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Youth talent contest at Richmond Fair

3:38 pm in Festival News, Festivals in the News

By John Curry, Stittsville / Richmond EMC

EMC news – It\’s new this year – a youth amateur talent contest at the Richmond Fair.

A total of $1,000 in prize money will be up for grabs in the contest which will happen on Richmond Fair Sunday, Sept. 16, starting at 12 noon on the outdoor stage at the fairgrounds in Richmond.

Right now, contestants are being sought. The entry form is available on the Richmond Fair website, with Saturday, Aug. 25 as the deadline date for the receipt of entries. Spots in this youth talent contest are limited, so contestants will be selected based on availability, talent and originality. Successful applicants will be notified by Saturday, Sept. 8.

In the show itself, each contestant will have one minute for set up and three to four minutes of performance time. A fiddler and pianist will be available for accompaniment if needed.

Read more: Youth talent contest at Richmond Fair

Ottawa Jazz Festival lends spotlight to youth

9:54 am in Festival News, Festivals in the News

Katie Griffin, CTV Ottawa


Photo courtesy of CTV Ottawa

The Ottawa Jazz Festival is giving young musicians a taste of the limelight during its fourth day Sunday.

Part of the lineup at downtown\’s Confederation Park was dedicated to bands like the Ottawa Junior Jazz Band, where older musicians wee playing their last show before handing off their sheet music.

\”This is when the old guys like us hand off our folders to some of the new players,\” said Eric Littlewood. \”It\’s their turn to step up to the plate.\”

For others, it was their first experience at the 11-day event

\”I discovered that it\’s a great community, it\’s a lot of great players, it really is a challenge for musicians,\” said Keagan Eskritt.

Read more: Ottawa Jazz Festival lends spotlight to youth

Related stories:
2012 TD Ottawa International Jazz Festival, Ottawa Citizen Reviews, June 25
Monae wows at Jazzfest, Ottawa Sun, June 23
Fellowship Band scorches jazz diehards, Ottawa Sun, June 22
Jazz fest kicks off, Video Clip, CBC, June21
Photo Gallery – Jazzfest, Ottawa Sun, June 21


The 67th Annual Kiwanis Music Festival NCR, April 4-28, 2012

1:43 pm in Industry News

The 67th Kiwanis Music Festival began on April 4, 2012 and continues for more than three weeks of amazing young musicians competing for over $50,000 in scholarships.

Festival Alumni include such artists as: world-famous classical pianist Angela Hewitt, singer/actress/dancer Alison Smyth, mezzo-soprano and host of \”Tempo\” on CBC Radio 2 Julie Nesrallah, and Juno Award-winning jazz pianist D.D. Jackson.

Competitions will be held at 12 different venues throughout the City of Ottawa. Young people will compete in such classes as Piano, Vocal, Music Theatre, Strings and more. The Festival will conclude with the HIGHLIGHTS CONCERT on May 18, 2012 at Centrepointe Theatre.

Event tickets: $5 pp
Invitational Trophy Classes: $7 pp
Festival Passes begin at $20 pp
Tickets are available at the door or through the Festival Box Office: 613.226.7572.

For a complete list of Festival events, venues and adjudicators, please visit

Kim Chadsey, CFRE
Director of Development
Kiwanis Music Festival – NCR
Telephone: 613.818.4664     [email protected]

Band Aid grant celebration at the Canadian War Museum, sponsored by TD

11:15 am in Industry News

[Courtesy of NCC/CCN]


Special Performance by Two-Time Juno Award Winner Johnny Reid

MusiCounts will kick off the JUNO Week festivities with a special Band Aid Celebration, made possible by MusiCounts new sponsor, TD Bank Group, bringing together five schools that received 2011-2012 Band Aid Grants. The MusiCounts Band Aid Grants impact young Canadians and support diverse music programs that range from concert and jazz bands to drum and guitar ensembles.

On hand will be two-time JUNO Award winning artist Johnny Reid. He will speak to the audience about the importance of music education and will treat those gathered to a two song performance.

Students and music faculty from École élémentaire catholique Elda-Rouleau, Hadley Jr. Highschool/Philemon Wright High School, Hillcrest High School, Kitigan Zibi School and Notre Dame Elementary School will be in attendance for the event. There will also be a performance by Hillcrest High School Concert Band.

More info on MusiCounts here.

Finding their voice – through poetry

10:00 am in Community News, Industry News

Matthew Pearson, Ottawa Citizen

For Liam and teens like him all across Ottawa, spoken word poetry is helping them find their voice and express how they feel about difficult things they face in their lives or the world around them. Depression, suicide, addiction, bullies, broken hearts and stereotypes are all fodder for poems, but so, too, are death, dictators and dearly beloved family members, in this art form that bursts with creativity, energy and emotion.

The budding poets meet over the lunch hour in Phelan\’s second-floor classroom, where they fine-tune and perform pieces for each other. They also drop rhymes at school assemblies and many attend monthly poetry slams held at the central branch of the Ottawa Public Library.

Spoken word poetry has flourished in the city since the first national festival was held here in 2004. Ottawa teams have twice won the Canadian slam poetry title and the brand new youth team, which Liam is on, won the top prize at this year\’s festival in Toronto.

Full story: Finding their voice – through poetry

2011 Juno Award winner inspires youth to dream big

9:05 am in Community News, Industry News

Here is a great example of the often over-looked benefits of festivals and special events — the opportunity for youth to connect and learn from their role models in a meaningful way. 

Eddie Rwema, YourOttawaRegion

Shad Kabango, 2011 Juno Award winner for best rap recording, took time of his busy schedule and spent the afternoon of Sunday, June 26 delivering words of inspiration to the youth of Rwandan origin.

The Vancouver-based rapper, who was in town to perform at the Ottawa International Jazz festival, spoke to the youth about making good choices and life decisions.

The young people had gathered at the annual youth empowerment conference organized by Rwanda Social Services and Family Counselling.

“Do what you love, be who you are, have some integrity and purpose in what you are doing,” Kabango told those gathered.

Full article on YourOttawaRegion website: 2011 Juno Award winner inspires youth to dream big

Student musicians show their stuff: Kiwanis Festival returns for 66th season

9:40 am in Industry News

Steven Mazey, Ottawa Citizen

Photo courtesy Ottawa Citizen, photo by Bruno Schlumberger

More than 10,000 Ottawa-area student musicians have been practising for months and are about to take to the stage to show listeners what they can do, at an event that has become an annual rite of passage for music students across the region.

Ottawa\’s 66th annual Kiwanis Music Festival opens Monday, April 4, and continues to April 30, with performances at 10 venues across the region, all open to the public.

This year\’s highlights concert, featuring performances by some of the top-scoring musicians in the festival, will be held Friday, May 20, at Centrepointe Theatre.

For information, including schedules of performances and locations of the competitions, visit

Full story online at: Student musicians show their stuff

Benson students get the blues

2:49 pm in Festival News, Festivals in the News

EMC News

Students at Benson Public School have got the blues – and they love it.

For the second straight year, the school is working with the Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest Blues in the Schools Program, which brings professional artists into the schools to teach blues music history and appreciation, as well as how to compose and perform an original tune.

During the two-week program professional blues bands come to the school to perform for Benson students as well as students from nearby schools within the Upper Canada District School Board. The bands – The Mighty Popo, Monkey Junk, and Jason and Company – all performed at the school during the first week of March.

Read the full story on the EMC online: Benson students get the blues

Thousands of area students benefit from Blues in the Schools

2:21 pm in Festival News, News Release

The Ottawa Bluesfest organization will launch the 13th edition of their award-winning Blues in the Schools program on Monday, February 28. The two-week residency program, which will see 30 professional artists/educators visit 24 area schools this year, will run through to Friday, March 11.

The 10-day program begins with a series of assembly-like presentations. A variety of musicians visit two different schools per day, performing a total of 98 presentations over the course of the first four days. The following phase involves classroom-size core groups, with students enjoying a more formal workshop approach. These sessions include a look at the heritage of blues music, while examining its influence on other genres. Song writing, singing, and exploring various instruments is also involved. The workshop phase culminates with students performing for their families, teachers and peers. Ultimately these students are offered an opportunity to perform at the Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest, during the festival\’s Blues in the Schools day in July.

Initiated in two Ottawa-area schools in 1999, Blues in the Schools has seen tremendous growth. This year, visiting artists/educators and local musicians will deliver the program to more than 10,000 students in Ottawa-area schools. \”The intent of the program,\” says Bluesfest executive director, Mark Monahan,” is to expose students from all backgrounds to music and to encourage them to use music as a positive outlet in dealing with the world around them.\”

Blues in the Schools is a charitable undertaking, which is financially supported by the not-for-profit Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest organization, with essential support from its private-sector partners: Holiday Inn© Hotel & Suites; Steve’s Music Store; and the Ottawa Citizen.

Young musicians! So you think you have talent?

11:20 am in Festival News, Festivals in the News

The Review

The Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest, in partnership with the local community, is sponsoring \”Be in the Band,\” a program developed to encourage young musicians to play ensemble, to work with others to create music.

Local musician Terry Gillespie has been engaged to deliver the program to students between the ages of 11 and 17 years old who currently sing or play an instrument.

\”The ultimate goal is a possible performance for families, friends, and future fans on stage at the Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest,\” said Bluesfest executive director Mark Monahan.

The qualifications for a community to participate in \”Be in the Band\” are very simple. The community must be involved by providing a place for outreach, recruitment, rehearsals and equipment storage.The Ottawa Bluesfest pays the instructor\’s salary and provides instruments; best of all, \”The Band To Be\” has the possibility of a performance in the Ottawa Bluesfest on Community Day.

Full story on The Review website: Young musicians! So you think you have talent?