Gil’s Hootenanny is a community sing-along event that takes place each year on May 1st, May Day, the international workers’ holiday. Musicians from a range of backgrounds take turns leading the audience to sing songs of protest and songs of hope. Continue reading
- When: 7:30pm, Monday, May 1st
- Where: Clarke Room, RA Centre, 2451 Riverside Drive, Ottawa, ON.
Inspired by the legacy of Gil Levine, Monday, May 1st, 2017 will mark the 8th year for Ottawa’s Gil’s Hootenanny, the annual community sing-along celebrating the stories, struggles and victories of working people. As usual, thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, tickets are only $10.
When asked to pinpoint performances that left a lasting impression on them, Moonfruits – Kaitlin Milroy and Alex Milliare – have a myriad of meaningful personal and professional experiences to draw upon. From singing and playing banjo during a protest in -20 degree weather, to a show with The Peptides that culminated in an 11-person finale of “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?”, Moonfruits bring their dedication to social justice to each of their performances. Continue reading
Gil’s Hootenanny is delighted to announce that Christine Graves has won the 2017 “Songs of Hope and Protest” Sing-Along Songwriting Contest for her inspirational song “Rise Above”.
All finalists performed their original songs at the Ottawa Grassroots Festival on Saturday, April 22. According to contest judges Tony Turner, Mark Evenchick and Marty Hamer, “this year’s contest featured a number of strong song submissions and it was difficult to narrow the field to the five finalists”, who were (songs and songwriters): Continue reading
Come cheer on the five finalists for the annual Gil’s Hootenanny “Songs of Hope and Protest” Sing-Along Songwriting Contest as they perform their original songs at the Ottawa Grassroots Festival on Saturday, April 22, 2017 at 4pm, in Room 7 (The Parlour) at Southminster United Church, 15 Aylmer Avenue, Ottawa, ON.
The five finalists (songs and songwriters) are:
- We Are the One : Harmony Siu
- Your Wall Will Come Down : Jan Bentham
- The Baby King : David Mayerovitch
- Race to the Bottom : Tom Clairmont
- Rise Above : Christine Graves
One of Ottawa finest singer-songwriter’s life and career were forever changed by his participation in Gil’s Hootenanny, after his song won the 2015 song-writing contest.
Tony Turner’s winning composition about then Prime Minister Stephen Harper, “Harperman”, thrust him into a media spotlight that few could have anticipated. After officials got wind of a video of the upbeat song by Ottawa filmmaker Andrew Hall, the federal government suspended Tony from his job at Environment Canada. Much to Tony’s surprise, his suspension alarmed many Canadians and “Harperman” took on a life of its own. Millions of people viewed the video, and Tony became an unintentional, international public crusader for freedom of expression. Continue reading
It Started with Family
As is the case for so many musicians, family encouragement was crucial for Moonfruits’ Kaitlin Milroy and Alex Milliare in nurturing their talent and inspiring them to pursue careers in music.
Family lore has it that Kaitlin’s first musical experience occurred “in the womb during a Clarkson Music Theatre production of Flower Drum Song”. Those early stirrings were cultivated in Kaitlin’s family, as she and her brother played in concert and jazz bands in high school, and were known for putting on – with the help of their cats – their own “shows” for family and friends. Continue reading
Karen Flanagan McCarthy & Tony Turner
Gil’s Hootenanny’s is delighted that its 2017 emcees are two familiar voices and faces from the Ottawa music scene: Karen Flanagan McCarthy and Tony Turner. Continue reading
Singer-songwriter Mark Evenchick will be one of the featured performers at Gil’s Hootenanny 2017. He is expected to perform a new song, It’s Not Funny Anymore, about the political situation south of the Canadian border.
The winner of the 2016 Hootenanny songwriting contest, Mark’s love of music started when he was 13 and learned three chords on his sister’s guitar. Those few chords led Mark on a decades-long musical voyage that includes performing, songwriting & recording. Continue reading
Versatility, originality and activism are the hallmarks of this year’s Hootenanny Band. All four members are singer-songwriters, multi-instrumentalists and vocalists from the Elizabeth Riley Band who bring a raw, contagious energy to their music that captivates and inspires audiences:
When Gil Levine died at 85 in 2009, three words in his obituary, “… plan a hootenanny’, started an Ottawa tradition that is now into its 8th year and getting stronger.
Held each year on May Day, this annual celebration of the collective power of song was inspired by Gil, who was the founding Director of Research at the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and a great lover of folk music and supporter of folk musicians. Gil demonstrated his love of folk music in many ways, including hosting annual hootenannies at home for decades. Continue reading
Tony Turner, winner of the 2015 Gil’s Hootenanny songwriting contest, has been featured in a February 14, 2017 article in the National Observer.