Gil’s Hootenanny will be a feature story on the new WPBS current affairs program, ‘WPBS Weekly: Inside the Stories’, tonight (Tuesday, April 27th) at 7:30 pm. A 5-minute segment features Tamara Levine sharing the history of Gil’s Hootenanny and plans for the 2021 event. She also talks about her father, the inspiration for this annual May Day sing along. The PBS story will include footage from past Hootenannies.
WPBS Weekly: Inside the Stories can be viewed on Channel 97 on Rogers Cable and Channel 64 with a Rogers Digital Cable Box. If you are watching from outside Ottawa, please consult https://www.wpbstv.org/channel-listing/ for the channel in your area.
For immediate release
(Ottawa, April 26, 2021)
Gil’s Hootenanny has issued the full list of performers featured in the 2021 sing-along video “Singing Together Apart”, to be released on May 1st at 4pm at https://gilshootenanny.ca/.
“Gil’s Hootenanny 2021: Singing Together Apart” is a retrospective of some of the best performances of sing-along songs from past Hootenannies along with some exciting new songs. It showcases a wide range of artists and sing-along songs including Sharon and Bram’s delightful version of “Grandpa’s Farm”; Maria Dunn’s moving song, “God Bless Us Everyone” and Tony Turner’s internationally acclaimed anthem to the power of collective singing, “Circle of Song”. The video begins with a processional entrance led by The Hootenanny Band and ends with a rousing version of “Wade in the Water” led by Ottawa’s own Maria Hawkins.
The artists are:
- Maria Dunn
- Mark Evenchick with Just Voices: An Activist Choir and other musical friends
- Eve Goldberg
- Christine Graves
- Maria Hawkins with Greg Szepietowski
- Arthur McGregor
- Sharon and Bram
- Stephen Richer with Tamara Levine
- Tony Turner with Ann Downey
- Chris White with Sid Ameen
- The Gil’s in the School Band
- The Hootenanny Band
Over its 12-year history, the annual May Day Hootenanny has featured outstanding Canadian musicians leading sold-out audiences in singing songs of hope and protest which celebrate the stories, struggles and victories of working people. This video encourages viewers to sing along with the performers, as if they were attending an in-person Hootenanny.
Gil’s Hootenanny is inspired by the legacy of Gil Levine, who spent his life working for social justice and was the founding Director of Research at the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). A great lover of folk music and an enthusiastic supporter of folk musicians, Gil believed in the power of song to bring people together to speak up and sing out for change.
Singing together has played a key role in helping people face adversity through the centuries. As Martin Luther King said: “As long as we live, there is never enough singing.”
Stay safe and healthy and let’s keep on singing!
613-729-7252 or 613-404-4553 (cell)
For immediate release:
(Ottawa, Tuesday, April 13, 2021)
Gil’s Hootenanny to be Featured on New WPBS Current Affairs Program, “WPBS Weekly: Inside the Stories”
Gil’s Hootenanny is proud to announce that it will be a featured story on the new WPBS current affairs program, WPBS Weekly: Inside the Stories, on April 27th.
Premiering today at 7:30 pm, this new half hour show in magazine format will showcase stories from the WPBS broadcast region of Northern New York and Eastern Ontario. It will focus on stories related to education, arts and culture, business, tourism, science & technology, and the environment/outdoors.Continue reading
For immediate release
(Ottawa, April 8, 2021)
The video “Gil’s Hootenanny 2021: Singing Together Apart”, a retrospective of highlights of past Hootenannies along with some exciting new songs, will be released on May 1st at 4pm at https://gilshootenanny.ca/.
Since the first Gil’s Hootenanny in 2010, this May Day event has featured outstanding Canadian musicians leading sold-out audiences in singing songs of hope and protest which celebrate the stories, struggles and victories of working people. With an introduction by singer-songwriter and Gil’s team member Arthur McGregor, “Gil’s Hootenanny 2021: Singing Together Apart” is a selection of some of the best of these performances from the Gil’s archives. Emphasizing sing-along songs, the video encourages viewers to sing along with the performers, as if they were attending an in-person Hootenanny.
Among the performers featured in the video are Maria Dunn, Tony Turner, Chris White and Eve Goldberg. Other musicians will be announced next week.Continue reading
With permission of author Stephen Richer and The Society for the Preservation of Wild Culture. Source: Ten Songs That Made a Difference | The Journal of Wild Culture
What kinds of songs inspire people to change their minds about something, then go about changing the world? What makes a particular song an anthem? Having thought about these questions since he learned the banjo as a teenager in the 1950s, sociologist Stephen Richer provides some answers — with illustrations of how a few powerful songs made personal and collective change hard to resist.Continue reading
Gil’s Hootenanny joins with Ottawa’s folk community in commemorating the legacy of Bob Nesbit, long-time folk music aficionados and volunteer, and founder of the Ottawa Grassroots Festival. Bob was an active member of the Gil’s Hootenanny team for several years, and he enthusiastically supported the Hootenanny’s ongoing participation at the Grassroots Festival.
Here is a link to the Ottawa Citizen obituary for Bob who died peacefully at home on February 27th.
Celebrate May Day with Gil’s Hootenanny
Mark your calendars for an epic 90-minute May Day Sing-along!!
Gil’s Hootenanny is organizing an online sing-along with musicians from Ottawa and beyond who will present new and traditional songs of hope and protest, celebrating the stories, struggles and victories of working people. Performers will include James Keelaghan, Paul and Gabriel Champagne, Eve Goldberg, Missy Burgess, Maria Dunn, Bill Garrett, Tony Turner, Arthur McGregor, Stephen Richer, Mark Evenchick, Thunderbird Sisters Collective, Patricia Reynolds, Carm Whittle, Chris White and Mary Gick.
The event starts at 7pm EDT on Friday, May 1.
First presented in 2010, the Gil’s Hootenanny annual May Day Sing-along is inspired by the legacy of Gil Levine, who spent his life working for social justice and was the founding Director of Research at the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). A great lover of folk music and an enthusiastic supporter of folk musicians, Gil believed in the collective power of song to bring people together to speak up and sing out for change.
To join in the fun:
Log into the link below on May 1st at 6:45pm EDT for the 7pm EDT start:
If the above link doesn’t work, go to www.zoom.com or bring up your Zoom app, choose “Join Meeting” and use Meeting ID: 834 8671 0568 and Password: 012873.
Stay tuned for further information on the playlist.
A big thanks to our sponsors:
- Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)
- The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC)
- Public Service Alliance of Canada/NCR (PSAC-National Capital Region)
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.
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.