JUNE 2-4 LAROCHE PARK, MECHANICSVILLE, OTTAWA
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In 2006, Jane Siberry let go of her home and most of her possessions and began a new journey of “living her to-do list.” At the same time, she let go of her name and became 'Issa.' She described the impetus as "change or die." Now, three years later with many strong changes under her belt and feeling more enthusiastic about life than ever, she has pulled her past name forward again is full on 'Jane Siberry.'
Since forming in 2002, Elliott BROOD has become a Canadian music institution. (The 2004 campus radio hit "Oh, Alberta!" remains a national treasure.) But after touring with acts like Wilco, Blue Rodeo, Corb Lund and the Sadies, playing festivals across North America, Europe and Australia and scoring the 2010 film Grown-Up Movie Star (for which they earned a Gemini nomination for Best Original Song), the band now also has a global presence. With Days Into Years they will bring their music, and of one of the greatest Canadian stories, to the world. Elliott BROOD are Casey Laforet (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass pedals, bass guitar, mandolin, banjo, lap steel,vocals) Mark Sasso (banjo, guitar, harmonica, vocals) and Stephen Pitkin (percussion, drums, piano, vocals).
Northern Shore is the title of Skydiggers’ new album, and represents the bold new musical territory the group explores on their eighth studio release. The 15 song collection stands as the most adventurous and varied of the group’s 20 year plus career, and captures and reinvigorates the essence of the group’s sound. Northern Shore sees the group mapping new musical territory, but it feels like home. It’s Skydiggers’ first new music since the 2009 release of their career-spanning anthology, The Truth About Us, and the process of compiling that set became an opportunity for core members Ron Macey (bass), Josh Finlayson (guitar/vocals) and Andy Maize (vocals) to take stock of the past and reorient for the future.
Since the release of her debut album in 1995, Holly McNarland has released one critically acclaimed album after another. This Juno Award-winning singer-songwriter is known for her unflinching lyrics, lingering melodies, and a powerhouse voice.
Jim Bryson is a smooth skating singer-songwriting fellow who has released four acclaimed solo records. The most recent is 2010’s pairing with Winnipeg's The Weakerthans, entitled The Falcon Lake Incident. When not crooning and strumming center stage, Jim spends a fair amount of his musical time left of center, playing support to some true fine folks like Kathleen Edwards, Howe Gelb and The Tragically Hip. Jim has been creating music with Kathleen since her debut in 2003, leaving his influence on each of her many fine records. He co-wrote ‘Sidecar’ on her latest disc, Voyageur.
Rheaume is a powerful vocalist with just a touch of grit and an instantly-accessible roots-pop-Americana sound. Born and raised in Ottawa, not only is she is a regular at local festivals and venues, she tours Internationally and has performed for the troops in Afghanistan three times. Look for her upcoming release Summer 2013.
Ottawa’s own roots-rockers Silver Creek are a distinctly Canadian “Northern-Fried” rock and Roll band. Known for their energetic and powerful live show, their evasive sound has been described as: "…strongly reminiscent of certain influences such as The Band, The Allman Brothers and Neil Young, but never coming even close to sounding like an imitation."
From humble beginnings on the local airwaves of Live 88.5 and now being heard on the national airwaves of the CBC, no matter where in the world this band performs, Amos The Transparent always have, and always will, call Ottawa home.
Welcome to the world of Fiftymen. It’s a place where the twangs of whisky-soaked country spirits sidle up to rock and roll recklessness, and the story-telling traditions of honest roots music are belted out with a dose of brash punk rock irreverence. At once uncommon yet familiar, this sonic landscape is littered with empty bottles and hard luck tales, recalling something tapped into the dusted dreams of North American folklore.
Some call Lynne's music country, some call it roots-and-blues, others call it rough-around-the-edges folk. Lynne calls it porch music with a little Texas red dirt. She's toured across Canada, the US and Europe, is a winner of the Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award and been nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award.
Fronted by the charismatic cool of six-foot singer-guitarist Veronica Johnny; fueled by the earthquake drumming of co-founder Dave Johnny, The Johnnys are an explosive mix of punk, garage, '70s hard rock and '50s rock'n'roll. Originally from the NWT sub-arctic, the Toronto-based rockers have built a reputation as an incendiary live four-piece act: a sweaty, leather-clad barrage of catchy anthems featuring solid hooks and tongue-in-cheek lyrics.
Plex is an award winning hip-hop artist based in Toronto, Canada. With over 15 years experience Plex has raised the bar amongst his Aboriginal peers while building a strong and relevant presence in mainstream Canadian Hip Hop. Since releasing his debut solo album in 2009, Plex has toured across North America and has also appeared on several televised events including Arbor Live, The National Aboriginal Achievement Awards, APTN Aboriginal Day Live, Cineplex’s Front Row Concert Series and The Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards.
What is a woman? What is a man? Tierney is both, and neither.
Using the body as a point of departure Tierney’s work foregrounds the construction of gender identity in an attempt to question and make evident the ways in which society structures and mediates the relationship between our bodies and public space. Tierney would like to acknowledge the support of the Ontario Arts Council.
As part of the amazing lineup this year, We have Dr. Lee bringing you the ever famous WestFest TamTam! The TamTam offers a chance for anyone and everyone of all ages to play and jam with hand drums and any other percussion instrument. Dr. Lee, will inspire and bring you a tapestry of talent and a wealth of musical energy that continues to grow by leaps and bounds to the TamTam this year. Ottawa Folklore Center will supply drums but if you have a drum please feel to bring it.
Founded by front man Lucas Silveira in 2004, The Cliks have gone through the highs and lows that make an artist a true veteran of change…and in all things, including rock and roll, the only real constant, is change. Almost nine years since the formation of the band, The Cliks are still standing. After a slew of line up changes, Silveira is the sole remaining original member of the band and, the Cliks, an extension of his personal vision. That vision is on display with the new album “Black Tie Elevator” due for release March 2012. The Cliks’ first two major label releases, Snakehouse (2006- Warner Music Canada/Tommy Boy) & Dirty King (2009-Warner Music Canada/Tommy Boy) brought the band international recognition.
Andrew Vincent is a singer songwriter, occasional rock 'n' roller, and once-in-a-while rapper, who lives in Ottawa, Ontario. Since 1998, Andrew has released a handful of mostly well-received albums that run the stylistic gamut from quiet introspective folk to sing-along party rock. His latest album, “Keep It That Way”, features performances by some of his favourite musical people including Jim Bryson, Andy Swan and Jenny Omnichord.
Zoe Whittall is the author of the novels Holding Still for as Long as Possible (House of Anansi) and Bottle Rocket Hearts (Cormorant Books), which was named one of the ten essential novels of the decade by CBC Canada Reads, and top novels of the year by The Globe & Mail. She has also published three volumes of poetry, most recently Precordial Thump. She lives in Toronto.
Captain Dirt & The Skirt are equal parts musical musings, and fashionable theatrics. Their new album draws on bluegrass, hymnal, gypsy-jazz, classical and pop with the undeniable grit of rock layered throughout. Lyndell Montgomery and Kristin Sweetland are united by their mutual love of musical adventure with a mysterious twist.
Juliana Pulford Belonging to a new generation of Canadian flamenco artists who are producing innovative and groundbreaking work, Juliana gravitated towards a more experimental approach to flamenco theatre early in her career. As well as regular smaller shows Juliana has produced and staged six full length flamenco works: Un Dia Flamenco (2001), Luna Flamenca (2003), Tierra de Luz (2005), Sueños Flamencos (2009), Un Pañuelo de Alegria (2010), Llanto (2010, 2011). As a member of the collective Theatre Flamenco Juliana toured Misa Flamenca, in both 1999 and 2001; and Tres Mujeres (Winnipeg 2007, Ottawa 2008 )She has collaborated with orchestras and opera as guest artist/choreographer and in 2011 she co-produced The Ottawa Flamenco Festival. She runs her studio in Ottawa where she teaches and performs.
Jill Zmud’s music has been called torch-folk, folk-pop and country-folk. Her critically-acclaimed debut album, As We Quietly Drive By, made 'Best of' lists and contributed to Jill being labeled as "one to watch". Jill is thrilled to be a part of the 10 Year Anniversary of Westfest.
Born in Ottawa, rob mclennan is the author of more than twenty trade books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction. He won the John Newlove Poetry Award in 2011, and was longlisted for the CBC Poetry Award in 2012. An editor and publisher, his above/ground press turned 20 years old this year, as did The Factory Reading Series, which he runs out of The Carleton Tavern. This fall, he releases his third book of fiction, The Uncertainty Principle, a collection of short, short stories.
Toronto-based spoken word artist Greg Frankson a.k.a. Ritallin is a 2012 national poetry slam champion, arts educator, speaker, event organizer and creative services consultant. Greg is also the co-founder of Ottawa’s Capital Slam, a past National Director of Spoken Word Canada, and a former Spoken Word Curator for WESTFEST.
Thomas Starwalker Clair is a Mi'kmaq artist from Elsipogtog band in New Brunswick. He writes and performs the Blues, and he is an accomplished Men's Tradional Dancer, Actor, and visual artist. He is a Westfest favourite, and can't wait to wow the crowds again at this years fest!
Interdisciplinary and performance artist Cindy Baker is passionate about gender culture, queer theory, fat activism and art theory, working with whatever materials are needed to allow her to concentrate on the theoretical, conceptual and ephemeral aspects of her work. She is currently completing an MFA at the University of Lethbridge.