Virtual Winners – OGF Algonquin Performing Arts Program

Home 9 2020 Performer 9 Virtual Winners – OGF Algonquin Performing Arts Program


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.”