Ottawa Grassroots Festival to Hold Launch on March 2

Ottawa Grassroots Festival to Hold Launch on March 2

The Ottawa Grassroots Festival (OGF) will hold its launch party on Thursday, March 2, 2017 at Pressed, 750 Gladstone Avenue, from Noon – 12:50 p.m.

Now in its 6th year, the festival will take place from April 20-23, 2017 at Southminster United Church, 15 Aylmer Avenue, in Old Ottawa South.  The headliners confirmed are Ken Whiteley and The Beulah Band, Shout Sister! Ottawa, The Durham County Poets, Mélanie Brulée, Anique Granger and Cindy Doire.

“We have exciting evening musical performances and free daytime workshops that celebrate some of the best original music in Canada and in our region,” said Bob Nesbitt, Grassroots Festival Producer.  “I’m especially pleased to be showcasing a number of Indigenous artists this year and all of them are extremely impressive.    The free daytime activities provide many fun opportunities to participate in singing, jam sessions, dance and art workshops. Come to the launch party. Have fun, sample some tasty free munchies from Pressed and learn more about our unique event that grows every year.”

At the launch, singer-songwriter Jamie Anderson will perform. Anderson describes herself as “folk without the Birkenstocks, country without the big hair, pop without the meat dress, and jazz without the weird chords.” Laughter is a big part of Jamie’s live performance. Her offbeat song intros and stories help keep the performance fun, but don’t be surprised when she delves into more serious issues.

CKCU Radio Host, Tonya Price, will MC the event and opens with a few words on the importance of partnering with groups in the community.  Ottawa Grassroots Festival Producer, Bob Nesbitt, will share some important news about the festival volunteers, sponsors and funders.

Special guest, Paul Dewar, currently sits on the Board of Human Rights Watch Canada & Partners in Health Canada. He is passionate about helping our refugees and is currently the Chair of Ottawa Centre Refugee Action.  Dewar is also a fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, a former MP and NDP foreign affairs critic. He will be offering this thoughts on the importance of having festivals in our community, like Ottawa Grassroots.

J.P. Melville will then talk briefly about One World Choir, which is composed primarily of immigrants and refugees, and will be opening the Friday night concert at the festival. This choir, conducted by local singer-songwriter Chris Maclean, offers community for its participants and an opportunity to learn English. The choir is very inclusive, which makes it a perfect fit for OGF and will open the Friday night concert.

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.

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