1:10-2:00 pm

We all have stories. It is how we connect to each other, to our communities. The storytelling portion of Westfest will introduce you to some folks telling their own personal true stories, and remind us that each of us have stories to share with the world.

Danielle K.L. Grégoire is a parent, poet, comedian, storyteller, and proud Northern Manitoban. She/they stand at the intersections of many identities: Mètis, French Canadian, English Canadian, queer, gender-fluid, rural and city. Danielle was a former co-director of the Capital Poetry Collective, the founder of Seattle’s Comedy Womb (now the Comedy Nest), and former producer of the Seattle Moth StorySLAM. Danielle is dedicated to helping people tell their own stories, and is opening a venue in Almonte, ON called Curious & Kind for all spoken word art forms, podcasting, crafting, and soap pouring in 2019.

Khaleefa ‘Apollo the Child’ Hamdan is a spoken word poet, hip hop artist, radio host, youth worker and is the former co director of the Urban Legends Poetry Collective. Apollo is one half of the hip hop duo Poetic Elements and is also a member of the collective Dead Ringer. Apollo created the after school youth writing program Youth Speak with the Ottawa Public Library and he hosts the Home Invasion Show and New Jack City on CKCUFM. Apollo has represented Ottawa a total of 9 times nationally and continues to be an active part of the art scene.

Natalie Hanna is an Ottawa poet and lawyer working with low income populations. Her writing focusses on feminist, political, and personal relational themes. She has served as a past Administrative Director of the Sawdust Reading Series and on the board of Arc Poetry Magazine (2016-2018). She runs battleaxe press (small press poetry) in Ottawa. The author of ten chapbooks, Hanna’s poetry, interviews, and commentary have also appeared in print and online in Canada and the United States.

Find out more about her work at: https://nhannawriting.wordpress.com/ 

3:10 - 3:50 pm

Larissa Desrosiers is an emerging Anishinaabekwe Singer/Songwriter from Treaty #3 Territory. Her music is a blend of folk-inspired styles, Indigenous issues and life experiences through her stories in song. She is patiently anticipating her graduation at Carleton University for her Bachelor of Honours in Music, minor in Indigenous Studies. Until then, she is expanding her horizons gigging and selling her beadwork."  


BROTHERS WILDE  |   4:05 - 4:50 pm

Nolan and Ethan Wilde from Kettle & Stony Point First Nation are a Country Rock duo. They were selected to represent Ontario at the North American Country Music Association International Finals in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. They have released two singles which have been making waves across the radio. They’re heading to Nashville to record their full-length debut album.


DANAH-LEE  |  5:05 - 5:50 pm

For the last decade, Danah-Lee has been teaching many musical minds, young and old within the Ottawa Valley.  And still, Danah makes time for her own creative works to be exposed. Danah’s 2017 album, The Post Concussion Syndrome, has turned her very real-life experiences into songs. The album is a response to life unfolding–sometimes tragic and at other times euphoric. NOW, in 2019,  Danah-Lee has completed her latest EP, Sunshine & Bonbons—one-part edgy, and one-part tug at your heart strings! 




2:10 - 2:50 pm

For the past 14 years students from Churchill Alternative School in Westboro have been rocking audiences all around Ottawa with live performances of classic, and contemporary Rock and Roll hits.  This year's edition of the Churchill School of Rock features over 75 grade 4,5 and 6 students playing instruments and rocking out on songs that tell stories, or were inspired by stories.  Along with teachers, and parent volunteers, the performance will include two dozen student guitarists, and 40 student ukulele players.  Churchill is thrilled to be performing at Westfest for their 4th time on the main stage, and their 5th time overall!


JACK PINE  |   7:00 - 7:45 pm

Nominated at the 2019 JUNOs and the 2018 Canadian Folk Music Awards, Jack Pine and The Fire’s newest album is “A record you’d run into a burning barn to save”. Jack hollers and howls like a "Lone Wolf", strumming his mandolin furiously, then softly as he tours the land with a heavy right hand. For this performance, Jack will be joined by his longtime sideman in The Fire, multi-award winning Ottawa dobro master, Stuart Rutherford.



THE BACKROADIES  |  6:00 - 6:45 pm

A local Ottawa band the Backroadies are a collection of family and friends blending beautiful harmonies and putting a new spin on old favourites. Their sound is a unique collection of folk/country/bluegrass with their own down-home vibe.


THE NICKEL KINGS   |  8:15 - 9:00 pm

The Nickel Kings are the dynamic duo of Chris Leblanc and Stephan Bernard hailing from Sudbury and Barrie, Ontario. They bring a mix of Canadiana, Folk, Country and some rock stylings to their infectious original music. Chris is a singer / songwriter / multi-instrumentalist and has shared the stage and supported some of this country's most talented recording artists including Terri Clark, Tim Hicks, Doc Walker, Jason McCoy, and Stephen Page. He was also a member of "The Puckhogs" band which placed 2nd out of over 1000 entries for their song "For the Love of The Game" in the CBC great Canadian Song Quest in 2014.

Originally from Sudbury but having resided in Barrie since 2014, Stephan (Steph) is a multi-instrumentalist who has supported Canadian Recording Artists including Chuck Labelle, Gil Grand, Jake Mathews, Ed Landry, Le Paysagiste, Susan Aglukark and many others. Since moving to Barrie, he has honed his skills as a singer-songwriter while performing as a single performer in various establishments in Southern Ontario.



Cody Coyote was born on April 17th, 1992, raised in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and is of Ojibwe/Irish descent with ancestry from Matachewan First Nation. With his fusion of strong, profound lyricism accompanied by corresponding influential sounds, this multi-award nominated Hip-Hop/Electronic artist grasps his listeners attention and delivers a mesmerizing performance. Outside of music, Cody Coyote is also a motivational speaker, workshop facilitator and is the evening show host for Ottawa’s 95.7 elmnt fm.


Kimberly Sunstrum is an Afro-Canadian singer-songwriter from the Ottawa-Gatineau region. As a Westfest alumni, she is passionate about being involved in events and programs whose mandates encourage and promote diverse and inclusive platforms. An active and representative member of the queer community as well as an advocate for the encouragement of young wom+n in the music industry, Kimberly volunteers with organizations like Girls+ Rock Ottawa and works closely with the Queer Mafia – an event group that provides safe, inclusive, and queer positive events throughout Ottawa. Kimberly Sunstrum performs regularly in the Ottawa music scene, is a certified sound technician and audio engineer and was nominated in 2018 for the Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award.

CHARLIE MAJOR   |  9:30 - 10:45 pm

He’s more Mellencamp then Merle. His lyrics champion the ‘Blue Collar Hero’ in a manner that resonates of Springsteen and other roots rock legends, but it is in the country music format that Charlie Major finds his home. Born and raised right here in Aylmer, QC he rose to the forefront of the Canadian Music scene in the early to mid-nineties, becoming the first Canadian artist in history to score six BDS #1 hits off of his debut album. Nine more chart topping hits would follow, and Charlie would crisscross the world headlining tours and connecting with his fans at fairs and festivals.

Over a decade later Charlie is as successful as ever—he headlines his own tours and pairs up with the likes of ZZ Top to rock arenas full of fans from coast to coast. He has sold nearly half a million records in Canada alone and won 3 Juno Awards and 7 CCMAs, but you wouldn’t know it to meet him, and he wouldn’t tell you. He wears the cloak of humility, just like the hardworking folks that he represents in his music.