smoothly with her infectious enthusiasm.

Grassroots’ evening programming announced in late 2019 showcases top local favourites. The 2020 festival kicks off with a high energy co-headliner program featuring bilingual, folky songstress Kristine St-Pierre and Band and the sounds of folk infused, roots, East Coast bluegrass of Jessica Pearson and the East Wind. Newfoundland’s folk pop duo, Quote the Raven are opening the festival with their smooth melodies and lush harmonies.

The Friday night (April 24) line-up is sure to get your feet tapping and your hips swinging with the Vanier Playboys, Ottawa’s first and only Zydeco band. Zydeco music mixes blues, R&B, reggae, and rock from SW Louisiana and East Texas with influences from Africa, the Caribbean and Native American cultures. Their set begins with a Zydeco dance lesson for the audience which they can practice once the band begins! The “blues lady” singer/songwriter, Maria Hawkins opens this Ottawa rich night of performances

Multi-award-winning husband and wife folk duo, Twin Flames (Chelsey June and Jaaji) headline an Indigenous experience Saturday evening at Ottawa Grassroots. Algonquin Elder Albert Dumont opens the evening delivering a prayer/address followed by Larissa Desrosiers, an Anishinaabekwe Singer/Songwriter from Couchiching First Nation in Treaty #3 offering a blend of folk-inspired sounds highlighting Indigenous issues.

Daytime performers confirmed are The North Woods, the Ottawa Baroque Consort, From Away, Janice Jo Lee, David Mayerovitch and JP Lacroix, Orit Shimoni, Don Bray, Sjef Frenken, Chris White. Mia Kelly, and trick fiddler, Jess Wedden. Anne Hurley and Jim Videto perform with Kate Marshall Flaherty. The festival also welcomes Eric Bawden (Spoken Word) and Devianterra (Sophia York Band).

The free daytime programming remains true to Ottawa Grassroots fans with engaging, fun-filled workshops for all ages in a family friendly way. A Saturday afternoon song circle featuring the evening headliners is always a big hit at the festival. Look for Gil’s Grassroots Hootenanny, Neptune Music’s Workshop, KidZone with Selina Bishop and Babies & Toddlers participatory workshop – with Kristine St-Pierre to draw musical inspiration. Open Stage with Sjef Frenken, Local Colour and a Jam Session with Paul Spafford are returning highlights. There are three spots yet to be announced that will be filled by the ACES variety show winners, to be held on April 9th, at Algonquin College.

Online tickets and festival passes for Ottawa Grassroots evening performances are available via the festival website. A festival pass is $59 (online); $60 at the door. Ticket prices for individual nights are: $25-Thurs., $20-Fri. and $35-Sat. The daytime programming on both Saturday and Sunday is FREE – no tickets required!

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 participatory workshops it provides, cultivating community and nurturing inclusivity in a fun and friendly way.

Media contacts:

Bob Nesbitt: Bob@ottawagrassrootsfestival.com
Grace Smith: media@ottawagrassrootsfestival.com
Algonquin College:
Teri Loretto: lorettt@algonquincollege.com

Ottawa Grassroots and Algonquin College Performing Arts launches ACES in 2020.

Passer à la version française…

January 30 2020, Ottawa. – The Ottawa Grassroots Festival (OGF) is pleased to announce an exciting partnership with Algonquin College Performing Arts called ACES! This spectacular juried event will take place at Algonquin College, Woodroffe Campus in the Studio Theatre, N112, on April 9, 7:00 p.m.- 9:00 p.m. Algonquin College Entertainers Showcase (ACES) will provide students in the Performing Arts program an opportunity to perform a variety of acts highlighting their talent and creativity in front of a live studio audience.

Ottawa Grassroots Festival Founder and Producer, Bob Nesbitt, couldn’t be happier with this collaboration, “I’m thrilled to offer the winners three 45-minute spots during the daytime schedule at the festival and they will be paid gigs. Including emerging artists in our programming is a core value of the festival”, says Nesbitt. “It is my hope that participating in ACES will be a great experience for the students and will offer them a starting point in their arts careers.”

Teri Loretto who is a professor of Scriptwriting and Performing Arts at the college saw a need in her students for real life experience in the community. “Creating their material (brand) and performing it live will not only help these emerging art students build self-confidence, it will open up opportunities for them in the community” says Loretto. “Ottawa Grassroots builds their line-up with artists of all abilities and I’m really excited and grateful for their support in this new venture. In addition to teaching, Teri Loretto is also on CBC’s media weather team and has hosted CBC’s In Town and Out, when needed.

Celebrity judges will decide on the 3 winning performances to be announced at the end of the show. They will have just two weeks to hone their performances for the Festival! This truly is an exciting opportunity as it offers paid exposure to promising entertainers in the performance world.

Tickets to Ottawa Grassroots – ACES will be $5 keeping prices affordable for students. A sliding scale option with higher amounts can be selected for anyone wishing to contribute more in support of this initiative and can be purchased through Eventbrite closer to the event date. All proceeds from this event will be split equally to benefit The Ottawa Grassroots Festival and Algonquin College.

Online tickets and festival passes for the Ottawa Grassroots Festival evening performances are available via the festival website and physical tickets are available at both Compact Music locations. Tickets will also be available at the door. A festival pass is $55 (early bird online until Jan. 31); $60 at the door. Ticket prices for individual nights are: $25-Thurs., $20-Fri. and $35-Sat. The daytime programming on both Saturday and Sunday are FREE for everyone! The festival takes place April 23-26, 2020) in its new location at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 82 Kent Street (corner of Wellington), in Ottawa Centre.

The Grassroots Festival is a family-friendly gathering of folk music, dance and spoken word. This not-for-profit organization prides itself on the participatory workshops it provides, cultivating community and nurturing inclusivity and diversity in fun and friendly ways. Ottawa Grassroots is made possible by the dedication of over 100 volunteers working together to bring visitors a really special musical experience.

Media contacts Ottawa Grassroots:
Bob Nesbitt
Grace Smith

“The Ottawa Grassroots Festival: Cultivating Community.”
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