JUNE 2-4 LAROCHE PARK, MECHANICSVILLE, OTTAWA
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Sloan is made up of four distinct song writing voices: guitarists Patrick Pentland and Jay Ferguson, bassist Chris Murphy, and drummer Andrew Scott, that form a cohesive collective. Breaking out into the music scene in 1994 with their debut EP “Peppermint”, Sloan was the heavy-hitter during the pop music explosion in Halifax during the mid-nineties. Since 1994 they have released an amazing 12 hit albums and are winners of 5 East Coast Music Awards and one Juno award. They released a new EP in November of 2009 entitled Hit & Run, and are currently on tour in North America!
The Balconies formed in December of 2007 and quickly built up a reputation for their exciting, stripped down, high energy shows. Before long, they found themselves sharing bills with the likes of Mother Mother, Land of Talk, The Bicycles, Sister Suvi, and more. The Balconies' debut album displays a unique brand of girl/boy-fronted, harmonious, epic pop rock that has been met with a staggering amount of positive acclaim from music critics worldwide.
MonkeyJunk is a band that draws heavily on the legends of the blues and translates that influence into a contemporary blend of swamp R&B, soul boogie and bedroom funk. This triple threat trio comprised of Steve Marriner, Tony D and Matt Sobb draws on over 56 years of combined experience playing blues live and in studio, and it shows. In the fall of 2008, MonkeyJunk was nominated for a Maple Blues Award for best new artist - a rare feat only having been in existence for 6 months and not having released a record yet. In April 2009, MonkeyJunk’s debut album Tiger In Your Tank was released to rave reviews.
Created in early fall 2009, Autumns Canon has been described by their fans as a “musical breath of fresh air”. Organic, melodic, sincere and energetic are definitive characteristics of their sound. These feelings are equally evoked both at live performances, and when listening to their music at home. Autumns Canon is: Shaun Francisco, Nick Beaton, Anders Derrup, Mark Laforest, Marty Sobb, and Mike Hogg.
Will Currie & The Country French is a six piece piano beat group from Waterloo, Ontario. Their refreshing blend of indie rock and retro pop has earned them a reputation as one of the hottest new Canadian acts on the scene. The band’s heavy bass lines and danceable drum beats are held together by rhythmic piano and ripping guitar to support Currie’s infectious melodies.
The High Dials are a psychedelic pop band from Montreal, Canada. Devotees of classic sounds and song craft, yet creatively restless and experimental at heart, they have produced a varied repertoire of anthemic power-pop, shoe-gazey ambience and melancholic folk-rock balladry. Currently on the High Dialian roster: Trevor Anderson (vocals and guitar), Robbie MacArthur (lead guitar), Max Hebert (drums) and Shane Watt (bass).
Bloomistry is an Ottawa-based pop-rock/post-punk project established in 2004 with a name inspired by legendary Ottawa sound engineer Hy Bloom (The Soundmaster), long-time operator of H. H. Bloom Sound Enterprises. Bloomistry has recorded six full length studio albums and approximately seventy-five songs. Bloomistry is: Simon Meilleur on drums, Terry Calder on guitar, Dmitri Koev on big guitar, and Wayne K. Spear on guitar and vocals.
The White Wires were raised in Ottawa on the Bank Street strip, Centretown Ottawa, and from Birdman to Babylon. Equal parts record nerd, basement show, street club, and party animal come together to create songs so simple and catchy that you can’t help but bounce up and down, and party all night. The White Wires are: Ian Manhire on vocals and guitar, Luke Martin on vocals and bass, and Allie Hanlon on drums.
Ottawa power trio TokyoSexWhale sound heavy and sludgy, but with a hint of pop sensibilities. Their big riffs, big voice, big gear, and big sound got them voted Best Punk/Metal/Hard Rock Band in 2007 and 2009 by Ottawa Xpress readers, and now TokyoSexWhale is set to release their second full length effort this year. Audiences looking for a "wall of sound" will be ecstatic after experiencing a TokyoSexWhale show, guaranteed.
With influences ranging from The Clash to Patsy Cline to The Rolling Stones, GOOD2GO kicks out the jams at full throttle and always has a blast! Fronted by the dynamic Miss Maureen on vocals, the band whips up a rock ’n’ roll juggernaut that is both mischievous and captivating. The band is rounded out by Ottawa music scene veterans Christian Lapensee (guitar), Reg Allen (bass), Gilles Mantha (drums) and Glen Russell (keyboards).
The Kingmakers are a high-octane mix of rockabilly, jump-jive, and roots rock'n'roll. Based in Ottawa, they recorded their first album at iconic SUN Studio in Memphis and just laid down their third album at Cowboy Jack Clement's studio in Nashville. Their vintage vibe and on-stage antics make for a killer show which appeals to all ages and is guaranteed to shake your money-maker!
A native of Ottawa, Ken Workman give us tones of blue-collar struggle and working-poor values that breaths life into tastefully crafted melodies. A true roots-rock experience with a hint of pop, his live show demonstrates dynamics that can reduce a room to silence or fill a dance floor by exploding with a driving beat. His songs unite a heart full of emotion and a memory full of experiences of a working class childhood.
EFARM was born at a house party when Theresa McInerney, fresh from her hometown of Dartmouth got behind a microphone and belted out a set of songs with EFARM trio Trevor May Art Castonguay, and Dosh Korycan. Two albums, six kids, and an endless stream of gigs later, EFARM brings their mix of Alberta country, Maritime folk, and Ontario rock to the WESTFEST main stage.
The Moonrunners are four Grade 12 Ottawa high school students; Ross Burant (lead vocals & guitar), Zac Blahout (lead guitar & vocals), Ben Segal-Daly (bass) and James Brint (drums). They formed in 2005 performing covers of classic rock songs from Bachman Turner Overdrive, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and many others. The Moonrunners recently won first place in the 29th annual Student Showcase Jam performing an original set of their own classic rock style songs.
Grooving riffs, driving bass, and soulful vocals; Choice Grade is rock n’ roll. Inspired by the best bands from the 60s to modern day, Choice Grade was born in the heart of Westboro Village and came together while watching bands on the WESTFEST main stage two years ago. Winners of Energizer’s national “Rock Out and Win” contest, Choice Grade is full steam ahead writing music and doing what they love.
In Progress is a band of three high school musicians who came together in late 2008 to perform at their school’s Coffee House. Originally performing under the name “It’s A Trap”, the band has since performed at various school functions. In Progress have been recording and refining their music since August 2009, and are relishing the chance to perform in front of a new audience.
From their high school music class all the way to Toronto’s Massey Hall, Amanda Walther and Sheila Carabine of Dala have come a long way in a short time. These two best friends have brought their signature style of harmony-driven acoustic pop music to audiences across Canada. They have toured with the likes of Jann Arden, Tom Cochrane, Matthew Good and Stuart McLean of the CBC’s Vinyl Café. Dala's last two albums, 2006's Angels and Thieves and 2007's Who Do You Think You Are recieved a total of four Canadian Folk Music Award nominations. Dala’s talent, energy, and wit have earned them a devoted following, and their soon to be released fourth album Everyone Is Someone is already generating industry buzz
Nukariik enthusiastically preserves and shares Inuit culture and music through a traditional and contemporary repertoire. By giving their audiences entertaining performances, Nukariik explains and demonstrates throat singing, drum dancing, ajaja songs and traditional Inuit games. Comprised of sisters Karin and Kathy Kettler, Nukariik works to preserve and share Inuit culture from Canada by performing the ancient, and almost-lost musical art of throat singing.
Originally hailing from Scottish small towns in Canada, Brenley MacEachern and Lisa MacIsaac are collectively known as Madison Violet. Their first release garnered ECMA award nominations for “Best New Group” and “Pop Album of the Year”. Caravan, their sophomore release, has earned them another two ECMA awards nominations in the “Folk Album of the Year” and “Best Group Recording” categories as well as a Canadian Folk Award nomination for “Vocal Group of the Year”.
The Marigolds are Gwen Swick, Suzie Vinnick, and Caitlin Hanford. Three of Canada’s top singer/songwriters, accompanied by drummer Randall Coryell, combine their talents for an unforgettable performance. Part bluesy, part jazzy and part country, specializing in angelic harmonies and gutsy playing, these Marigolds are a roots-music super group in full bloom, with their second CD That's the State I'm In.
Peggy White grew up in a small town in the Ottawa Valley. Her debut solo CD, Fair Is Fair charted in the top 20 on the Roots Music Report in Europe and the United States. It also charted in the top 100 on the Americana Chart in the United States for five weeks. Peggy recently released her second independent album entitled, Falling, which is currently achieving great success in the United States and Europe and has been picked up by CBC here in Canada.
Harold Hoefle's short fiction has been published in numerous journals; in 2003, Ottawa’s Black Bile Press published Spray Job, a four-story chapbook. His non-fiction has won an Honorable Mention at the 2006 National Magazine Awards. His novel The Mountain Clinic was published by Ottawa’s Oberon Press; last year, the novel was a finalist for the Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction, sponsored by the Quebec Writers’ Federation.
Rita Donovan is an Ottawa writer and teacher (Carleton University, Loyalist College.) She is the author of seven books of fiction and non-fiction. Her novels have received the Ottawa Book Award (twice), and the C.A.A./Chapters Award for Fiction (now the MOSAID Award) and have been short-listed for other awards. Born in Montreal, Donovan has called Ottawa home for twenty-five years.
Bill Brown was raised in Westboro Village, schooled at Broadview and Nepean, and he has had short stories appear in several anthologies as well as Front&Centre, which he now co-edits. A chapbook, Folly, (2003) has now been followed by his recent collection: When Jupiter’s Aligned with Mars (2009), published by Montreal’s Siren Song Publishing. Bill and his husband, John, live in Ottawa.
Sheila James has worked as a writer, director and performer in music, theatre and media arts. Her work often expresses the intersection of race, gender and sexuality and is often motivated by social justice. Her stage plays include All Whispers/No Words and A Canadian Monsoon produced by the Company of Sirens. Her videos have been screened widely around the world including the award winning Unmapping Desire. Her poetry and short fiction has been published in Canadian anthologies and journals.
Daniel Allen Cox is the author of the novel Shuck, published by Arsenal Pulp Press and shortlisted for a 2009 Lambda Literary Award and a ReLit Award. His second novel, Krakow Melt, is forthcoming from Arsenal Pulp Press in September 2010. Daniel writes a monthly column for Capital Xtra, Ottawa’s Queer Magazine, and lives in Montreal, where he works as a fiction mentor in the 2010 Quebec Writers Federation Mentorship Program.
Luna Allison got her start as a spoken word artist in Montreal in the fall of 2001 and has since been featured in numerous literary and spoken word series, festivals and venues across North America, including New York’s Bowery Poetry Club, the Word 4 Word series in Philadelphia and the Calgary International Spoken Word Festival and her work has also been heard on CBC Radio. Allison was the Spoken Word Curator for Montreal’s Catcall series from 2003-05 and is happy to be acting in a similar capacity for WESTFEST 2010. Allison is currently completing a spoken word play on sexual abuse called Falling Open.
A native of El Salvador, artist-entrepeneur Hyfidelik has been performing in Ottawa for 7 years. This dynamic spoken-word artist mixes three languages and multiple styles, from hip hop blues to folk flamenco. In his work, Hyfidelik calls up images of war and family, culture and Islam, street life and love. A member of the memorable Presswon Collective, he independently released an album, “From Anger With Love” in 2009. Find him at Umi Café or freestyling around the Nation’s Capital.
At seventeen years old, Emily Kwissa is the youngest poet ever to compete at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word. She is an active member of the country’s first rural spoken word collective and has shared the stage with Kevin Matthews, Shane Koyczan and the Mighty Mike McGee. Her poetry reflects a strength of both heart and mind and is infused with a joyful (albeit bewildered) outlook on learning, love and life.
Chris Tse once scored a point in a fight with Chuck Norris. He then retired from competitive cage-fighting and turned his attention to poetry, which he says is a “different sort of beast altogether.” The 20-year-old spoken word artist, originally from Vancouver, is a third-year journalism student at Carleton University, where he’s learning how to tell stories without adding feeling or emotion. His poetry talks about life.
D-LightFull is a spoken word artist who has only been public for a little less than a year. She originally started making her art for the church and travelling to the U.S. from time to time to perform. But recently, she noticed the lack of women’s presence in the Ottawa spoken word scene and decided to join the community. She has been blowing minds ever since.
After setting the crowd aglow with blue light sticks and a massive game of pass the parcel and hauling a piano for fourteen blocks last year, Cara Tierney returns to WESTFEST’s roaring street scene to blend in, stick out, entertain and provoke thought. Born in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec she arrived in Ottawa in 2002 to study art history only to find herself a performance artist rearing to emerge and challenge our experience of art.
Theo Pelmus is a performance artist who has exhibited nationally and internationally, including shows in Copenhagen and the Bucharest Biennial. Theo has a BFA and MFA from the University of Fine Arts in Bucharest and is currently pursuing a second MFA at the University of Ottawa. He is an active participant in the Ottawa arts community, most notably as a programming member of Available Light Screening Collective and the vice-president of Gallery 101 board of directors. He is represented by La Petite Mort Gallery in Ottawa.
Interdisciplinary and performance artist Cindy Baker is passionate about gender culture, queer theory, fat activism and art theory. She believes that her art exists in its experience, and not in its objects. Some of Baker’s biggest interests are skewing context and (re)examining societal standards, especially as they relate to language and dissemination of information, and she perceives a need for intervention and collaboration, both within the art world and in the community at large.
Natalie Fournier is an Ottawa-based performance artist who uses her practice to explore the effects of consumerism and media-driven stereotypes in the construction of the female identity. She is excited to perform once again in Westboro Village, after having participated in last fall’s Cornucopia. One can always expect a little masquerade, elaborately tailored costumes, playful and outrageous props as Natalie draws viewers into her world of exaggeration, pointed satire and absurdity.
Jas Nasty is an eclectic DJ known for pleasing the crowd against all odds! Since 2005, Jas has been involved in raising the profile of women artists via the Women on Wax Montreal DJ collective, featured in ELLE Canada in 2007, and the Ladies in the House Ottawa event for International Women’s Day in 2008. Whether spinning in clubs, galleries, or festivals, Jas’ love for collecting and playing good music of all genres continues to propel her into exciting projects in Ottawa and beyond.
The Latest Artists (Andrew and Deborah O'Malley) are a collaborative, multi-disciplinary artistic duo. Spontaneous DJ sets are seamlessly blended with improvised video art to create captivating and intriguing coordinated audio-visual performances. They launched their duo act in Berlin, Germany during the summer of '07, and presently hone their craft in Ottawa at their monthly DJ/VJ event, Tech/Tonic, along with regular appearances at arts and music events across the city and beyond. You can catch them between acts on WESTFEST's Domicile Mainstage.
Electric Pow Wow was founded in 2008 by DJs NDN, Frame, and Bear Witness. Electric Pow Wow is a bi-monthly club night dedicated to showcasing Aboriginal DJ talent and Native urban culture and is aimed at creating a space for Aboriginal people. These three veterans of the Ottawa music scene come together to create a diverse sound made up of a wide variety of musical styles ranging from Hip-Hop, Dance Hall, Electronica, and their own mash-up of club and Pow Wow music.
Chess-in-the-Street is an outdoor chess event that will appeal to everyone: from kids to adults, and from those who have never played to the seasoned tournament player. Chess-in-the-Street features GIANTCHESS, a giant chess board on the street, and a simultaneous chess competition each afternoon. Watch the chess master battle 15 simultaneous chess opponents without breaking a sweat. Come and discover how much you love the game and see the masters at work. Near All Saints' Anglican and First United Church
The Rideau Valley Roller Girls “Slaughter Daughters” are Ottawa’s finest roller derby team. Fast, tough and ready to rock the track at a moment’s notice, they were brought together in the spring of 2007. Since then they’ve proven themselves dedicated to derby until death. They feel no pain, no compassion, and no mercy on the track! These girls have hearts blacker than coal and harder than stone. Misfits brought together by fate to shake things up and bring roller derby back to the capital city.
Since 2001, this percussion group has been entertaining audiences all over the city. Their eclectic mix of rhythms drawn from Africa, Latin America and Europe and Asia is something else. But what really stands out is their age. Made up of grade seven and eight students from Fisher Park and Summit Alternative Schools, BOOM! Projects an enthusiasm that could only come from such youthful performers. BOOM!’s repertoire is performed on both traditional and recycled instruments, adding dimension to their sound. Expect this high-decibel, high-energy group of talented young musicians to get you dancing in the streets.
Eight feet tall with a voice to match the Roaming Diva is as charming as she is unexpected. Adorably opinionated and looking for the opera house she’s convinced is in the neighbourhood - the Roaming Diva will entertain with operatic favourites, Broadway showstoppers and popular tunes as she dances her way through Westfest. With an orchestra in her purse and a twinkle in her eye the Roaming Diva delights the ears, treats the eyes, opens the mind.