Category Archives: Archived

Posts from past years that need to be removed from the home page but still available in the archives.

Moonfruits | Singing and Social Activism

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

Christine Graves Wins Gil’s Hootenanny 2017 Songwriting Contest

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

Songwriting Contest Finalists To Perform At OTTAWA GRASSROOTS FESTIVAL

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 KingDavid Mayerovitch
  • Race to the BottomTom Clairmont
  • Rise AboveChristine Graves

Continue reading

Tony Turner & His Life-Changing “Hootenanny” Hit

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.

Image of Tony Turner

Tony Turner

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

Image of Moonfruits

Moonfruits – Kaitlin Milroy and Alex Milliare

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

Mark Evenchick | Passion, Talent & Perseverance

Mark Evenchick

Mark Evenchick

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

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