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

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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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Ottawa Grassroots will deliver a tapestry of iconic Folk, Indigenous beats and Franco-Ontarian soundscapes.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 6, 2019 Ottawa ON – The Ottawa Grassroots Festival (OGF) celebrated their 8th launch event today to an eager group of volunteers, sponsors and fans at Irene’s Pub in the Glebe, a spiritual home to artists and musicians for a quarter of a century.  Bob Nesbitt, Founder and Festival Producer revealed the full line-up of performers and workshops which celebrates Indigenous, Franco-Ontarian and iconic folk music with a beautiful spectrum of established and emerging artists of all ages. Performances by two local favourites, Jack Pine (Gareth Auden-Hole) and Jill Jeffrey provided musical interludes at the launch party.  The festival returns to Southminster United Church, April 25-28, 2019 in Old Ottawa South. It will close the circle of music at Irene’s with a post festival after party Sunday evening, billed as a “Jack Pine and Grassroots friends” event.

The tradition continues at Ottawa Grassroots with a “Franco-night”, which was introduced six years ago, in an ongoing effort to introduce French music to predominately English audiences.  Nominated for seven Trille Or Awards, Le Paysagiste, a French solo-project for Dayv Poulin, promises to deliver a soundscape of beautiful pop-rock, with elements of folk and country music to his audience. This headliner’s songs resonate with listeners and deliver an experience high in emotion and intensity. Opening the evening will be Blind River, Franco-Ontarian, singer-songwriter, François Lemieux, who has performed for French and English audiences in concerts and festivals from coast to coast.  Lemieux has released an autobiographical collection of songs which tackles addiction problems, his emotional trauma but also reconciliation and healing.

Nesbitt has programmed two-themed nights for the 2019 festival. He explained, “The Saturday evening will feature an all Indigenous roster. I’ve been planning this for some time and I’m excited it has come together this year. ShoShona Kish, the female half of our Saturday night headliner – Digging Roots, organized and led one of the biggest events, the Indigenous Summit, at Folk Alliance International (FAI-2019). This summit made clear how important it is to have Indigenous content in a festival. We started programming Indigenous performers in our festival a couple of years ago, and here we are with an all Indigenous evening, which is something we are extremely proud of.”

Multi-award winning folk rockers, Digging Roots, will headline the all-Indigeneous evening. First Nations power couple, ShoShona and Raven, are the creative team and inspiration behind this band.  They blend folk-rock, pop, blues and hip hop with Indigeneous music. Engaging wider audiences to promote their Anishinabek music and cultural ideals is key to this band. In addition to winning Juno and Canada Folk Music Awards, ShoShona Kish can now add the 2019 Spirit of Folk Award to the collection.

Algonquin Elder Albert Dumont will open the evening with an address/prayer.  He has released a new book of poetry Sitting by the Rapids. A special daytime workshop incorporating Dumont’s poetry and music is in the works, also.   Actress, singer -songwriter, spoken word poet, and visual artist, Doreen T Stevens is a local Algonquin artist from Kitiganzibi, Quebec returns to Ottawa Grassroots to open for Digging Roots.

The Friday evening will be a celebration of folk music with the iconic and prolific Juno Award winner, Ian Tamblyn as the headliner. Tamblyn will be performing backed by top local favourites, Rebecca Campbell, Fred Guignon and Pat Mayer. For a rare performance, the Toasted Westerns, will reunite at the festival and warm the audience for Tamblyn.  This trio of multi-instrumental artists is Jody Benjamin, Sally Robinson and Ann Downey.

The total 2019 line-up reveals that Ottawa Grassroots has consistently had over 50% of their programming represented by female performers, since the event’s inception in 2011.  Equality, diversity, inclusion and participation continue to be fundamental values for this community driven festival and “Participation is key to experiencing Ottawa Grassroots!” says Nesbitt.

Workshops announced include gardening with Mary Reid (Green Thumb Gardens), Inuit games, The Terry Penner Weekend Choir, jam sessions, Gil’s Hootenanny Contest, sing-along song circles, an open stage event, KidZone and another festival favourite, a workshop for toddlers and babies. Without these engaging and fun workshops for the whole family, it would not be grassroots!

Confirmed as daytime performers at OGF2019 are Jazz duo, Karen Oxorn and Tim Bedner, Nona Grandea, and Canadian Folk Music Award’s 2008 Vocalist of the Year, Tannis Slimmon, performs with recording artist Lewis Melville.  A sixteen year old trick fiddler, Jessica Wedden backed by Jon McLurg, Jessica Pearson and the East Wind, Kevin Ecker, Pete Woods, Christine Graves, Mark Evenchick, Nina Peterson, Steve Kennedy, Dave Doron, Howie Hooper, and Jamie Anderson to name a few.

Online tickets and festival passes for Ottawa Grassroots evening performances are available via the festival website and physical tickets are available at both Compact Music locations.  A festival pass is $59 (online); $60 at the door. Ticket prices for individual nights are: $20-Thurs., $30-Fri. and $35-Sat. The daytime programming on both Saturday and Sunday are FREE for everyone!

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, embracing diversity and nurturing inclusivity and a fun and friendly way.

Media contacts:

Grace Smith:  media@ottawagrassrootsfestival.com

“The Ottawa Grassroots Festival: Cultivating Community.”

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Dayv Poulin (Le Paysagiste) Headlines Ottawa Grassroots Festival Opening Night

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December 12, 2018 – The Ottawa Grassroots Festival (OGF) is pleased to confirm that multi-award winning Franco-Ontarian artist, Dayv Poulin (Le Paysagiste), will headline the opening night (April 25) at the festival in Old Ottawa South. The event will take place April 25-28, 2019 at The Southminster United Church, 15 Aylmer Avenue, Ottawa.

Sudbury, Ontario native Dayv Poulin has been playing music professionally for over 20 years. Poulin has been entertaining crowds of all ages with his impressive, powerful-smooth vocals and an unbelievable variety of song selections. He has also played with French bands Konflit Dramatik and Les Chaizes Muzikales, and has been the musical director for La St-Jean in Sudbury and Canada Day at Science North.

For the past few years, this performer has focused his energy on his French solo project, Le Paysagiste, released three albums as well as numerous music videos. Poulin’s most recent album release Le Paysagiste – Alchimie accidentelle was launched in March 2018. His second album Alter Ego, was nominated for 7 Trille Or awards (Franco-Ontarian music awards) and he walked away with the Best Album Producer award which he shared with the album’s co-producer Stéphane Rancourt. Dayv Poulin was also awarded 3 major prizes after his showcase at the Contact Ontarois event, held in Ottawa in January 2018. These awards have brought this singer-songwriter to well established festivals in Ontario and Quebec, with potential for a 20 date European tour in the future.

Dayv Poulin and his show with Le Paysagiste delivers a soundscape of beautiful pop-rock, with elements of folk and country music to his audience. Whether he is performing with the entire band, as a trio or solo, his songs resonate with listeners and deliver an experience high in emotion and intensity.

“When you listen to Dayv Poulin’s vocals, you know this Franco-Ontarian artist is on the cusp of something big,” said Bob Nesbitt, the Founder and Producer of the Ottawa Grassroots Festival. “What an exciting performer to have open the festival and headline the Franco-themed evening at OGF. Years ago, I was cautioned that having an evening dedicated to showcasing Francophone artists at the festival wouldn’t be successful”, explains Nesbitt. “Attendance numbers speak for themselves, as our audience grows year over year. This, along with positive feedback from those who attend, equals success in my books!”

Online tickets and festival passes for Ottawa Grassroots evening performances are available via the festival website. Early-bird pricing for the festival pass is $55 until Jan. 31 2019. Starting Feb.1 2019, the pass will be $59 (online); $60 at the door. Ticket prices for individual nights are: $20-Thurs., $30-Fri. and $35-Sat. The daytime programming on both Saturday and Sunday are FREE for everyone!

The Ottawa Grassroots Festival is a family-friendly gathering of folk music, dance and spoken word. This not-for-profit organization is run entirely by volunteers and prides itself for the participatory workshops it provides, cultivating community and nurturing inclusivity and diversity in a fun and friendly way.

“The Ottawa Grassroots Festival: Cultivating Community.”
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Ian Tamblyn: A National Treasure Headlines Ottawa Grassroots Festival in 2019

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October 18, 2018 – The Ottawa Grassroots Festival (OGF) is pleased to confirm that Juno Award winner, singer-songwriter, will headline Friday night (April 26) at the festival in Old Ottawa South. A 50 year career has enabled this prolific and iconic Canadian artist to write over 1500 songs, release over thirty-three recordings and be honoured with both Juno and Canadian Folk Music Awards. Tamblyn will be performing at Ottawa Grassroots backed by top local favourites, Rebecca Campbell, Fred Guignon and Pat Mayer. The festival will take place April 25-28, 2019 at The Southminster United Church, 15 Aylmer Avenue, Ottawa.

With a list of achievements and recognitions long enough to pave Tiger Lily Road, Tamblyn has also mastered the art of record producer, playwright and adventurer. Travels to remote places such as Antarctica, South Georgia, the Falklands, Scotland , Iceland , Greenland and the Canadian Arctic have resulted in collections of music that are occasionally interwoven with unique natural sounds from these regions.

“We are stoked to have one of Canada’s national treasures headline the festival in 2019,” beams Nesbitt. “When people talk about icons in Canadian Folk music, it doesn’t take very long before Ian Tamblyn’s name weaves into the conversation. He has written so many beautiful songs in his vast career. This will be a special night for sure! Ian Tamblyn will be performing music from throughout his career, including tracks from this year’s release Let It Go, which is a stunning, painterly collection of songs.”

Diversity and inclusiveness continue to be important values for this musical event and it is not limited only to the line-up but at all levels of the organization. The festival, garnered an “A” rating for delivering a gender balanced line-up in 2017. This is an accomplishment only a few festivals were able to achieve.

Online tickets and festival passes for Ottawa Grassroots evening performances are expected to be available before Christmas. A priority for OGF has always been to keep it affordable for families (children 15 and under are free when accompanied by an adult). The daytime events on both Saturday and Sunday are FREE for everyone!

The Grassroots Festival is a family-friendly gathering of folk music, dance and spoken word. 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.

“The Ottawa Grassroots Festival: Cultivating Community.”
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Homegrown Legend Headlines the Grassroots Festival’s Friday Evening

November 28, 2017 – The Ottawa Grassroots Festival (OGF) is pleased to confirm that legendary folk artist, Sneezy Waters and His Very Fine Band, will headline Friday night (April 27) at the festival in Old Ottawa South. Now celebrating its 7th year, the event will take place from April 26-29, 2018 at The Southminster United Church, 15 Aylmer Avenue, Ottawa.

Sneezy Waters sang as a child in Ottawa’s St. Luke’s Church Choir and in the 70’s in local coffee houses such as Café Le Hibou. After touring and performing in Japan and Hong-Hong, he returned home and began performing where he garnered the title of “Ottawa’s first busker”. Today he continues to perform to sold-out audiences here and across the country either solo or with His Very Fine Band consisting of Dave Bignell and Vince Halfhide – guitars; Ed Bimm – keyboards; Ann Downey – upright bass; and Peter Beaudoin – drums. They play an eclectic range of music from many genres and eras, blending jazz, blues, folk, country, rock, reggae and even African music.

“There is no shortage of amazing and talented musicians and singer/songwriters in the Ottawa area” says Bob Nesbitt, Producer of the Ottawa Grassroots Festival. “Having Lynn Miles and Sneezy Waters and His Fine Band part of the festival in 2018 will shine a spotlight on some of Ottawa’s finest artists.”

Headliners for the opening night of the festival will be announced very soon. As in previous years, the evening will showcase Francophone artists. This festival values inclusivity and one can look forward to a mosaic of musicians offering rich performances that will ultimately expand your musical palette.

Tickets for Ottawa Grassroots evening performances will be available online before Christmas. They are priced to be affordable for families (children 15 and under are free when accompanied by an adult). The daytime events on both Saturday and Sunday are FREE for everyone!

The Grassroots Festival is a family-friendly gathering of folk music, dance and spoken word. 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.