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

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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.”