My dad didn’t just work for the union. He believed in the union and workers’ rights with all of his heart and soul, writes Tamara Levine, daughter of longtime labour activist and founding director of research at the Canadian Union of Public Employees, Gil Levine.
Tune into Canadian Spaces on CKCU (93.1 FM) starting at 10 am Saturday, April 30 for a preview of the Hootenanny, when host Chris White and special guest Arthur McGregor speak with this year’s headliner, James Keelaghan.
The program will also feature 40 minutes of uninterrupted singalong songs of hope and protest featuring music from a selection of the wonderful singer-songwriters who have performed at Gil’s Hootenanny over the years.
Gil’s Hootenanny will be held on Sunday, May 1st at 2pm 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.
Vaccinations and masking are encouraged and Clark Hall will be occupied to less than capacity.
Tickets ($10, kids free) will be available at the door. For additional information, visit www.gilshootenanny.ca & Facebook.
Gil’s Hootenanny is proud to present a tribute to Mi’kmaq singer-songwriter Willie Dunn as part of its 2022 event. Long an icon of Canada’s folk music scene, Dunn (1941-2013) was a multi-talented artist, activist and visionary. Dunn gave voice to Charlie Wenjack’s story in a hauntingly beautiful song written 50 years before Gord Downey’s “Secret Path”. His song, “I Pity the Country”, about colonialism and anti-Indigenous racism, has become an Indigenous anthem, while “Son of the Sun” celebrates Dunn’s heritage interwoven with a plaintive cry for peace. Dunn was the first Indigenous filmmaker to direct an NFB film, “The Ballad of Crowfoot”, one of Canada’s first music videos.
A beloved element of Gil’s Hootenanny is the Hootenanny Band. The Band starts off the show with a procession into the hall as they sing, play, and encourage the audience to join in the music. An ensemble of musicians for whom equity and social justice are central to their songwriting and performance style, the Hootenanny Band is made up of singer-songwriters, multi-instrumentalists and vocalists who captivate and inspire the audience with their talent and energy. They are Mark Evenchick, Elage Mbaye, Arthur McGregor, Debbie Rubin, and Carmel Whittle.
A 13th Anniversary Sing ’n Jam at the Ottawa Grassroots Festival Saturday, April 23 at 3:00 pm
Bring your voice and, if you like, your favourite musical instrument to St. Andrew’s Hall (basement) of St. Andrew’s Church, 82 Kent Street at 3pm on Saturday, April 23rd for Gil’s ‘Grassroots’ Hootenanny so you can sing and jam along to songs of hope and protest led by the Gil’s Hootenanny Band.
Hosted by Tamara Levine and Arthur McGregor, Gil’s ‘Grassroots’ Hootenanny brings together musical friends for a rousing celebration of familiar and new songs of hope and protest that showcase the stories, struggles and victories of working people.
Gil’s Hootenanny is honoured to once again be hosting this Ottawa Grassroots Festival workshop, which provides a tantalizing taste of Gil’s Hootenanny 2022 to take place on May 1st at the RA Centre.
Masking is encouraged at Gil’s ‘Grassroots’ Hootenanny.
And, as folk music legend Pete Seeger said, “A good song reminds us what we’re fighting for”.
Gil’s Hootenanny 2022 will feature Canadian singer-songwriter extraordinaire James Keelaghan as the headliner for its 13th Annual May Day sing-along.
Keelaghan is one of Canada’s finest singer-songwriters, with numerous Juno and 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.
Time to get your tickets and start warming up your voice for the 13th Annual Gil’s Hootenanny, Sunday, May 1st at 2pm at the RA Centre (Clark Hall), 2451 Riverside Drive. This year’s featured performer is internationally acclaimed singer-songwriter James Keelaghan, who will bring his distinctive voice and masterful storytelling to this annual May Day community sing-along celebrating the stories, struggles and victories of working people.
Online ticket sales via Spirit of Rasputin’s website…
Inspired by the legacy of Gil Levine (1924-2009), the founding Director of Research at the Canadian Union of Public Employees, Gil’s Hootenannywas first presented in 2010. Gil and his wife Helen hosted hootenannies at their home for decades. Helen and Gil’s vision of a better world included bringing people together to share and sing about the stories, struggles and victories of working women and men. Gil’s Hootenanny continues that legacy.
Gil’s Hootenanny 2022 will feature James Keelaghan, one of Canada’s finest singer-songwriters, who will bring his distinctive voice and masterful storytelling to this 13th annual May Day community sing-along celebrating the stories, struggles and victories of working people.
First presented in 2010, 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 collective power of song to bring people together to speak up and sing out for change.
Over the years, Gil’s Hootenanny has seen increasingly larger audiences who join the headliner, other featured artists and the Hootenanny Band in singing along with new and traditional songs of hope and protest.
While the pandemic interrupted the celebratory in-person sing-along that characterizes Gil’s Hootenanny, organizers held a virtual sing-along in 2020 that was attended by over 300 people. In 2021, organizers released Singing Together Apart, a one-hour video compilation of special performances from previous hootenannies and encouraged viewers to sing along with the performers.
Gil’s Hootenanny will take place on May Day, Sunday, May 1st, at 2 pm 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.
The songs that emerged from the period of slavery in America had an enormous influence in shaping today’s blues, jazz, rap and much other popular music. In the first of this two-part essay, sociologist of music Stephen Richer looks at the codes embedded into spirituals that served slaves as a covert language for their activism — and getting them on the Underground Railroad.
When Gil Levine died at 85 in 2009, three words in his obituary, “… plan a hootenanny”, were the beginning of Gil’s Hootenanny, an Ottawa tradition now into its 13th year and getting stronger.
year on May Day, this annual celebration of the collective power of
song to change the world was inspired by Gil, the founding Director
of Research at the Canadian Union
of Public Employees (CUPE), a
great lover of folk music and a staunch supporter of folk musicians.
Helen Levine, who died at 95 in October 2018, also considered herself
an “old folkie”. Helen and Gil showed their love of folk music in
many ways, including hosting annual hootenannies and May Day
celebrations at their home for decades.