Work Begins on the 2013 Festival

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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. There are some great artists that are interested in performing at our festival and I am working hard on next year’s lineup. There will be some familiar faces in the lineup on Saturday afternoon, along with some new ones. Saturday night will feature some first-class performers. Sunday will have a choir theme – always an uplifting event. We are fortunate in Ottawa in having some wonderful and popular choirs. We have 9 months before next year’s festival and we are already well prepared to put on a truly great festival. Nine months and I am already excited!

The OGF lineup will be made public late this year or early in the new year, but there may be some news items before the end of the year. Tickets will go on sale in January.

As in 2012, we want to try and have a free aspect on at least one afternoon, and possibly both afternoons, in 2013. This free portion is very important when trying to make our festival a truly community event. I was struck this year at how many young families attended the free afternoon events – kids and adults alike had a great time. I am sure that most of you can remember when you were young and possibly had children that you couldn’t afford to go to many events. Clearly, if we are going to bring music, dance and the spoken word to the community, then some of it must be free.

We had a Planning Team meeting on May 27 this year and discussed the things that worked well at OGF 2012 and other things we can improve. The most obvious result of the meeting is that it was clear that we all remain dedicated to putting on the best festival we can manage.

I want to mention our volunteers. We are truly blessed to have such a wonderful group of volunteers who work together so well to put on this unique event. It is unique in a number of ways, but especially the fact that the festival is run completely by volunteers. Nobody is paid except for the performers. How many festivals can make that claim? If you read the OGF philosophy on the website, you will find that this working together as a community is one of our goals. We certainly do that well! Another unique thing about our festival is that we are not trying to make a profit putting it on. We are a non-profit organization in every way except in the legal sense. This puts quite a different spin on how we operate and how we are perceived. While it is true that there are other non-profit festivals out there, there is always some people that are paid. In our organization, nobody is paid.

I hope to see all of you soon – you are a wonderful bunch!