‘Celebrate and Elevate’ Urban Arts & Culture Festival House of PainT turns 20

National Capital Region, July 2023 – House of PainT: Urban and Culture Festival is set to mark a momentous milestone of a two-decade-long journey, bringing together the HipHop community in a joyous celebration of togetherness, art and elevation. Taking place between August 11-13, 2023, this landmark gathering promises to be an exciting journey into the heart of Hip Hop culture.

“This year’s theme is to celebrate and elevate as a means to recognize, respect, and amplify. It is to play an active role in facilitating opportunities for Hip Hop practitioners to create and present their work, collaborate with peers and mentors, and connect with audiences in an organic environment. House of PainT was created by Ottawa-based, Hip Hop artists 20 years ago, and continues to evolve under the leadership of Hip Hop artists and culture workers.” – Veronica Roy, Executive Director of House of PainT.

Since its inception, House of PainT has been a symbol of unity, bridging Hip Hop lovers – graf writers, breakers, DJs, emcees, poets, dancers, fans, etc – and fostering a sense of community not only within Ottawa-Gatineau but across Canada. Our milestone edition aims to showcase the genre’s profound impact, featuring an array of programming to engage HipHop heads of all ages:

National Arts Centre (NAC) / Fourth Stage – August 11, 2023

  • OG500 @ 7:00pm – Ottawa’s largest poetry competition, poets face off for a $500 cash prize. The 2023 OG500 features a headlining performance by Nasim Asgari
  • Take Back the Ball @ 10:00pm – Celebrate pride at this Queer, Afro-Black-Caribbean (ACB) dance party and Ball co-presented by AIDS Committee of Ottawa. Toronto Kiki Ballroom Alliance will host a traditional ball (think ballroom like Paris is Burning, not ballroom like Arthur Murray) with a live music performance by OK Naledi and live painting by Allan André. Cash prizes for best walks of the night!

20th Anniversary Festival – Brewer Park / Dunbar Bridge – August 12, 2023 – 2:00pm to 12:00am

Free outdoor Hip Hop jam that showcases Graffiti, Competitive Breaking (aka breakdance), DJ’s and MC’s from across Canada. The music lineup features local heavy hitters and up-and-comers like Le R Premier, Aspects and Illiyah Rose, Eazy Finesse, and Paula C, with Nunavut’s Shauna Seeteenak rounding out the lineup.

HOP team will be coordinating a time capsule artifact collection onsite between 4:00pm-5:00pm to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Hip Hop and inspire future generations.

Luv2Groove, CBC Ottawa, Rhythm Works, and the Ottawa Art Gallery will be on site with all-ages, beginner-friendly workshops and activities.

Knowledge Conference – Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG) – August 13, 2023 – 12:00pm to 6:00pm
Each one, teach one! House of PainT Knowledge Conference celebrates the 5th element of Hip Hop: Knowledge. It is a place to learn and grow, to find community and connect with peers, elders, and up and comers. The 2023 knowledge conference will explore themes of retrospection, Black women in Hip Hop, the common roots of Hip Hop and Queer Ballroom culture, Storytelling, and finding the balance between business and community in a city where it can be hard to find success at home.

Painters of Ephemera – Digital Arts Resource Centre (DARC) – August 13 – 12:00pm to 8:00pm
Stop by DARC’s Microcinema, inside Arts Court / next to OAG to catch the North American premiere of Painters of Ephemera, a documentary film shot in France in 2020 and 2021, directed by Guillaume Kozakiewiez. Graffiti artists who come from the illegality of a school called “the street”, take over an administrative wasteland from the 1960s. They transform it into a labyrinth of forms, installations and paintings that encompass the spectator. Painters of Ephemera will play 6 times throughout the day, starting at noon, it is a French film with English subtitles. Screenings are by donation / open to all. Presented in partnership with DARC.

In addition to the festival, a House of PainT archival collection will be highlighted in the Ottawa Art Gallery as part of the 83 ‘Til Infinity exhibit from July 08, 2023 to February 18, 2024 to commemorate 40 Years of Hip Hop in the Ottawa-Gatineau Region.

“This is a major milestone for Hip Hop and for Ottawa, a touch point we can use to look back on all the growth and accomplishments of both the homegrown talent who have gone on to well-deserved, international recognition, and the folks who have contributed to building the strong foundation that supports our growing Hip Hop scene where many more soon-to-be stars are incubating. It’s a momentous occasion for inter-generational celebration, an opportunity for us to set the tone for the future of Hip Hop in the National Capital Region, a continuation of peace, love, unity, and fun for future generations.” – Veronica Roy

House of PainT invites music lovers, Hip Hop enthusiasts, and cultural aficionados to join this momentous celebration. Announcements and updates will be shared on our official website www.houseofpaint.ca, Instagram @houseofpaint and by checking out our hashtag #HoPTurns20.

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For media inquiries, interviews, or press passes, please contact:
Kingsley Swim | House of PainT | [email protected]