Author Archives: Hollis Morgan

Gil’s Hootenanny 2020 Cancelled

Gil’s Hootenanny, scheduled for May 1, 2020, has been cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The health and safety of our sponsors, patrons, performers, volunteers and the community in general remains our highest priority. We encourage everyone to follow the recommendations of Ottawa Public Health around social distancing, self-isolation and other measures to decrease the potential spread of COVID-19.

During this challenging time, let’s pause and celebrate the role singing together has played in helping people face adversity through the centuries. In 2019, Gil’s Hootenanny created a 20-minute film to celebrate Gil Levine’s vision of singing together for change and recognize the community of supporters who continue to keep his vision alive. The film Voices for Change, which includes lots of collective singing, captures the history, values and accomplishments that underpin Gil’s Hootenanny. Enjoy the film here.

As folk legend Woody Guthrie said, “There’s several ways of saying what’s on your mind…One of the mainest ways is by singing.”

Stay safe and healthy, and keep singing.

James Keelaghan: A Student of History

Gil’s Hootenanny 2020 will feature Canadian singer-songwriter extraordinaire James Keelaghan as the headliner for its 11th Annual May Day sing-along.

One of Canada’s finest singer-songwriters, Keelaghan has numerous Juno Canadian Folk Music awards and nominations to his credit. A student of history, he is on a perpetual search for unique storylines with universal themes. Many of Keelaghan’s songs concern social justice, inspired by people and events from Canadian history. His songbook includes Hillcrest Mine, Jenny Bryce and Kiri’s Piano, songs that combine exceptional melodies with memorable lyrics that instantly connect with audiences. Keelaghan’s distinctive and remarkable voice, song-writing prowess and on-stage persona have made him a celebrated international artist.

Born in Calgary, Keelaghan now resides in Perth, Ontario. Besides performing his songbook at music venues around the globe, Keelaghan also works as the Artistic Director for the Summerfolk Music and Crafts Festival in Owen Sound, Ontario, which has given him “new passion for programming”.

In March, Keelaghan embarks on a Canadian tour of southern Ontario and Alberta, but he will be back in Ottawa on Friday, May 1st for Gil’s Hootenanny 2020.

This year’s Hootenanny will be held in Clark Hall at the RA Centre, 2451 Riverside Drive, starting at 7:30 pm. Staffed by UNIFOR members, the RA Centre is accessible, has loads of parking and is well serviced by OC Transpo.

Tickets are $10; kids are free.

An Extraordinary Evening of Song, Participation, Hope and Protest

For those who have never attended a Gil’s Hootenanny, the following review of Gil’s Hootenanny 2019 by Hollis Morgan is worth the read….

Read review: “An Outstanding 10th Anniversary Gil’s Hootenanny

Hollis Morgan, May 3rd, 2019

Gil’s Hootenanny 2020 will feature Canadian singer-songwriter James Keelaghan.

Join us on May Day, Friday, May 1st, at 7:30pm in Clark Hall at the RA Centre, 2451 Riverside Drive. Staffed by UNIFOR members, the RA Centre is accessible, has loads of parking and is well serviced by OC Transpo.

Tickets are $10, kids are free.

Stay tuned for further information.

Evemarie Brunelle and the Joy of Voices Rising Together

Dynamic… magnificent… joyful” are some of the superlatives used to describe the experience of singing together in harmony led by Evemarie Brunelle. After a knock-out, sold-out event last fall that left Ottawa participants clamouring for more, the Montreal-based singer, choir leader, and performer will return on October 27th with BIG SING OTTAWA!

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Feature Article in “Our Times” Magazine

The Power of Song

Gil’s Hootenanny

By Kathy Kennedy   April 10, 2019

PHOTOGRAPH: JAKE MORRISON, WITH FLARE PHOTOGRAPHY

The finale at Gil’s Hootenanny is always the highlight of a joyous evening. On May 1, 2018, the rafters of Ottawa’s Clark Hall rang with the sounds of over 300 voices singing “We Shall Not Be Moved,” the African-American spiritual turned labour anthem. The hootenanny brings people together to sing songs of protest and hope, belting out their belief in the power of collective singing for change. Buzzing with optimism, the audience left for home that night singing and carrying a message of inspiration to the streets and neighbourhoods of the city.

Read the rest of this article…

BIG SING OTTAWA!


with EVEMARIE BRUNELLE
Sunday, October 27 from 3:30 to 5:30 pm
Westboro Masonic Hall, 430 Churchill Ave. N.
$20 online by PayPal or credit card

(via Spirit of Rasputins Arts Society PayPal account)
or at Octopus Books, 118 Third Ave.
Spaces are limited.

PayPal - The safer, easier way to pay online!

Sing together in harmony to experience a powerful source of energy, connection and joy! We will learn simple songs from around the world in unison and in harmony.

All ages welcome. No experience necessary. All voices welcome!

Led by Evemarie Brunelle, graduate of the Community Choir Leadership training. Founder of Allez Chante! in Montréal, non-auditioned choirs, since 2009.

Evemarie is known for her dynamic song leading, the quality of her presence, clarity of her instruction and her magnificent voice.
allezchante.ca


An Outstanding 10th Anniversary Gil’s Hootenanny

A capacity audience sang from start to finish at arguably the best organized and best attended 10th Anniversary Gil’s Hootenanny held May 1st, 2019 at the RA Centre. As people arrived, the Hootenanny Choir (a.k.a. Just Voices Activist Choir) was singing in the foyer. This set the stage for participation in a wide variety of “songs of protest, songs of hope”. While some of the songs were new, most were quite old and had survived many iterations through the “folk process” over decades or even hundreds of years. This review will include some of that musicology. The organizers of Gil’s Hootenanny deserve praise for the breadth and depth of song selection at this anniversary event.

In the hall, while they were finding their seats, a video of past Hoots played on the big screen over the stage with concert clips and interviews of past participants. The choir and video were both very welcoming touches.

Parade of performers

The real Hootenanny began with a parade of performers marching down both aisles to the stage singing Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around, a civil rights song adapted from a spiritual first recorded by the Dixie Jubilee Singers in 1924. Resurrected by the Reverend Ralph Abernathy during the summer of 1962 when mass arrests and demonstrations erupted for the second time, he taught it one night to a mass meeting at Mount Zion Baptist Church.

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