Oct 22, 2019 | Announcements and updates Festival News
The ninth edition of the Ottawa Grassroots Festival will bring it back to Ottawa Centre, this time at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 82 Kent Street (at Wellington Street), Ottawa. The event will take place April 23- 26, 2020. The current church was constructed between 1872 and 1874, replacing the original church building erected in 1828 and modified in 1854. During the 1970’s, a modern office tower was built adjacent and adjoining the church, providing more space for St. Andrew’s staff and congregation, along with improving accessibility to all floors via two elevators. In the early years, the Montgomery Legion on Kent Street was home to the festival, which is just a few blocks south of the new site.
The festival was held at Southminster United Church, in Old Ottawa South, for the last four years. It was a great location for us”, says Bob Nesbitt, Festival Founder and Producer. “The staff at Southminster United were wonderful to work with. They advised me of the renovation project about two years ago, which would result in the demolition of the adjacent attached building where most of the festival workshops were held. In its place, condominium apartments will be built bringing a new revenue stream to the church. The main church and sanctuary will remain”, explains Nesbitt. “I considered other venues, but St. Andrew’s offered the best space and options and most important, is accessible on all levels. We are excited about the new location. It’s definitely more centrally located which will allow people to get to the festival easily from all parts of the region, including Gatineau. For those using public transit, the LRT stops at the Lyon station (at Queen) and is only a couple of blocks from St Andrew’s. For those who drive, there is ample free parking on weekends and evenings at the Supreme Court building directly across Wellington.”
St. Andrew’s is wheelchair accessible and there will be three stages on two levels of the church. The sanctuary holds approximately 600 people with pews surrounding the stage on three sides and all pews have padded seats. Two of the festival’s evening performances will take place in the sanctuary with phenomenal acoustics. “A new venue brings new logistics to work through” explains Nesbitt. “We will need lots of signage to help patrons and volunteers navigate the site. I am confident we will deliver a really fabulous festival for everyone in April 2020. One of the stages at the Ottawa Grassroots Festival in 2020 will offer a totally acoustic sound, which is often the best way to experience folk music.”
Programming announcements will be released soon and online tickets will be available in time for Christmas. Festival pass pricing is expected to remain the same, ensuring the event remains affordable for families.
The Grassroots Festival is a family-friendly gathering of folk music, dance and spoken word. This not-for-profit organization is run entirely by volunteers and prides itself for the participatory workshops it provides, cultivating community and nurturing inclusivity and diversity in a fun and friendly way.
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