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Cowboy Junkies is a Canadian country music and alternative rock band, formed by three siblings from the Timmins entertainment family. Another sibling, Cali, rose to fame as an actress on Ryan's Hope. (The Timmins siblings are descendants of a mining prospector who founded the Ontario city of Timmins.) The group formed in Toronto in 1985. The band's name was simply a random choice as they approached their first ever gig, but it has come to perfectly represent their sound. (Some sources may credit Townes Van Zandt's song "Cowboy Junkies Lament" as the source of the band's name, but that song was written especially for Cowboy Junkies several years after they coined the name.) The Trinity Session is perhaps their best known record, recorded live in a single day on a single microphone in a church in Toronto. This album also included a unique cover version of Lou Reed's "Sweet Jane". Reed reportedly liked the Junkies' version of the song better than his own, and began performing their version in concert. www.cowboyjunkies.com
Danny Michel has 6 albums and a Juno nomination to his credit. Michel is a spellbinding solo act, conducting symphonies of sounds by using pedals to loop his guitar parts live. He has writing, producing and playing credits on a dozen albums. His previous releases include Fibsville and In the Belly of a Whale, which marked Michel’s arrival to new audiences who discovered his irrepressible talent: the voice, the guitar chops, the clever and literate lyrics, the strong songwriting. Danny Michel’s most recent release is Tales From the Invisible Man. Recorded at Michel’s home studio, it showcases his diverse talents, from the power pop to the country-inflected to the Tom Waitsian title track to the bouncy ska to a potential disco hit. www.dannymichel.com
Lynn Miles is considered one of Canada’s finest singer/songwriters. Love Sweet Love, Lynn Miles’ fifth album and the follow-up to her 2003 Juno Award-winning Unravel, is at once intensely introspective and universal. It combines her sweet, melodic and powerful voice with incisive lyrics. Fans will instantly recognize her familiar, almost comforting, darkness, but may be surprised by the record’s overall upbeat musical tone. Lynn has her own kind of knack for weaving a soft fairy-tale epic into an escapist dream. She also released Lynn Miles, Chalk This One Up to the Moon, Slightly Haunted, and Night in a Strange Town. Her beautiful voice makes her a truly captivating artist, and Love Sweet Love is a commanding testament to this. www.lynnmilesmusic.com
Gentleman Reg has stepped into the light with his third release, Darby & Joan. Darby & Joan will leave you reminiscing for all the luscious melodies you heard in times gone by. With his bag of surprises, Gentleman Reg’s orchestral new album is so full of wonder that everything outside of the music fades into an ambiguous backdrop. Reg and his band have created his fullest and most satisfying release to date. www.gentlemanreg.com
With her jazz-steeped, acoustic punk stylings, and an astonishing seven recordings under her belt on her own independent Few Ignite Sound label, Ember Swift continues to solidify her reputation as one of Canada’s truly substantial artists. As well as being a highly accomplished musician, performer and composer, who successfully runs her own business, Ember is well known as a committed activist. A genuinely compelling and uncompromising performer, Ember and her band have toured extensively throughout North America and Australia, averaging close to 200 shows per year. And as can be testified to by her devoted following, an Ember Swift show promises a rockin’ good time. www.emberswift.com
The Mighty Popo was born in Ngagara, Burundi. The accent in his music comes from central Africa, but the interwoven idioms in this eloquent musical patois speak of all of black Africa and the African diaspora. Mighty Popo has three CDs to his credit: Tamba (1996), Dunia Yote (2000), and Ngagara (2003). The music is as Canadian as snow on the Ottawa River, as African as they could make it, and as global in its appeal as in its vision.www.mightypopo.ca
Best known as part of Canada’s top female a cappella group, Malaika, Lee Hayes is an award-winning songwriter and a gifted solo performer. This piano pop/folk diva has released five CDs: four with Malaika and now her critically acclaimed solo recording, The Secret Life. Hayes has toured Canada, the US and the UK, and is joined by the vocal and songwriting talents of her daughter, Charlotte Hayes. www.leehayes.ca
Nina & Taqralik have been performing Kattajjaq (Inuit throat singing) together for more than six years. They use their performance as a way to express pride in their culture and to educate their audiences about Inuit people and culture today. Nina Segalowitz is originally from Fort Smith, Northwest Territories. Her ancestry is Inuvialuit (Inuit) and Chipewyan. Nina was raised by her adoptive family in Montreal. She presently works at the Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal as a counsellor. Taqralik Partridge grew up in Kujjuaq, Nunavik, Northern Quebec and has an Inuit and Scottish background. She is currently Communications Director at Avataq Cultural Institute in Montreal.
This Ottawa five-piece puts on an infectious, hyperactive show with a mix of guitar-based tunes with insightful, quirky lyrics. The varied influences of the band create for variety live and on CD, though every song still has that "Lowbellies sound"Ñdriving rhythm, smokin’ guitar and that Canadian vocal drawl. The songs on their just-released self-titled CD are peppered with keen observations on life. www.lowbellies.com
Headed by Angie Karp on vocals and guitar, Andi Harden on vocals and violin, and Joff Ward on drums, the Vanity Press have brought their tunes of heartbreak and misbehaviour to venues across Ontario and Quebec. Their debut album, Things To Do (2003), remained on the CKCU-FM album charts for over two weeks. After playing WESTFEST as a duo last year, they are thrilled to be performing as nature intended with a full band. www.thevanitypress.com
Amanda Rheaume is a young singer/songwriter from Ottawa. At the age of 17, she was invited onstage by Sarah McLachlan and the Indigo Girls at Lilith Fair 1999 in Toronto at the Molson Amphitheatre. Since then, Amanda has been performing in Ottawa and the surrounding areas. Most recently, her band was featured on MuchMusic’s Weekly News show when performing at the El Mocambo in Toronto. www.amandarheaume.com
Meredith Luce reveals her blues, rock and jazz influences in her new recording. According to Billboard’s Larry LeBlanc of her fall showcase at the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals, "Her voice has a conviction and maturity not often heard in young artists." Meredith recently appeared at Rasputin’s, the Folklore Centre’s Christmas broadcast, and a benefit for the Maycourt Hospice. She plays the Ottawa Fringe Festival in June as well. www.meredithluce.com
Amy Campbell brings together her classical training and folk sensibilities to create music that reaches into human experience and comes back with stories written from the soul. After years with a band, she released her debut solo EP, Architecture: Live At The Opera House, through her own label, BattleAxe Folk. Amy has performed with Bruce Cockburn, Jann Arden, The Scrappy Bitch Tour, Mary Lou Lord and Emm Gryner. www.amycampbell.ca
Craig Hinman is originally from New York, but now calls Ottawa home. A veteran of the professional musical theatre stage, Craig is proud to sing the show-stopping number "This is the Moment" from the Broadway smash hit Jekyll and Hyde. Craig is now Development Assistant/Special Events coordinator for Bruce House, a supportive housing and compassionate care agency for those living with HIV/AIDS. www.brucehouse.org
Julian Armour has performed and programmed works by more than 200 Canadian composers. He has premiered over 60 solo cello pieces and chamber works, most written especially for him. Founder and Artistic and Executive Director of the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival since 1994, he received the Community Foundation’s 1999 Investing in People Award for bringing classical music to new audiences. The Council for the Arts in Ottawa awarded him the 2000 Victor Tolgesy Arts Award for his contribution to enriching cultural life in the city. In 2000 and 2001, Ottawa Life named him one of Ottawa’s Top 100 Movers and Shakers. In 2002, he was named Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by France and awarded the Meritorious Service Medal by Canada for his services to music.
Guylaine Lemaire performs regularly as a chamber musician and as an orchestral player. She has toured Canada, Europe, the United States and Mexico as a violinist. As a violist, she toured with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, and in Japan, Mexico and the United States with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal. Guylaine has appeared regularly at major Canadian summer music festivals. She is often heard on CBC Radio and Radio-Canada. Her recent recordings include Patrick Cardy’s chamber music, Schubert’s Trout Quintet and String Quintet, Haydn’s Seven Last Words of Christ with Andrew Dawes, and the Schubert Octet with the Chamber Players of Canada. She studied violin with Mauricio Fuks at McGill University where she also began her viola studies.
Renée-Paule Gauthierwas mentioned as one of the "best upcoming violinists of the new generation" in the book, Violin Virtuosos: From Paganini to the 21st Century. She has won awards in several competitions and has performed as a soloist with many orchestras throughout her native Quebec. Since January 2004, Renée-Paule has resided in Ottawa where she performs with the National Art Centre Orchestra.
Shauna Elton is an independent dancer, choreographer and actor. She was a company member with Le Groupe Dance Lab for 7 years. Independently, her work has been produced in Ottawa at Le Groupe, the Canada Dance Festival, and in Vancouver for the Vancouver Dance Festival, Mainly Dance and Dances for a Small Stage. Shauna also teaches professional modern dance classes and is certified as an Ashtanga Yoga instructor.
Walter Kubanek made a surprise appearance at last year’s WESTFEST with fellow dance performer, Rob Abubo. He is known for his stunning physical power and his unconventional and exciting interpretation. Walter has been a member of Ottawa’s Le Groupe Dance Lab since 2002. Prior to that, he worked in Vancouver with Kinesis Dance and DanceArts Vancouver, and in Edmonton with the Brian Webb Dance Company.
Cyril Dabydeen’s latest books are Play a Song Somebody: Selected Stories and Imaginary Origins: New and Selected Poems. He has published eight books of poetry, five books of stories, and three novels. As well, Cyril edited A Shapely Fire: Changing the Literary Landscape and Another Way to Dance: Contemporary Asian Poetry in Canada and the US. His work has appeared in about 60 magazines, and has been anthologized in over 20 volumes in five countries. A former Poet Laureate of Ottawa, he has read across Canada, the US, Europe, the Caribbean and Asia. In 2000, he juried for the Neustadt International Prize for Literature and the Governor General’s Award for Literature (Poetry).
Gabriella Goliger’s first book, Song of Ascent, won the 2001 Upper Canada Writer’s Craft Award. She is a member of an Ottawa writers’ group that recently published an anthology of stories entitled The Company We Keep. Gabriella has a B.A. from McGill University and an M.A. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She grew up in Montreal and has lived in Jerusalem, Ottawa and Baffin Island. She is currently working on a novel.
Susannah M. Smith was born in Montreal and grew up in Ontario and Alberta. She received her M.A. in English from Queen’s University. Her first novel is How the Blessed Live (Coach House Books). Her short fiction and poetry have appeared in various literary journals including Dandelion, Event, Fireweed and The Antigonish Review. She is currently living in Ottawa where she is writing a second novel and a short fiction collection.
Tom Henighan is the author of thirteen books including three novels, two collections of short fiction, a collection of poetry and the travel-memoir, Coming of Age in Arabia. His writing has been described as "finding mythic echoes in the spaces of the great Canadian wilderness." His books on Canadian culture are well known, and he has lectured on the subject in Greece, Italy and Mexico. As Associate Editor of Ottawa Revue, he wrote the report that resulted in the creation of Arts Court. For ten years, Tom ran Carleton University’s fiction writing workshop, and many of his students have achieved literary/publishing success. He continues to write fiction, poetry and essays and to serve as a consultant to various cultural groups.
Originally from Winnipeg, Kevin Matthews is still connected to the city through his work for Canadian Dimension magazine, and with Standard comics group, which produces independent mini-comic anthologies. Former Slammaster of the Winnipeg Poetry Slam, Kevin is now directing SpoCan: the Spoken Word Canada Network, a new organization that supports the annual Canadian Festival of Spoken Word.
Taqralik Partridge is a lyric-addicted, melody-smitten artist with an omnivorous appetite for music and poetry. Her body of work often paints a street-level wordscape of the Montreal neighborhoods she so lovingly references. A throat singer as well, Taqralik brings the haunting cadences and northern sensibility of this Inuit form to her spoken word poetry, resulting in a refreshing and fascinating blend of the urban and the tundra.
Q the Romantic Revolutionary a.k.a. Queeverne Kirk is a linguist, born on the island of Tobago. In 2002, Q won her first slam ever performed at the Golden Star Lounge, and was a member of Ottawa’s first poetry team to represent the city in Chicago. She was a member of the Capital Slam team in Canada’s 1st Spoken Wordlympics. Q is the winner of Ottawa’s 2005 CBC Poetry Face-Off, and will compete for the national championship.
Catherine Kidd is the author/performer of Sea Peach, a CD/book collection of stories as well as a critically-acclaimed stage show. Described as "an adult blend of Dr. Suess and Aesop’s Fables," Sea Peach won the MECCA Award for Best New Text in 2003. The show has toured to the Yukon International Story-telling Festival in Whitehorse, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2004, and Toronto Harbourfront’s World Stage Festival 2005. Kidd has performed in Oslo, Bristol and New York, and looks forward to touring Beijing and Shanghai this summer. Her new book/DVD, Bipolar Bear, will be released this June through Conundrum Press.
In her evocative landscapes, Maggie Glossop represents the spirit and essence of the Canadian landscape. She uses natural fibres: wool, silk, cashmere, mohair and angora, which she hand dyes and then processes into soft felted pictures or wall sculptures. Her work can be found at the Galerie Old Chelsea, The Britannia Gallery, The Philip Wood Gallery, and at her home studio during the West End Studio Tour in September.
For the last 30 years, Susan Jolliffe has been creating whimsical artifacts from found objects with clay and paint. She has also led workshops for children, created public art, and published a how-to book on making sculptures (Sculpture Vultures, 2000). Susan recently completed the illustrations for a children’s book by Jan Andrews (Orca, 2005), and is now working on her own tea party book.
Gayle Kells’ art explores identity issues using iconography such as dresses, undergarments and dressmaker forms to examine the perception of women in society and time, place and memory. Gayle is a member of the Enriched Bread Artists studio. Her work is held internationally in private and public collections, including the Governor General’s residence. She has exhibited extensively in group and juried exhibitions throughout North America. www.artengine.ca/kells
Karina Kraenzle is a photo-based artist working with a variety of media. Her most recent images are melancholy contemplations on memory and human existence. She lives and works in Ottawa. artengine.ca/~kraenzle
Marie-Pierre Kroetsch is an Ottawa-based polymedia artist. Her work incorporates many mediums such as painting, and textile structure and printing. Marie-Pierre’s installations speak of the many paradoxes of daily life. In June 2004, Marie-Pierre opened her creation studio and gallery Vivart in Hull, Quebec where she currently creates, teaches art to children and adults, and mostly enjoys life.
Since 1982, Claude Latour’s works have been inspired by travels in Central Africa, Russia, Europe, United States, Cuba and Canada. In 2003, he curated an art exhibit featuring eleven artists from the Kitigan Zibi Algonquin Reserve on Victoria Island celebrating the community’s 150th Anniversary of memories and survival. His latest works are photo-based images entitled, Visions from the Pow-Wow Trail.
Born in Egypt in 1948, Alan Mirabelli immigrated to Canada in 1957 and later studied Communications. Photography fascinated him since childhood. Inspirations for his pictures come from the richness of the Canadian landscape, which contrast with his parched memories of another country in another time. Mirabelli’s work is an exploration of stillness, rhythm, texture, colour, shadow and metaphor.
Originally from PEI, photographer Lana Stewart has called Ottawa home since 2000. Inspired by the life and people around her, she began displaying her photographs on-line in 2002. She participated in this year’s Winterlude art on ice event, and most recently has contributed writing and photography to Guerilla magazine. www.lanastewart.com
For almost a decade, Wendy Thomson and Bruce Kinsman have been a collaborative creative team. Both Ottawa natives, they work and live in the heart of the city. Inspired by the world around them, they combine two metalworking backgrounds to create organic yet whimsical sculpture, both large and small. They have earned national recognition through galleries from Halifax to Vancouver.
Joyce Westrop is a contemporary artist using bold form and expressive line to examine the world around her. For Joyce, art is a journey, whether it is the quest for beauty, exploring emotions or searching for meaning in the world. A variety of methods are used in her work from painting and drawing to printmaking. She continues to exhibit widely, most recently in Paris. www.joycewestrop.com
A Company of Fools is Ottawa’s only independent professional Shakespeare company. The Fools produce innovative, entertaining and accessible shows based on the works of William Shakespeare. Their Torchlight Shakespeare Series brings full-length Shakespearean plays to parks across Ottawa. The Fools are a physical theatre company and use the techniques of Clown, Commedia Del’arte, Mask, Puppetry, Vaudeville and Slapstick www.fools.ca
Having performed in over 200 schools, Jonny really knows how to capture his audience with funny gags, tricks, antics and tons of audience participation. Being a big kid himself, Jonny has an immediate rapport with children of all ages. For really fun shows, Jonny also demonstrates the intricacies of juggling junk, such as plungers or five-gallon water barrels. Jonny demonstrates how one man’s trash can be another man’s treasure. www.junkyardsymphony.com
Rachel has practiced her arts in Canada, the United States and Germany. In addition to fire performance, she has utilized her 16 years of classical training in cello to perform with the likes of Toronto-based band, picastro, spoken-word duo, Black Licorice Theory, Brooklyn’s Edison Woods, and dance troupe Murmur Machine. When not playing with fire, Rachel is completing her graduate studies in developmental genetics.
Anthony Bansfield, a.k.a. the nth digri put together the critically acclaimed compilation CD, WordLife, which featured the best of emerging African Canadian spoken word. The 2003 CD of his poetry, Tales of the North Coast, was nominated for a Canadian Urban Music Award for Best Spoken Word Recording. Most recently, Anthony directed, hosted, and performed in a UNESCO event in Ottawa for World Poetry Day. www.geocities.com/nthdigri
Suki Lee read from her debut collection of stories, Sapphic Traffic, at WESTFEST 2004. Her fiction is forthcoming in an Arsenal Pulp fall release, making it the third time the press has anthologized her writing. She has an M.A. in Creative Writing and English Literature from Concordia University. Suki received an honourable mention in Ottawa XPress’ Best Local Writer category for 2004. She is also WESTFEST’s Communication Director. www.sukilee.com
Cheryl Mazak’s artwork is inspired by her love of literature and stringed instruments. Her mixed media paintings are made with broken violin parts, three-dimensional letters and ground iron. The use of words in her visual art is striking, even from across a room. Mazak presently apprentices with an Ottawa violin-maker. She was recently named one of "Ottawa’s Top 50 people of 2005" by Ottawa Life magazine. www.artonthewall.com
Ottawa-born Rob Mclennan is the author of ten trade collections of poetry. His poetry, fiction and critical work have appeared in over one hundred journals and magazines in nine countries. The editor/publisher of above/ground press and STANZAS magazine, he has edited numerous anthologies for numerous presses, and recently launched the on-line Ottawa poetry annual. www.ottawater.com
JUNE 8-10, 2018 Tom Brown Arena & Park, Ottawa