scheduled for May 1, 2020, has been cancelled because of the COVID-19
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.”
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.
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.
Ottawa’s Gil’s Hootenanny will begin its second decade featuring musical legend James Keelaghan. One of Canada’s finest singer-songwriters, Keelaghan will bring his distinctive voice and masterful storytelling to this 11th annual community sing-along celebrating the stories, struggles and victories of working people.
“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
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.
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
Maria Dunn and Maria Hawkins will be the 2019 headliners for the 10th Annual Gil’s Hootenanny, Wednesday, May 1st at 7:30pm at the RA Centre (Clark Hall), 2451 Riverside Drive. Affectionately dubbed “the Marias” by Hootenanny organizers, Dunn and Hawkins will share the stage, alternating songs in a musical conversation that will be intimate & fun with the added element of audience participation – a tradition for this annual sing-along event.
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, who died in October 2018, hosted hootenannies at their home for decades.
Passionate about preserving the spirit of folk music, twice Juno-nominated Maria Dunnis often compared to Woody Guthrie for her keen social awareness and her melodic, unvarnished songs about the lives of working men and women. Her stint as a volunteer DJ in community radio encouraged Dunn to listen widely to master songwriters, singers and instrumentalists of folk and roots music. Becoming an avid fan of live music, Dunn began writing her own music in the mid-90s, drawing deeply on the folk tradition of storytelling through song to honour the resilience and grace of “ordinary” people, past and present.
Ottawa’s Blues Lady Maria Hawkins is a much-beloved performer in Ottawa, and is well known as the co-creator of “Blues in the Schools”, which garnered the W.C. Handy Blues Award. Hawkins has also earned a United Way Community Builder Award for her work with local charities, the NAC Award for Artistic Excellence, and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal for 25 years of inspiration to Canadian youth. Hawkins’ music is influenced by a deep respect for indigenous peoples and passion for peace and justice, and is informed by many facets of her background, including her black, Mi’kmaq and Acadian ancestry.
Pete Seeger was among Gil and Helen’s favourite troubadours. As 2019 marks the 100th Anniversary of his birth, the Hootenanny will celebrate Pete with a special presentation of his legacy by Steve Richer, folk singer and banjo-playing Professor Emeritus at Carleton University. The Hootenanny Band will open the evening with a selection of new and traditional sing-along music. The Band comprises members of the Elizabeth Riley Band – Carmel Whittle, Jen Gilbert & Patricia Reynolds – with Debbie Rubin and Mark Evenchick.
Helen and Gil’s vision of a better world included bringing people together to celebrate, share and sing about the stories, struggles and victories of working women and men. Gil’s Hootenanny continues that legacy.
Tickets ($10, kids free) are now available online and can be purchased (cash only) at Octopus Books, 116 Third Avenue. For additional information visit Facebook.
element of Gil’s Hootenanny is the entrance march. The performers
promenade into the hall singing, playing and encouraging the audience
to join in the music. For the Hootenanny Band, leading the entrance
march is a natural extension of their identity. Equity, social
activism and social justice are central to their song writing and
performance style, and they are all singer-songwriters,
multi-instrumentalists and vocalists who captivate and inspire
audiences with their energy
Three members of the Hootenanny Band are musicians from the Elizabeth Riley Band:
Gilbert, acoustic guitar, vocals: Jen
grew up in the Ottawa Valley in a music-loving family. While Jen’s
original music is heavily influenced by the chord progressions and
traditions of old-time country music, she loves and plays all styles
of music. Outside of her music-life as a member of the Elizabeth
Riley Band, Jen is a mom, an educator, and a songwriter.
Reynolds, electric guitar, vocals: Patricia
has been playing and singing since her childhood on Manitoulin
Island. Her musical influences range from classic country and
bluegrass to rockabilly to traditional and contemporary folk music.
She enjoys playing and jamming – with Elizabeth Riley Band, Local
Colour, Just Voices choir, and musical friends.
Whittle, stand up snare, percussion, harmonica, guitar, vocals:
Carmel is an
Irish and Mik’maq visual artist, musician, song writer &
activist who hails from Newfoundland. Currently a filmaker,
community outreach and Indigenous Liaison at Gallery 101, she is
also a community organizer and co-ordinator for the Indigenous
Artists’ Coalition ‘No Borders Art Festival’. She loves to
experiment with sound and create instruments from found objects to
create songs of loss tragedy and love.
Jen, Patricia and Carmel will be joined by musical friends Debbie Rubin and Mark Evenchick for the 2019 Hootenanny Band.
Rubin is a vocalist and banjo
player who has been a key Gil’s Hootenanny organizer for many
years. She is part of the group Local Colour and also the Ottawa
Simcha Band, Sing n’jam and Keep on Singing. A
retired teacher from Algonquin College, Debbie is also
Evenchick was the winner
of the 2016 Hootenanny songwriting contest. His 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.
2019 Gil’s Hootenanny will take place on May 1st
at 7:30 pm at the RA centre (Clark Hall), 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 available online and can be purchased (cash only) at Octopus
Books, 16 Third Avenue. Tickets
are $10; kids free.