Author Archives: Hollis Morgan

Gil’s Legacy | Changing the World A Song at a Time

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

Blowin’ in the wind: How to write a good protest song

Published on: February 5, 2017 | Last Updated: February 5, 2017 8:17 PM EST

You can’t go to any major city these days without tripping over a crowd of people waving placards that say unflattering things about Donald Trump.

That’s why Gil’s Hootenanny thought the time was right to run a singalong writing workshop to teach would-be protest songwriters about the power of song. Led by Jamie Anderson, the workshop delved into what makes a good protest song and where to find inspiration, and then jumped into group songwriting.

Continue reading at the Ottawa Citizen website…

Gil’s Hootenanny 2017 Sing-Along Songwriting Contest Now Open for Entries

April 1st is the deadline to submit your song to the Gil’s Hootenanny “Songs of Hope and Protest” Sing-Along Songwriting Contest. Linked to May Day celebrations, this contest has given rise to some excellent musical creations from Canadian songwriters such as Tony Turner, who won in 2015 with his legendary song, Harperman.

Now open for entries, the contest encourages sing-along song submissions from songwriters in two categories:

  • “Open” (19 and over), and
  • “Young Composer” (18 and younger).

Continue reading

2016 Images

2017 Gil’s Hootenanny

  • 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.




Continue reading

Thank you!

2016 bread and roses

2016 bread and roses

Both the Family Singalong and All-Ages Singalong in 2016 were well attended and together smashed our previous attendance records. A great hootenanny was had by all. Thanks to all who attended, to our artists, to the volunteers, and to our sponsors for making this year’s Gil’s Hootenanny a great success. This year’s event was attended by over 600 people. And thanks to Jake Morrison for the photographs.

Family Singalong (11am)
(more photos on Jake’s site here…)

All-Ages Singalong (2:30pm)
(more photos on Jake’s site here…)